So, you want to sell your house without a Realtor?

“What could possibly go wrong”? you ask.

First, let’s face it- we all think our own homes are far more valuable than anyone else. After all, how about the upgraded light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, and that specialty paint you used? Oh, yes… how about the pavers you used on the patio and the extra landscaping? You get the picture. It doesn’t really matter that much to the buyer. They are looking at price, location, and of course, appeal of your home among many other things.

” What do you think we can get for it’? you wonder. It is funny when we Agents hear “ Oh, it’s all there on Zillow!” Hahahaha… wrong! Most Realtors do not use Zillow with all its errors and erroneous information. ” But Harry down the street has his listed for such and such”…. It does not matter what a house is listed for- it only matters what it sells for, Mr. FSBO! And there is that annoying little detail called an appraisal that you will need to take into account. So, you price it and test the waters….

The FSBO sign goes up and the magic begins. The phone starts ringing and you get that gut feeling that everyone who is calling is a scammer or worse yet, a “bad guy” like on Craig’s List. You are apprehensive to let them in your house – after all, no one has qualified them for you. “Who are these people anyway? Are they canvasing my house and coming back later to rob it”? Oh, this is a nightmare, you start to realize.

But then it happens- an offer!!!! ” What? Can you believe the buyers made an offer and then knocked off another 6% because I am saving on the Realtor fee”? That’s right, there goes that pesky commission right out the front door. Now you are stuck trying to figure out a myriad of things including Property Disclosure issues, Home Inspection contingencies, repairs, financing contingencies, qualification of the buyer, etc, etc etc! This is what happens when you try to save money- you end up netting less and YOU do all the work with all the liability!

You begin to ask yourself if this was the right thing to do. After all, you tied up your property; you have not made a dime more than if you had help from a Realtor and then low and behold, the deal falls apart after wasting months with a buyer who was not qualified.

Ok, I think I have made my point. Quite candidly, I am very proud of the Realtors in our community and the ethics that we uphold. Do your homework… get a recommendation from someone you know who has sold a home in your neighborhood and yes, ask for references before you choose your Realtor. I am confident you will be very thankful you chose to work with a Realtor instead of going it on your own!

Just remember, you always get what you pay for!

For more information, contact Maggie Boineau

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.