Listing your home as "For Sale by Owner"?

July 3, 2017
last modified: July 3, 2017

We will be closing on a home we recently put an offer on. The closing will happen on the next month and we will be moving in October 2. We considered listing our current home as for sale by owner starting August 1st. If it doesn't drive many customers we would then hire a realtor and list September 1st. Is this a good idea? Has anyone had success with the for sale by owner? Thank you

Yes- List your home "For Sale by Owner"
No- List your home with a Realtor

Comments (14)

  • dmilk

    Also to add I am a professional photographer and I feel comfortable taking all of my homes photos and marketing it to sell.

  • havingfun

    ok last time i listed my home by realtor, i went back and redid the description, pointing out the important points and updates. i also updated the photos, because despite being available, they were using 20 year old pics. they sat there saying why did we not think of that.

    but they do help insure that everything is done correctly and are added protective layer.

    dmilk thanked havingfun
  • June E
    it really depends on you and your home and your market and your experience in the market. I find most fsbo sellers are unrealistic or just unaware about how competitive their home is with the local competition. Rarely there are fsbo sellers who are spot on. Only issue is if you will pay a buyers agent commission and if agents will show your home.
    dmilk thanked June E
  • dowagercountess

    The only time I saw for sale by owner work, was during the crazy real estate bubble frenzy in 2004, when houses were flying off the market. Every other for sale by owner that I've known wasted time, and they all ended up going to a realtor, even ones who swore they wouldn't. Also, be aware that it will be easier to sell a house in the spring, than in the fall and winter.

    dmilk thanked dowagercountess
  • Homebody

    I don't particularly care for realtors- simply because I don't trust them to do things with my best interest in mind. They tell u things just to get ur listing n later to get the house sold fast, all for their own interest I put them right up there next to car salesmen. Lol (sorry don't want to insult anyone but that's exactly how I feel). U really need to bring them back to reality n remind them that they work for u n not the other way around.

    But still, I'd rather use one simply for the legal paperwork that comes with selling a home.

    dmilk thanked Homebody
  • havingfun

    oh dear, i put them beneath both car salesmen and attorneys. I just find them unable or uncaring enough to think outside the box. like i said, at first i got no replies on my home. I finally rewrote the listing and sent our own pics and sold in a very short time. I even did my own open houses. and it was not staged and had no home warranty which is a waste of time by the way.

    dmilk thanked havingfun
  • dmilk

    I know we have many buyers looking in the area and neighborhood. I even got a flyer from another realtor saying buyer demand very high in your area if your even considering of moving contact me. I think I'm going to try it for 1 month and see if we get anywhere and if not list with a realtor. I know I can post my listing on Trulia and Zillow. If the client comes with their own realtor they will handle the paperwork. That's what happened with us. We had a realtor and the house we bought did not have a realtor they represented themselves. Our realtor provided all the paperwork.

  • Bailey R

    It depends upon your market. I sold my home myself years ago & it was easy. The market was fairly hot & my home was in very good condition in a very nice neighborhood. If I sell my present home I intend to list it myself, again because my home is in a very high demand area & it would save me $50,000 to $75,000 in broker commissions. Worth the shot.

    dmilk thanked Bailey R
  • dmilk

    Bailey R thanks for your comment. I feel like our home is also in a very sought after neighborhood and move in condition. I plan on doing it myself now. Is that about how much you save? I thought around $40,000 plus. I can put that money into remolde jobs in my next home.

  • Robbi

    It depends on the market and the realtor you choose. If it is a hot market, then you may be able to sell on your own. But if the house has to be marketed (realtors now have all kinds of tools - websites with virtual walk throughs, social media marketing etc) a realtor can be well worth it if they can sell quickly and get you top dollar. Interview the realtors and see what they would do to market your house (simply listing on the MLS and hosting an open house is not enough). Also selling it yourself means you have to be available to show the home and often on short notice so if you work outside the home or have a lot of activities this may be difficult.

  • PRO
    edit, fluff, & style
    I am a Realtor, as well as a designer. I pride myself on being professional, attending to my clients' needs, and working tirelessly on their behalf.
    One of the comments on this thread addresses one issue that is common with homeowners who try to sell their home themselves. Unrealistic pricing. I spend 40+ hours a week either looking at homes with buyer clients, previewing homes that have just come on the market, looking at listings on-line, and analyzing the actual sale price of homes.
    The thing that many people don't think about when selling their home on their own is this: what do you know about the person who is coming into your home? I don't begin showing homes to a buyer until I have met with them and had them preapproved by a lender with whom I am familiar. I also first meet them in a public place, send photos of their ID cards to my office, etc.
    For those of you who have had a bad experience with a real estate agent, I am sorry for that. Ask friends if they have recommendations. And now with websites such as Zillow, Trulia, and, you have an opportunity to read reviews of agents.
    Best of luck to you!
  • Candace Bailie
    We sold our last home by owner. We did the research first, though, so knew what price to ask. All we did was put a sign in the yard on Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon, since we were both busy with work during the week. It sold on Saturday of the second week. We also had a couple offers the first weekend but those people didn't qualify.

    The most important thing is having the house ready to sell. I'm pretty picky about my house so it's always clean and uncluttered. We received so many compliments on our home and the decorating, etc. After looking at homes ourselves, we quickly learned what NOT to do to get the job done.

    We saved a boatload of money doing this. I would absolutely do it again.
  • chloebud

    I agree it can depend on the market. My brother and sister-in-law just sold their home themselves. The home is lovely and the listing photos taken by my sister-in-law were some of the nicest I've seen. They listed the house on May 24 and spent the next 5 days showing it almost hourly to potential buyers and their realtors. It was a lot of work, but they ended up with umpteen offers. On the 5th day they accepted an offer for $65K over the asking price. They're really pleased with how it all went.

  • Belahn

    Find a realtor that you trust and work with them. We used one that was recommended by a friend and he turned out great, another time I had a neighbor/friend who just got his license and wanted to sell our home as a practice without charging us anything and he sold it within one week. Third time, we use someone recommended by our neighbor who had just sold his and he worked out great. Don't just throw a dart and hope you get a good one. Some are better than others. Also, you can work with them. If you can take good pictures and know how to stage it, you can do that and they can use your pics. Always make sure the people who look are pre-approved or else you are just wasting time. Edit, fluff and style sounds like my kind of realtor. I personally don't want to mess with the paperwork and screening. And remember, fees are negotiable.

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