For Sale By Owner - Pros and Cons

As the housing market evolves and grows, more homebuyers are considering selling their home independently. The term for this is For Sale By Owner or FSBO. It may seem like a convenient way to avoid realtor fees, but is selling your home by yourself worth it? Here are some pros and cons when deciding whether to go the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route.

What is For Sale By Owner?

For Sale By Owner (FSBO) is when a homeowner decides to sell their home without enlisting the services of a real estate agent. This option allows homeowners to take control of the entire selling process, from setting the asking price to handling all the paperwork. One of the main appeals of FSBO is that homeowners don't have to pay commission fees or wait for a real estate agent to show up for appointments. 

Is For Sale By Owner a good idea?

FSBO can seem like a good idea in theory. However, the reality is that it’s often more of a hassle than it’s worth. Homeowners who attempt to FSBO often have less success finding qualified buyers than those who use a realtor and end up leaving money on the table when the sale is complete. 

When selling your home on your own, you are solely responsible for all the work associated with the sale process. Marketing and advertising, showing your property to potential buyers, drafting contracts and paperwork, negotiating closing costs, all of these tasks that used to be handled by realtors now become your responsibility. This can take up much of your time and require knowledge and experience you may not possess.

In addition to taking on more work and responsibility for selling your home, you’re also likely to get less money when you FSBO. Professional realtors are adept at negotiating for the maximum amount for their clients and often have access to multiple offers from potential buyers. Homeowners attempting to FSBO may only have access to one offer from a single buyer, which can lead to a lower selling price.

Pros of Selling Your Home as For Sale By Owner

Many benefits come with taking the FSBO route when selling your home. 

Cost Savings

Perhaps one of the most attractive elements of For Sale By Owner is its significant cost savings. Selling without an agent means you won't have to pay any commissions or closing costs, which can be substantial in some markets. You may still have to pay fees if you choose to use services such as title insurance or escrow services, but these tend to be minimal compared to what you would pay an agent in commission fees. 

More Control

Because you will be handling most aspects of the sale yourself, you will have much more control over how things unfold than if you were working with an agent. This includes deciding on large aspects, such as setting the asking price, negotiating with potential buyers, and handling smaller details, such as ensuring that all documents are properly filled out, and contracts are signed correctly. 

Why You Should Not Sell Your Home As For Sale By Owner 

While there are perks associated with selling a home For Sale By Owner, there are considerable downsides, such as: 

Time Requirements

It’s important to understand that selling a home without an agent requires a considerable time investment. This includes everything from marketing your property, scheduling showings, handling contracts, and dealing with negotiations.

Furthermore, you may run into legal matters that you're not qualified to handle, which can be both time-consuming and costly if you end up having to hire lawyers or other professionals to resolve them. 

Knowledge Requirements

To successfully sell your home without an agent, you need to understand the local real estate market, as well as basic marketing principles and negotiation strategies. Suppose you do not have a strong grasp of these concepts. In that case, it may be best to enlist help from an experienced professional who can guide you through each step to ensure that all legal matters are handled correctly, and that your best interests are protected during negotiations. 

Potential for Lower Profits

Although certain cost savings are associated with For Sale By Ownership, it does not necessarily equate to higher profits for the seller. Because you won't have an agent working on commission to help market and negotiate on behalf of the seller, you may make less profit than if you had decided to go through a real estate agent instead.

Moreover, if potential buyers sense that they can't get a good deal because they don't have access to professional representation, they may move on to another property instead. 

Lack of Expertise

While it may be tempting to think that handling all aspects of your sale will save money, it may not always be wise regarding expertise. there are many nuances when selling a home, including identifying potential problems so they can be mitigated or resolved before the sale. 

Without an expert who understands how all these elements fit together, it may be difficult for sellers to properly assess any offers they receive or properly manage any complications that arise during negotiations or transactions. 

How To Choose A Real Estate Agent

Consider these tips when choosing a real estate agent: 

  • Research agents in your area – look at their reputation, past sales, referrals, and awards.
  • Ensure the agent is licensed, qualified, and experienced
  • Meet with agents to discuss their experience, qualifications, and past sales performance 
  • Ask for references from past clients
  • Consider the agent's area of expertise and whether they will be knowledgeable about the local market and your specific property or neighborhood.
  • Consider their communication style – will they answer your queries in a timely manner?
  • Set out a proposed service agreement with your chosen agent to outline what services they will provide and any associated costs.


Deciding on how to proceed when selling a home should never be taken lightly; therefore, it is important for sellers to carefully consider all their options to determine which course of action works best for them. While opting for For Sale By Owner presents certain advantages, such as cost savings and more control over the process, choosing a realtor would offer more profits. Contact for more information.

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