Posted in: Selling a home

Why you should use a REALTOR to sell your home instead of FSBO

why hire a realtor

Key insights:

  • Realtors can take an objective look at your home to set the right price and promote its best features.
  • The median price of a home sold by a Realtor is $120,000 higher than the median price of a home sold “For Sale By Owner” or FSBO.
  • Realtors have a selling strategy and can offer step-by-step guidance to help you achieve your goals.

Using a Realtor to sell your home can make a big difference when it comes to accomplishing your goals and selling for top dollar. Here, we outline some of the ways Realtors help sellers successfully navigate their home sales and come out ahead of FSBO or “For Sale By Owner” sales.

The emotions of selling

Preparing your home for sale can be an emotional experience, especially if you’re downsizing. It can be difficult to see your home objectively and take into account its true condition rather than its personal value to you. A Realtor can offer objective feedback and help you emotionally detach from your home. They are able to see a home’s imperfections and help you address them while drawing out its best features with staging and marketing.

Oftentimes, a FSBO seller is too close to the home to see its flaws, and they may be unable to separate themselves from what they spent on a custom update that simply doesn’t appeal to a buyer.

Pricing your home

In our local market, we’ve seen steady price growth over the last few years, with month-over-month increases that make it difficult to accurately price your property without the guidance of a professional. Most homeowners simply don't know what their home is worth (or what the market is willing to pay for it), and they don’t understand the strategy behind pricing it accurately from the beginning–and how that can have a big impact on your final sales price.

To determine the listing price of a home, a Realtor takes into consideration everything from the tax-assessed value of your home, to how your home compares to recently sold properties nearby. This process is called a comparative market analysis, and Edina Realty's 2,000 licensed Realtors are well-practiced in it.

Request a free, no-obligation CMA today.

Attaining in-person and online exposure

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that 86% of homebuyers purchased their home through a real estate agent in 2022. For a number of reasons, including safety, professionalism, and access, some real estate agents are unwilling to show homes that are not listed by another agent. This can significantly reduce a FSBO seller’s ability to attract buyers.

Furthermore, 96% of buyers searched for homes online, making an online presence critical to getting your home sold quickly. When you list your home with an Edina Realty agent, your property will be prominently featured on as well as competitor sites and national sites like Zillow and

Most FSBO sellers simply do not have the access or connections a professional Realtor does when it comes to marketing their property.

Paying for expertise

Across the country, 10% of home sellers sold FSBO in 2022, and 50% of them already knew the buyer.

The primary motivation of FSBO sellers is to avoid paying a commission fee. According to data from The National Association of Realtors 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, FSBO homes sold at a median of $225,000 while agent-assisted homes sold at a median of $345,000 last year.

However, sellers get a lot more from a Realtor than just a higher median sales price. Read on for more.

Focusing on the first two weeks

Realtors know that the first two weeks are the most critical time for a home and that buyers become wary of homes that remain on the market for an extended period of time—even if there is nothing seemingly wrong with them. That’s why they take steps to stage a home, improve curb appeal, price it right, and market the home for showings and open houses during those first critical weeks.

If a FSBO seller is not in a rush to sell their home, they may not make the same preparations and will inadvertently be sending the wrong message to potential buyers (and ultimately attracting a lower sales price).

Screening buyers

When you work with a Realtor, they make sure to check a buyer's mortgage pre-approval to ensure you aren’t wasting your time on unqualified buyers. FSBO sellers have to review a potential buyer’s mortgage paperwork before letting them in the front door.

Negotiating offers

In a seller’s market like the one currently, a well-priced home in good condition may attract multiple offers at once. It can be difficult to determine which offer is the best one because winning offers often are not dictated by price alone. For example, one offer may include a more flexible closing timeline while another offers a higher price but asks the seller to pay closing costs. Another offer may stand out from all, yet the buyer may not actually be pre-approved and qualified to buy the home. This is where a Realtor can offer insights, and even help you determine a counter-offer that is more favorable to you and your goals.

Dealing with the paperwork and process

Even after an offer is placed, there are a number of next steps when selling. A professional Realtor is skilled at navigating the next steps, making connections with the appropriate parties, and facilitating a successful transaction to its close.

In the case of a FSBO, here are some routine steps and paperwork that homeowners have to tackle on their own:

  • Approving any contingencies in the offer or the inspection
  • Hiring an inspector in an allotted time for any seller-required inspections
  • Communicating with the buyer’s lender to ensure a timely closing
  • Dealing with the buyer’s earnest money deposit
  • Working with the title company to address any issues with the title for the property
  • Addressing issues that arise when the buyer conducts their final walk-through prior to closing

Plus, if anything unexpected comes back after the buyer's inspection, the FSBO owner must negotiate with the buyer and their agent to determine a proper solution. This can be difficult when the buyer has retained an expert who negotiates contracts on a regular basis.

Moving forward with your home sale

When selling your biggest asset, you need an advocate who knows the ins and outs of the process and can help you sell for top dollar. Reach out today for a free market analysis of your home.

Download "The Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Home”to find out everything you've ever wanted to know about the selling process.

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Status Definitions

For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.

Coming soon: Properties which will be on the market soon and are not available for showings.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings