Selling Your House — For Sale by Owner vs. Realtor

Are you looking for the best way to sell your home? Most likely, you are stuck in limbo between selling your home by yourself or with the aid of a realtor.

Houses for sale by owner (FSBO) are usually on the market alongside those that are sold by realtors. With both options available to you, you might be wondering if one way has advantages over the other.

As you will see in this article, the right approach for selling a house will depend on your preferences. More specifically, the right approach will depend on what you prioritize and how much you are willing to give up or risk.

Read to learn more about these two approaches to listing houses for sale.

Key Considerations When Choosing a Listing Method

FSBO and sale by realtor are two common ways to list properties and houses for sale. When you are choosing the approach that works for you, you will have to make your decision based on several key considerations.

In detail, here are some of those considerations:


Very often, you will want your house sold as quickly as possible. How fast you can sell your home will depend on your expertise and your home’s value and curb appeal. Of course, DIY-ing your home sale can result in some inefficiencies, especially if you are a real estate novice.

If time is of the essence, then calling a realtor can speed matters up significantly. A realtor has the knowledge and networks that can contribute to the sale of your home.


Contrary to popular belief, selling your home can require an investment on your part. Other than the costs you will incur from repairs, it might also cost you money if you wish to expedite the sale.

As mentioned earlier, a realtor can speed up the process. However, be aware that realtors take a commission that is usually anywhere from 5% to 6% of the net gains from the sale.

Risks Associated with the Sale

According to Investopedia, selling a home comes with risks — financial and legal risks. In fact, the National Association of Realtors identified 10 risks associated with selling real estate. If you have experience in selling real estate or homes, the risk becomes less of an issue. However, in the absence of real estate experience, hiring a realtor can surely help.

Putting Up Houses for Sale with a Realtor

With a realtor, you maximize your chances of selling your home quickly. A realtor can speed up the sale with a professional network, as well as a list of prospective buyers. If your realtor has earned a reputation within the community, he or she can market your property to parties interested in your home.

Realtors are also licensed professionals. This necessitates that they are well-versed in the legalities surrounding the sale of real estate. For this reason, part of their service is assessing and taking on the legal risks involving the sale of your home.

The only real drawback seems to be the commission. Realtors take a commission based on the completion of a sale. Hence, if the budget is high on your list of priorities, this is worth considering.

Selling Your Home by Yourself

On the other hand, you can sell your home without a realtor and avoid a realtor’s hefty commissions. At a glance, 5% to 6% may not seem like a lot to the average DIY home seller. However, when you take into account the average price of homes with high equity, you will see that the gross commission a realtor takes is a lot.

For example, if a home is priced at around $374,000, a realtor can take anywhere from $18,700 to $21,000 upon completing the transaction. This is money that can be yours if you complete the sale yourself.

Indeed, the profit you stand to make by selling your home is a lot. Then again, there are risks, as mentioned earlier. To sell your home without a realtor comes down to your experience and knowledge about property sales.

Final Thoughts

The right approach to selling your home depends on how much of the money you want to keep. It also depends on your capability to complete a property transaction.

The sale of a home also encompasses the concept of a mortgage. After all, a calculated mortgage determines equity, a fundamental determinant of a home’s price. To master the concept of mortgage without a realtor, sign up for our mortgage courses and take control of your property sale. 

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