Pros and Cons of For Sale By Owner

So you’re wanting to do For Sale By Owner?  And you’ve heard from your best friend Joe that he sold his house using Zillow and how much money he saved not having to pay a commission?  While selling a home by yourself without an agent is entirely possible and it can be lucrative sometimes, it is not something I would recommend doing.

A little background before I get into the pros and cons of doing For Sale By Owner (FSBO).  I’ve sold a few house prior to becoming a REALTOR® by using Facebook and Zillow.  And I’ve done so successfully and in line with the current market at the time.  However, I also know how to do advanced targeting on Facebook and had a Facebook page I had built up to nearly 1k followers prior to any home being sold in this manner.  That is why I believe I was as successful as I was in doing this.  Had I not ever had any of that and I just put it on Zillow, then I wouldn’t have been tapping into a market that is possible when you use a REALTOR®.

So with all that being said, here are 2 of the main pros of FSBO:

Pros of FSBO:

  1. You get to keep all the money: There is no agent to pay on either side of the transaction when you do FSBO.  You “could” save thousands by doing this.  But you could also cost yourself thousands by not using an agent.  I’ll discuss that more later.
  2. You control the entire sale: An agent has an ethical duty to always do what is in the best interest of their client.  But when you do FSBO, you control everything on the selling side of the transaction.  You don’t have to listen to any outside opinion if you choose not to, and you have full control over the entire process.

Those two pros of For Sale By Owner are the biggest reasons people choose to go that route.  The cons are much more in depth, but I’m only going to discuss a few of them.

Cons of FSBO:

  1. The money you save may not be that great: While there’s no denying there is a commission “savings”, it may not actually be a saving if you price your house incorrectly.  With a compentent agent helping you along the way, your house will be priced according to the current market demand.
  2. FSBO often fails:  According to stats by the National Association of REALTORS®, 90% of FSBO listings fail.
  3. Many buyers want an agent: Most people, when they’re ready to buy a home, want to use an agent.  So if your home is listed as FSBO, the agent may not even contact you regarding your property even though they know it is for sale.  (Side note: If a buyer’s agent does contact you regarding your home for their client and you’re doing FSBO, it is a good idea to be willing to pay them a commission for bringing you a buyer).
  4. Selling a home isn’t as easy as it looks: An agent will help you thru the entire process of all the paperwork when selling your home.  And believe me, it’s not just 1 small piece of paper.  If only it was that easy!  They’ll also help you make sure the potential buyer can actually afford to purchase your home and isn’t wasting your time.

Selling your home is a big decision and one that has many variables to consider.  If you’re on the fence about whether or not you should sell, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at or 931.250.3756 to discuss your options.  I promise I’ll be open regarding the For Sale By Owner process as I’ve done it successfully before, and I know what most sellers are considering when they’re considering that route.

Daniel Patterson, Affiliate Broker