For Sale by Owner: Reasons NOT to FSBO

Top Five Reasons FSBO is a Bad Idea

You want to save money on commissions. I get it. With the prices of homes in Redondo Beach these days (median close to $1M) you may ask yourself what can a real estate agent possibly be doing that justifies paying what could be $50,000 in commissions. Very understandable.

Selling a home without a real estate agent is like handling your own legal matter. You may only know enough to be dangerous, and worse yet, you don’t know what you don’t know.

In a legal matter, one risks costing themselves time, money and, most importantly, an advantageous outcome like their freedom. The same goes when sellers sell their home without an agent because purchase contracts are exactly that: legal agreements obligating you to sell your home to a specific buyer according to specific terms at an agreed upon price.

In fact, most FSBO sellers end up regretting the decision. If you’re considering going FSBO, or you’re already listing your home that way and things aren’t exactly working out as planned, then keep reading. Using recent National Association of Realtors statistics, here's something you may want to consider.

According to the most current data from NAR, FSBO sales accounted for only 9% of  recent home sales. Not too impressive, is it? Well, it gets even worse when you take into account that FSBO sales seem to have been steadily declining over the past decade from a 2004 peak of just 14%. I guess if it was such a great idea, more people would do it.

Here's the top reasons why you should no try to sell your house on your own.

You Don't Know How to Negotiate a Real Estate Transaction

With all the articles and advice you can find on the internet about Real Estate, selling on your own, discount brokers and more,  almost no one will tell you the truth: you don't know how to negotiate a Real Estate sale. I do. And it goes beyond the licensing of course. Way beyond.

Real Estate transactions are different than almost any other business deals you might engage in. For one thing, it is very easy at different points in the transaction for the parties to disengage and at other times impossible. There are also laws on a state and local basis that must be complied with. And just because you are selling on your own, you are not exempt from some mandatory disclosures.

There is also the small matter of the purchase contract, managing escrow and a host of other moving parts that as a "civilian" owner/seller you just don't know about or have any expertise in no matter how many shows on HGTV you watched!

I am involved in literally hundreds of negotiations every year. For a lot of years. Realtors know what happens from contract to close.

You Don't Have the Time

So maybe you are retired and sitting at home all day and think that you can do all the showings. And hold the open houses. Even if think you are free every day all day, I can tell you that you are probably not available every time a Buyer wants you to be. Realtors are. Or at least they should be. Top agents typically have a team including a "Buyer's Agent" to accommodate showings when they are not available. And we have electronic lockboxes.

Also, if you as the Seller are doing all the showings, you can potentially open yourself up to legal risks by what comes out of your mouth. An innocent remark can turn into a lawsuit down the line.

And even if you have the time for showings, what about inspections, appraisals, being available for getting contractor quotes and more. One of the many things you are paying agents for is their time.

You Won't Price it Right

Pricing is a strategy. Local expert Realtors know how to price your home to get the most traffic in order to get multiple offers and the best terms. You also may not know when you are leaving money on the table (and FSBOs almost always do) or when you are trying to get that last $5K that will be the deal killer.


Whether you are a great photographer or were just thinking of taking some photos on your iPhone, there is an art to Real Estate photography. Which is why top agents use top professional photographers. And even if you hire a photographer are you going to do a website, flyers, videos and everything else we do? I doubt it highly.


You simply don't have enough Facebook friends who know people interested in your home and Craigslist is mostly bargain hunters and bottom feeders.

Realtor listings are syndicated to 1000's of websites and most top local agents have websites like this one that get a lot of traffic from people interested in specific neighborhoods.

Real Estate Commissions are Negotiable

Here's a secret most agents won't readily share with you: real estate commissions in CA are 100% negotiable. An agent can set their commission at any level you and they agree to.

If you are interested in selling your home in Redondo Beach call me: 310 975 5139.