The Pros and Cons of Selling Your House For Sale By Owner

Edmonton MLS® Real estate advice Edmonton Homes For Sale wallyfakhreddine best Edmonton REALTOR® 4 min read
Photographer: Scott Graham | Source: Unsplash

Selling a house is a significant financial transaction and a complex process. The majority of Canadian home sellers prefer to work with a licensed real estate agent who guides them through the entire process. Some homeowners however choose to sell their house "For Sale By Owner" (FSBO) without using a real estate agent. While this approach can save on commission fees, it comes with its own set of pros and cons. Let’s discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of selling your house For Sale By Owner.

Pros of Selling Your House For Sale By Owner:

1. Cost Savings:

One of the most apparent advantages of selling your house FSBO is the cost savings. By not using a real estate agent, you can avoid paying the typical 5-7% commission fee to the agent. This can translate to a substantial amount of money, especially for higher-priced homes.

Without paying a real estate agent's commission, you may have the potential to maximize your profit from the sale. The cost savings can be directed towards the net proceeds from the sale or used for home improvements to increase the property's value.

2. Control Over the Sale:

When selling your house FSBO, you have control over many aspects of the selling process. You can set the asking price, negotiate directly with buyers, and decide on the terms and conditions of the sale. This level of control allows you to tailor the sale to your preferences and needs.

Being in the driver’s seat may seem appealing, but you’ll need to be realistic about what you actually control. Keep emotions in check and don’t overprice your home. And bear in mind that you still have control over things like list price and terms and conditions of the sale if you are working with an agent. You just don’t have to do the actual negotiating yourself.

Why Pricing a Home a Home To Sell Is So Important

3. Direct Interaction with Buyers:

Handling the sale yourself means you get to interact directly with potential buyers. You can provide information about the property, answer questions, and showcase the unique features of your home.

4. Flexibility and Convenience:

As the homeowner and seller, you have the flexibility to schedule showings, open houses, and negotiations at your convenience. This can be advantageous for those with busy schedules or specific preferences regarding when and how the sale process is conducted.

Photographer: David Hahn | Source: Unsplash

Cons of Selling Your House For Sale By Owner:

1. Limited Market Exposure:

One of the major drawbacks of selling FSBO is the limited market exposure. Real estate agents have access to multiple listing services (MLS) and other marketing channels, which increases the visibility of the property to a broader audience.

Some potential buyer’s agents may refuse to work with FSBO sellers because they are typically compensated by splitting the commission with the listing agent on your home’s sale. You may need to increase your own marketing efforts in order to compensate for a reduced buyer pool. Advertising on local listings and social media, holding open houses, and networking are some of the activities you’ll be responsible for yourself. These activities are typically handled by an agent.

The bottom line is that limited exposure may result in a longer time on the market and possibly a lower selling price.

2. Lack of Marketing Expertise:

Real estate agents are professionals with expertise in marketing and selling homes. They work with specialized photographers who capture and optimize professional images of your home. They know how to market a property effectively, reach potential buyers, and negotiate favorable deals. Without this expertise, you may struggle to attract qualified buyers and negotiate the best terms.

3. Complexity and Legal Risks:

Selling a house involves a complex legal process, including contracts, disclosures, and potential negotiations. Without a real estate agent, you might face challenges understanding the legal aspects and risk potential legal complications. This could lead to delays, disputes, or even legal problems.

You also need to be well versed in provincial requirements to execute the sale. A real estate lawyer can help review the contract, purchase title insurance, and perform a title search on your behalf but any hitches in the process could result in costly delays.

4. Emotional Involvement:

Selling a home can be an emotional process, especially if you've lived in the house for a long time. Emotions may cloud your judgment during negotiations or affect your ability to make rational decisions about offers. An impartial third party, like a real estate agent, can provide valuable guidance in these situations.

5. Time and Effort:

Selling a house FSBO can be time-consuming and requires significant effort. You'll need to handle all aspects of the sale, from marketing to negotiations to paperwork. If you have a busy schedule or lack experience in real estate transactions, this can be a challenging endeavor.

While selling your house For Sale By Owner offers potential cost savings and control over the selling process, it comes with limitations and risks. It's crucial to weigh the pros and cons carefully and consider your expertise, resources, and comfort level with the selling process before deciding which approach is best for you. If unsure, consulting with a real estate professional can help you make an informed decision.

With nearly 20 years of experience helping people buy and sell homes in Edmonton, Wally is a trusted real estate professional with a long list of loyal clients.

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Connect with Wally at 780.238.7384 for all of your Edmonton real estate inquiries.
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