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For Sale By Owners: Worth the hassle?

For-sale-by-owner residential transactions are less than 15% of all home listings nationwide. According to a 2008 survey of homebuyers and sellers, 68% of respondents sold their homes through a real estate professional. Of that percentage, 8% tried unsuccessfully to sell on their own. Only 13% of respondents sold their own homes.

Further, the research shows that 50% of those homeowners who did successfully sell their homes without a real estate professional’s help vowed never to do it again, because of the complexities and hassles associated with the transaction.

Among the major problems cited:

  • Holding open houses
  • Arranging for appraisals and inspections
  • Understanding and filing paperwork
  • Helping buyers obtain financing
  • Having time to do it all

True, some homeowners may be able to save commission costs by selling on their own or using discount firms. However, people who try to sell their own homes deny themselves the benefit of a real estate professional who is trained to sell real estate on the terms most advantageous to their clients. An experienced Real Estate Professional can provide up-to-date reports, and has a clear understanding of local housing market and financing options. Brokers can provide more exposure, via multiple listing services, than most homeowners can obtain on their own.

In the vast majority of cases, it takes less time (and earns the homeowner more profit) to use a licensed real estate professional when selling a home.