Is it better to sell by owner or realtor? 

Or maybe the better question, is it worth doing for sale by owner?  The Denver Metro is one of the hottest real estate markets in the country right now.  So, with it being such a hot seller’s market you might be asking yourself if you even need a real estate agent.  Well, there is not really a straight answer to this as there are so many different circumstances that factor into the outcome.  I am writing this to help you understand what the best decision is for you based on your situation.

Although selling your home by yourself without using a listing agent may seem like the perfect way to save money on commission fees, the statistics show us that most FSBO sellers will ultimately end up regretting this decision.  According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), FSBO sales accounted for only 9% of all home sales in 2020.  In fact, FSBO sales seem to have been declining over the past decade from a 2004 peak of only 14%.  Bottom line, the FSBO Market Share is shrinking.

Now let us discuss some of the more critical aspects of what it really takes to sell your home in today’s market.

How to determine the true market value of your home?

With all the apps and websites available to us today it can be easy to go online and see what other homes nearby have sold for but are you aware of how a detailed comparative market analysis is accomplished by a professional real estate agent or more importantly a licensed appraiser.  An experienced Realtor can conduct a unique market analysis that considers not only your home’s location, size, condition, and any improvements you have made but can also produce an up to the minute indication of how the current market condition affects the sale price of your property.

How to market your house to prospective buyers?

Most FSBO sellers believe that all you need to do is put a “FOR SALE” sign in the yard, list the house on Zillow and the buyers will follow.  Unfortunately, the sign just does not work in today’s tech fueled housing market and even though your listed online with Zillow your house is still not really on the market.  The FSBO market is more like a wholesale market and will be treated as such.  When a licensed agent puts your house on the MLS and syndicates to hundreds of websites you are now on the retail market.  This is where you will get the greatest amount of visibility to active, interested, and qualified buyers.

Should I hire a Real Estate agent or sell myself?

I will say that some FSBO sellers do end up selling their home on their own.  If you are thinking of selling your home on your own, consider a few things, as discussed above pricing and marketing are important yet there is so much more.  Today we must consider the health and safety of ourselves and any potential buyers who enter your home.  The paperwork, sure you can attempt this on your own as well, but do you know what it takes to protect that contract and make sure that you get to the closing table.  Negotiations, maybe you are in sales and you are confident, an experienced agent is a consultant, not a salesperson.  An agent’s job is to protect your interests and has a fiduciary responsibility to get you the best possible outcome using transparency and integrity along the way as they help you accomplish your goals.  Protecting your interests and equity is our highest priority.  I can go on and on.

By the way, once your home is put on the wholesale market as FSBO just be aware that most of the calls that you will be fielding are from, yep you guessed it, real estate agents.  This can be a viable source of business for real estate agents as the vast majority of FSBO sellers end up listing with an agent after a fair amount of frustration and lost time.  Whatever you decide to do is fine by me, just be prepared.

Okay, I am almost done.  If you started down this path of for sale by owner, I am sure your intentions were good.  You simply wanted to save money right.  Or do you want to net as much money as possible at the end of the day?  The data does not lie, FSBO sellers have historically sold for significantly less than similar homes sold on the retail market.  If you want to get the highest possible price for your home in a reasonable time fame based upon our current market conditions, give me a call and I will help you make the best decision for you and your situation.  It can put more money in your pocket.  If you need to sell your home to buy your next home or not, my team and I can provide you with direction.  Consultations are free of charge.  Cheers and have a great day!

Author: Joe Chavez