Should You Sell Your Home Yourself Or Use a Realtor?

Selling your home is a momentous occasion, often one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make. While excitement bubbles about a fresh start, a crucial question arises: Do you take the reins yourself, navigate the process as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO), or entrust the journey to a seasoned real estate agent?

This choice hinges on a delicate balance between potential savings and the complexities involved.  On one hand, the allure of bypassing agent commissions beckons FSBO sellers, but the path is fraught with unfamiliar legal paperwork, marketing nuances, and the challenge of securing the best offer. 

Conversely, partnering with a realtor offers expertise, extensive networks, and negotiation prowess, but comes at a cost.

So, should you embark on this solo adventure or seek the guidance of a professional?  This guide delves into the pros and cons of each approach, equipping you with the knowledge to make an informed decision tailored to your unique circumstances. 

We’ll explore the time commitment, financial implications, emotional toll, and the level of expertise required for each path. Ultimately, the answer lies in your comfort level, resources, and desired outcome. 

Prepare to weigh the options and discover the approach that aligns best with your selling aspirations.

Should You Sell Your Home Yourself Or Use a Realtor?

Selling your home is a significant life event, and the decision to go it alone (For Sale By Owner, FSBO) or partner with a realtor is crucial. Both options have their pros and cons, and the best choice depends on your circumstances and priorities.

Going Solo: The FSBO Path


  • Save on commission fees: This is the primary motivator for FSBO sellers, typically amounting to 5-6% of the sale price.
  • Greater control over the process: You set the price, handle showings, and negotiate directly with buyers.
  • Flexibility: You can adjust your schedule and respond to inquiries on your terms.


  • Marketing and exposure: Reaching potential buyers can be challenging without a realtor’s network and expertise.
  • Pricing accurately: Setting the right price is crucial, and overpricing can deter buyers.
  • Negotiation and legal hurdles: Navigating complex legalities and negotiations without professional guidance can be risky.
  • Time commitment: The entire process, from marketing to paperwork, requires significant time and effort.

Partnering with a Realtor: The Supported Approach


  • Extensive marketing reach: Realtors leverage their network and platforms to expose your property to a wider audience.
  • Pricing expertise: Realtors use market data and analysis to set a competitive price that attracts buyers.
  • Negotiation skills: Experienced realtors can skillfully negotiate on your behalf to maximize your return.
  • Legal and paperwork support: Realtors guide you through legalities, and disclosures, and ensure smooth paperwork flow.
  • Time-saving: Realtors handle many tasks, freeing up your time and reducing stress.


  • Commission fees: You pay the realtor’s commission, typically 3% to the listing agent and 3% to the buyer’s agent.
  • Less control: You relinquish some control over the process, relying on the realtor’s expertise and judgment.

So, which path is right for you?

Consider these factors:

  • Your experience and comfort level: Are you comfortable with the complexities of selling a home?
  • Your time availability: Can you dedicate the time and effort required for a successful FSBO sale?
  • Your local market: Is the market competitive, and do you have the network to reach potential buyers?
  • Your financial situation: Can you afford the realtor’s commission, or is saving money the top priority?


Ultimately, the decision is personal. Weigh the pros and cons carefully, considering your circumstances and priorities. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. 

Choose the path that best equips you to navigate the sale with confidence and achieve your desired outcome. Consult with experienced realtors and FSBO sellers in your area to gain firsthand insights and perspectives before making your decision.

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