The Pitfalls of Selling Your Home on Your Own

In this hot summer selling season we see a lot of For Sale by Owner (FSBO) signs in people’s yards. It’s understandable that as we are coming out of the miserable housing slump, sellers want to make as much money on the sale of their home as possible. However, as a seller, and as a buyer too, it’s important to understand what you’re getting yourself involved in and protect yourself.  Here are a few things from an online article on MSN Money to keep in mind:

·         “According to the NAR (National Association of Realtors), the primary reason homeowners choose the FSBO method is to save on the commission payment. While commissions are negotiable, typically sellers pay 6% of the sales price, split equally between the buyers' agent and the listing agent. FSBO sellers must still pay a commission to the buyer's agent, typically 3% or, for example, $6,000 on a $200,000 sale.” (

·         Trying to sell or buy a home on your own could get you mired down in legal and financial troubles.  If you don’t thoroughly read and understand the contract you’re signing or don’t understand title work, inspections, tax issues, and other legal issues you may regret not utilizing the expertise of a licensed real estate agent.  "The countless things that could go wrong without professional assistance can cause undue stress on your family as well as financial hardship. For instance, the deal could fall through and you could end up owning two houses."  (

·         FSBO’s may end up with a lower sales price. A lot of buyers’ agents may not take their buyers to a FSBO home because they don’t want to bear the brunt of liability since there’s no other agent involved. That means you have less people looking at your house and less offers.

·         Real estate agents also have access to at least one multiple listing service (MLS) where other agents can view your home and bring buyers and hopefully offers as well.

·         Time is another issue. Are you able to rearrange your schedule in order to show your home when potential buyers come knocking or when they call at all hours? If somebody needs to look at your home in the middle of the day, will you be able to leave your job at a moment’s notice?

These are just a few things to take into consideration if you are trying to sell your home by yourself. It can be a long, winding road if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you’ve tried the FSBO route without success, give a call (810-733-3374) and one of our experienced agents will be happy to assist you and get your house sold!