Do you need a real estate agent to sell your home FSBO?

picture of man to represent homeowner using a flat fee mls
Handsome middle age man with a happy face standing and smiling with a confident smile showing teeth

A common question that many homeowners have is whether they need a real estate agent to sell their home For Sale By Owner (FSBO). In short, the answer is no. Homeowners can sell their home on their own, or they can enlist the help of a real estate agent. When making your decision, you should consider both the pros and cons for each option. Read this article to learn more about whether you should hire a real estate agent to sell your home.

Does the Law Require You to Have a Real Estate Agent for FSBO Real Estate?

While many homeowners mistakenly believe that they require the help of a real estate agent to sell their home, there is no law or requirement that says you have to hire a real estate agent. However, depending on the state in which you live, you may be required to use a real estate agent or real estate attorney to handle the closing paperwork.

Selling Your Real Estate For Sale By Owner

The most common reason that homeowners want to sell their home For Sale By Owner is to avoid the cost of the real estate commission. In many markets, the real estate commission is as much as six percent of the sales price of the home. Therefore, the total commission on a home that sells for $300,000 is $18,000. The commission is made up of seller’s agent commission (3%) and buyer’s agent commission (3%). By selling your home yourself you can avoid the seller commission. If your buyer purchases without an agent, you can avoid that cost as well.  But how does FSBO work?

Here are the basic steps to selling a home. Whether you use an agent or not, these basic steps apply to all home sales: 

●     Identify your home’s fair market value – this is done by obtaining comps, or comparative listings of similar homes in your area. These recently sold or for sale listings help you to determine the best listing price for your home so you can attract serious buyers and sell the home in a reasonable time.

●     Prepare your home to be sold – this will include repairs, cleaning and staging the home to make it attractive to buyers.

●     Market your home – to list your home where most home buyers and their agents will see it, you need to list your home on the MLS. To do this, you will need to work with a licensed realtor. FSBO Virginia offers MLS listings to FSBO sellers for a simple flat fee. No commission involved. You will need attractive, comprehensive photos of your home, a professional looking lawn sign, and to show the home to prospective buyers who show interest. Open Houses are also recommended to get the buyers into your home.

●     Negotiate the contract – Once you receive an offer, you will need to negotiate price and other details with the other party. FSBO Virginia can help with this part of the process since training, experienced and licensed professionals, and a neutral party, are helpful in getting the best deal.

●     Handle closing for sale of the home – Closing documents vary by state and even county. You will need to work with a title company at a minimum. Experienced agents at FSBO Virginia can help you prepare and file your closing documents.

Each of these steps will require some knowledge and time to carry out, but the savings can be substantial. The best avenue for selling your home yourself is to obtain a quick and easy guide to getting it done.

Legal Considerations for Selling a Home

There are a number of legal considerations for selling a home that you should keep in mind if you plan on doing so without the help of a real estate agent. You will need to learn about the specific laws in your state when it comes to the governance of real estate transfers. The laws will serve as an indication of the type of paperwork that must be prepared as well as what will need to be signed. Furthermore, you need to identify the existence of any encumbrances on your home and handle them appropriately. Furthermore, you should take into consideration that there are mandatory disclosure laws in some states that must be followed whether the physical characteristics of your home need to be disclosed. While you don’t need a full commission agent for this, having access to an experienced real estate professional or attorney will make sure that your home sale transaction is correct in all the details. A flat fee broker like FSBO Virginia is a far less costly alternative to a full charge real estate agent.

Save a Lot by Selling Without A Real Estate Agent

As you can see, with a little bit of work, in most cases you can sell your home without hiring a real estate agent. Partnering with a flat fee professional, you will put in some time of your own but save a lot of money. For more information about selling your home For Sale By Owner, contact us today.

Author: Debbie Kent

Debbie Crevier-Kent began her career as a licensed Real Estate agent. Seeing the need for lower real estate selling costs, she created easy to use FSBO service packages, starting GoToFSBO.com in 1994. Ms. Crevier-Kent is a member FlatFeeGroup.com, Homesbyowner.com and FSBOpublishers.org and a member or NAR, NVAR, REIN, BRIGHT, WAAR, and CAAR

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *