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Sell House by Owner or Realtor

If you’re struggling to figure out if you should sell by owner or with a Florida realtor, you’re not alone. This is a constant dilemma for homeowners to figure out which selling strategy is right for them. Each has its pros and cons, and selling by owner’s biggest draw is the potential savings that otherwise would be spent on realtor commissions. But is doing all the work worth saving 2.5-3% on commissions? Below we’ll cover all you need to know about selling by owner vs. through a realtor and the advantages and disadvantages of both options. That way, when you go to list your Florida home, you’ll know you’re making the right choice. 

How Should You Sell Your House – By Owner or With a Realtor?

man hammering for sale sign

Selling a House By Yourself Vs. With a Realtor

If you’re preparing to list your house, you’ll want to figure out if it is better to sell your home by owner or realtor? Most people prefer to sell a house by owner because of the savings; others just felt confident that they could sell on their own. On the other hand, listening with an agent provides an easier selling process handled by a real estate agent but can be costly. If you’re struggling to decide, “should I sell my house by owner or realtor?” take a look at the pros and cons below to determine which would be the best option for you. 

Selling a House By Yourself

If you don’t know much about selling a house by yourself, you’ll want to learn more about it before you go to list your property. To be honest, selling a home in Florida isn’t easy, especially if you have limited real estate experience. Here is an idea of what your responsibilities would include if you were to sell by owner. 

  1. Access the Condition of your House: The first thing you’ll want to do is walk the interior and exterior of your home and make a list of all the repairs you’ll need to make before listing your house. If you’re unsure about your home’s condition, hire a home inspector to access the property. Their report will give you a good idea of what repairs you’ll need to make and what potential buyers may discover in their home inspection.
  2. Make Repairs: Once you have an idea of what repairs you’ll need to do around the house, you’ll need to figure out if you can do the repairs yourself or need to hire someone. If you need to replace a leaky roof, have a foundation issue, termite damage, water damage, or mold- you’ll need to hire a professional. If you need to replace light bulbs, tighten door handles, fix a leaky faucet, you should be able to do those pretty easily or with the help of YouTube DIY videos. 
  3. Determine a Listing Price: After you finish making repairs, you’ll need to determine a competitive listing price for your house. The best way to do this is to hire a real estate appraiser to appraise your property. They will give you an unbiased opinion on your home’s value based on the current housing market and it’s condition. 
  4. Clean, Declutter, Stage: Next, you’ll need to get the house ready for listing photos and potential buyers to walk through. Don’t forget to clean, declutter and stage the home. If your house is full of stuff or trash, this may take a few weeks to go through things and store items elsewhere. Just make sure to do a thorough cleaning, especially since you’re selling during COVID-19, and to organize cluttered areas. Staging is also really important to help buyers visualize each room’s purpose and available space. Storing personal items would be a good idea, including family photos and any large pieces of furniture that make rooms appear smaller.
  5. Determine your Marketing Strategy and List the Home: After you make the house presentable, you need to figure out your marketing strategy. Hire a photographer to take professional photos of the home to use on websites and social media. Come up with a catchy listing description, so prospective buyers have detailed information about your home. Post your listing to FSBO websites and Facebook and Instagram, the more people that see your listing, the better. Finally, print flyers and purchase a For Sale sign to go in the front yard. 
  6. Wait for an Offer: While you’re waiting for an offer, you’ll have to be ready to answer questions, phone calls, and emails. You may also need to host open houses and always be prepared for anyone to schedule a showing. To give you an idea of how long it takes for you to receive an offer. Currently, the average days on market in Florida for a house to receive a proposal is 79 days. 

Remember, these responsibilities don’t include paperwork, getting buyer approval, negotiating contingencies, closing, packing your belongings, and moving. 

Pros of Selling a House By Yourself

Now that you have a general idea of what selling a house by owner looks like, what are the benefits of selling your home by yourself?

Less Expensive 

The main reason people choose to sell FSBO is because it’s less expensive. Since you won’t be hiring a listing agent, you will be able to save 2.5-3% on the commission that otherwise would’ve gone to your realtor. 

Control of the Listing

Another benefit of selling your house by yourself is complete control of the listing. Without an agent, you call all the shots. 

You Manage Showings and Open Houses

When you list with an agent, you and your house need to be ready at a moment’s notice for prospective buyers. Since you’re in charge of selling, you get to decide when you want to show your home. 

Cons of Selling a House By Yourself 

Selling a house by owner does have some disadvantages too. Below are some of the cons of selling your home by yourself that you’ll want to consider. 

Fewer Offers 

Unfortunately, FSBO listings attract fewer viewers and fewer offers than homes listed by agents. FSBO sellers often have to keep their property on the market for longer periods of time and sell their residence for less money. 

Selling FSBO Isn’t Easy

People are surprised how much work goes into selling FSBO, and if you’re juggling a job, family, and trying to relocate, selling your house may be hard to make a priority. 

Personal Feelings

Sometimes it isn’t easy to put feelings aside when it comes to selling your personal home. To make the sale a success, you’ll need to make sure you’re ready to handle the emotions that come with selling your personal property. Learn how to take the emotions out of selling your house in Gainesville, Florida by clicking here

Note: A lot of people assume selling by owner will save them money but does it really? Once people figure out how much time and effort goes into selling a house, they second guess their decision. Yes, you can save money by selling without a listing agent; however, if the buyer uses an agent, you’ll be covering their 2.5%-3% commission even though you’re still doing all the work. 

Selling a House With a Realtor

The nice thing about hiring a real estate agent is that they will handle most of the selling process. Although selling a house with a realtor is completely different than selling by owner, the beginning steps before listing is similar. Here is an idea of what it would look like to sell with a real estate agent.  

  1. Access the condition of your house: The first step is still the same as selling by owner. You will need to do a walk-through of your home’s interior and exterior and make a list of all the repairs you’ll need to make before listing your house. If you’re unsure about your home’s condition, hire a home inspector to access the property. Their report will give you a good idea of what repairs you’ll need to make and what potential buyers may discover in their home inspection. 
  2. Make repairs: No. 2 is the same as selling FSBO. Once you have an idea of what repairs you’ll need to do around the house, you’ll need to figure out if you can do the repairs yourself or need to hire someone. Although you’re listing with a real estate agent, they are not responsible for making repairs; you are. And more than likely, they will advise you to make as many updates as possible to increase your listing price. 
  3. Determine a Listing Price: This is when your agent will start to take over. They will advise you on what houses are going for in your area and what they think your home could sell for. 
  4. Clean, Declutter, Stage: Again, same as above, you’ll need to get the house ready for listing photos and potential buyers to walk through at any moment. You’ll need to clean, declutter and stage the home. Besides your agent possibly recommending some staging tips, you’ll be on your own. 
  5. The Home will be listed on the MLS: After you decide on a listing price, complete repairs, and stage the property, your agent will officially list your home on the MLS. Your agent should also share your listing with other realtors and advertise on social media. They will usually hire a photographer to take professional photos and come up with the listing description as a part of their service. They also should provide a For Sale sign and printed flyers. Your agent will handle answering buyers’ questions, taking phone calls, and negotiating. You just have to be ready at a moment’s notice for showings and be prepared to give up your house over the weekend for open houses. 
  6. Wait for an Offer: Similar to selling by owner, selling with an agent is no different; you’ll just have to wait for an offer. Remember, the average days on market in Florida for a house to receive an offer is 79 days. 

Pros of Selling a House With a Realtor

Now that you have a general idea of what selling a house with a realtor looks like, what are the benefits of selling with a local agent?

Realtors have Good Networking Opportunities

An advantage of selling a house with a realtor is that they are a part of a big network of other agents. This can be helpful to spread the word about your listing. 

They’re Familiar with the Process

If you hire an agent with experience, they should know the process pretty well. They will know how to handle paperwork, negotiating, and have housing market knowledge. 

They Handle the Majority of the Sale

Another benefit of selling a house with a realtor is they do this full-time. They’ll handle the everyday stuff while you carry on with daily activities. This is really helpful if you would be too busy to sell by yourself. 

Cons of Selling a House With a Realtor

Selling a house with a realtor does have some disadvantages too. Below are some of the cons of selling a home with a Florida agent that you’ll want to consider. 

Expensive Commissions

Hiring a listing agent isn’t cheap. You’ll need to be prepared to hand over 5-6% in commissions upon the sale of your home. For example, if you were to sell for $300,000, you are looking at paying $15,000-$18,000 (5-6%) in commissions. (The commission is usually split 50/50 between buyers and sellers agents.)

Questionable Effort 

Your agent will earn the same commission amount with minimal effort. This may not incentivize them to work any harder to try to sell your home. Even if the house sits on the market for months leading to a price reduction, their commission will decrease a few hundred dollars. Your profits, on the other hand, will drop several thousand. 

No Guarantee of a Fast Home Sale 

Just because you hired an agent to sell your Florida home does not mean you will sell any faster. People think by hiring an agent, they will be able to sell a house faster, but other factors like time of year and the local housing market play a considerable role in your home sale success. 

selling house to a cash home buyer

An Alternate to Selling by Owner or Through a Realtor in Florida

If the reason you’re considering selling by owner is to save money, you still need to budget for repairs costs to get your home ready to list. If you’re thinking about hiring a real estate agent instead but are concerned about how you’ll find a good agent, that is understandable too. In general, selling your house can be stressful, full of hidden costs, and uncertain. When dealing with this type of situation, you may want to work with a “We buy houses in Florida” company instead. Working with a local home buying company is easy and involves no repairs, no commissions, and no closing costs. 

If you’re looking for companies that buy houses in Gainesville, look no further than Sell Your Gainesville Home Today. They are a local cash home buyer that can purchase your property as-is and make you a cash offer within 24-hours and close within 7-days. 

If you need to sell your house fast in Gainesville and just don’t want to deal with the hassle of selling by owner or hire a real estate agent, consider working with Sell Your Gainesville Home Today

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