Selling Your Home: Main Reasons DIY Can Lead to Financial Disaster

The temptation to sell your home without going through an intermediary can be overwhelming. Your DIY home-selling initiative enables you to forgo agency fees, for example. Plus, the existence of numerous online tools such as and, as well as helpful guidelines at and, are empowering for would-be home sellers who are mulling an FSBO (For Sale by Owner) sale. But here are solid reasons you should consider going the traditional route and sell your property through a professional realtor.


Time and Money

There are numerous websites like that allow you to list your home, but there’s just no substitute to the reach of a real estate agent’s distribution list. Unless you make a living selling real estate, you won’t have a network of people who can lead potential buyers to your doorstep, as well as access to market data pertaining to real estate in your area. Realtors maintain relationships with other agents and clients. Most importantly, they are likely to have the backing of a real-estate agency, lowering the amount of time you have to wait before you find a buyer for your home and get as much money for it. A realtor will advise you on properly pricing your home, so you can sell it quickly. Studies have shown that homes properly priced on their first listing are bought more quickly and for a price higher than their listing price compared to listed homes that languished on the market.

If you go through a realtor, you won’t have to waste your time in needless showings. Doing home showings is not your fulltime job, so you might want to limit showings to those who are likely to buy and have the capability to do so. Real estate agents ask questions that can uncover the seriousness of prospective buyers and then screen them for their ability to purchase your property. Your FSBO machinations may not include an adequate skill set to pose qualifying questions to prospective buyers. As a result, you will waste time showing your home to just about any curious folk.


Serious would-be home buyers would rather tour a home without the owner present. They are likely to be more comfortable going through each of the rooms in the house and visualizing their furniture in it. You can’t eliminate this risk of awkwardness in an FSBO transaction. An agent is still the best person to lead buyers on a tour of your home.


Because it is your home, you may not be able to keep your emotions from affecting how you persuade each and every prospective buyer who comes your way. A real estate agent, on the other hand, sees your property objectively. This enables him to offer sound advice on minor repairs and effective staging. One walk-though inside your property and an experienced realtor can point out problem areas that are known to turn off buyers and reduce your chances of getting the best offer. An agent, equipped with data on factors that impact the current market demand, will also know exactly how to handle counteroffers and parry unrealistic negotiating terms.

Contract Negotiations

A major pitfall of doing an FSBO sale is likely to occur during the contract negotiation phase. Unless you are a lawyer who has had experience in real estate sales contracts, then you’d still need the expertise of one who vets such contracts for a living. Aside from helping you arrive at an appropriate valuation of your property, a real-estate agent can help in drafting an iron-clad contract that specifies a settlement date that meets your needs plus compliance with existing regulations.

Do you know who shoulders the closing costs and transfer taxes in your area? Do you know that you are legally obligated to accomplish a seller’s disclosure? If the answer is no to these two basic questions, you might need to reconsider your decision to sell your home without a professional agent. You are opening yourself up to legal troubles with your FSBO transaction. It is true that realtors can make mistakes in drafting the legal paperwork that comes with selling a home, but they are protected by an errors-and-omissions coverage. This, in turn, accords the buyer with recourse, so you don’t end up getting sued for damages in the event of an improper disclosure.

Your FSBO can always go through without a hitch, but be aware that 90 percent of people selling their homes would rather go through an agent, according to an estimate by It is possibly because many homeowners recognize the numerous risks involved in offloading their homes without the aid of a professional.

Abigail Frost is an active amateur property developer and combines her passion for DIY with finding properties to renovate for profit. She enjoys being able to share her insights on what property projects homeowners should tackle themselves, and when to call in the professionals. She is a regular writer for a number of property-related websites.

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