Should You For Sale By Owner?

by Mike Yeo on June 8, 2011

This question had crossed most Sellers’ minds at least once or twice in the decision-making process when thinking about selling their homes. Whether it’s selling their first home or their 6th house. Now, know that I am a real estate agent and the reasons I share may sometimes sound biased but have an open heart to receive the information below. It is written only after I know what it truly takes to sell a home. Now, I can say, I got that T-shirt, been there and done that.

It is not to deter any Seller who may want to consider this option. But here are some things to consider when selling your Home For Sale By Owner.

Bottom line

When you are ready to put your home on the market, your home is no longer “your home”. It now becomes a property and inventory in the marketplace. However, I do understand “in that home, memories are made”. For that reason, it may not be as easy for you to disengage your heart from your mind in looking at this solely from a business standpoint. Here is how your real estate agent can help you focus.

In business, it is ALL about the BOTTOM LINE. There are several statistics show when utilizing the services of a real estate agent can sell your home faster and net you more. In fact, on average, it should net you 16% more (estimate). Sellers are concerned about Realtors’ fees, but after paying the realtors’ fees, you should still come out ahead than you would doing it yourself.

Negotiations & Probing Questions

Because this is an emotional process for you, you should always use a third-party negotiator to negotiate your contract. You could be strong and get into hard core negotiations to save a few bucks but this process can be draining if you have tough buyers. Buyers in any economy would not want to pay more than he/she has to. Worst still, if the buyers are represented while you are not, negotiating may seem one-sided.

Here in Texas, we are a non-disclosure state. This means sales prices are not made public unless you have access to the Realtor MLS system. We have used this as a guide with SOLD prices published in them. As a seller, you would at most know how much your neighbors listed their homes for sale through Internet sites such as Trulia, Zillow, etc. but you would not have accurate information. You do not even know what is the average sellers before you get in terms of sold price versus list price. Zillow has NOT been accurate information for North Texas.

Information is power to the one who has more.

During a negotiation, agents gather information to get ready for a negotiation. When you start “talking”, you gather alot of voluntary information that you could use for your negotiation. A good negotiator has already gather so much information by asking probing questions, yet the average buyer does not even know he/she has volunteered that information for the negotiation.

Negotiation is a honed skill. The more you practise, the better you get at it. When selling your home, if you would agree with me, it’s not the time you want to practise. You pretty much want to make sure You’re right.


Even if you know that the sale of your home is a business transaction, it’s about the bottom line (ie how much you net) and you are an expert negotiator, real estate contracts are written with many contingencies along the way. Contingencies – in layman terms are called weasel clauses to let Buyers get out of the contract should things go wrong. Most contingencies are to protect the buyers from losing their earnest monies. In order to play fair, Sellers curb the contingencies to make sure they are not out of the ordinary and reasonably to expect from the buyers.

Here in Texas, we have our Option period where the Buyers pay some monies to purchase a time period to consider and to inspect the property. The option fee purchased them an unrestricted right to terminate the contract during which the Sellers cannot accept another offer. If you are not familiar with this process, you would not know how much is norm to expect to charge for how long. We have an industry expected amount for earnest monies also. If too little, the buyers have no fear of losing it and if too much, it might scare the buyers away altogether.

We also have Buyer needing to sell a home Contingency, we have buyer financing approval contingency, we have a property approval contingency, we have a title objection, survey objection and HOA objection contingencies. We have an interest rate cap objection, we have short sale addendums, we have many other forms that realtors use to protect both parties to the transaction.

Most buyers use Realtors because their fees are paid by the Sellers (normally). To the buyers, it’s almost a non-issue to consider. Buyers represented by agents are now geared up and ready for this showdown.

How about the Seller who may consider doing this his/ her own?
Are you ready to take on the challenge on your own?

Here is also another reason how an agent to watch your back.


Okay now. Even if you are a sophisticated seller and you are truly an experienced seller. The next question is: Do you want to do it all or hire a professional to take care of the nitty-gritty of the real estate transaction for you? Would you see the VALUE of not having to worry about the transaction but instead focus on where you want to go?

Remember, the sale of your home is just an obstacle to stop you from going where you want to go. Where you want to go is really the result you desire.

Many homeowners hire house cleaners to clean their houses and landscapers to mow their yards. You could do it yourself but you rather spend your time doing something else. In other words, you pay for convenience. You let someone else worry about the sale of your home.

Most of the time, selling a home is a stressful process. Thinking about where to go next already require alot of time, effort, energy and emotions to ponder. Even after you receive a contract, it is time to pack. There are just many parts to a “move” and the actual selling process is just a part of the equation. It is not the end-all.

Here is how the agent can take that stress away from you to let you focus on where you should go next.

I hope I have written this article with you having an objective and open heart to receive this information. Prior to getting into real estate, I never knew how much it takes to get a transaction closed. It is more than decluttering, staging, getting the contract, putting a yard in the sign. It requires extensive marketing knowledge about the neighborhood and years of home selling experience to know what to protect in a real estate transaction. It is also about handing off the process to a qualified professional.

Because in the end, all you care about is your home sold.

Related Articles:


All contents are original. Consider subscribing to my blog for more real estate commentaries.

Subscribe via Email if you are not an Active Rain member here.


Loreena Yeo
Realtor®/ Broker of 3:16 team REALTY
(214) 783-2210

Super-serving Frisco, Plano, Dallas, McKinney, Allen, Little Elm, Prosper, Celina, Richardson, Dallas M-Streets, Dallas White Rock Lake area communities and other surrounding areas.

Copyright © 2009 by Loreena Yeo (3:16 team REALTY).
Should You For Sale By Owner?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Marilyn Boudreaux June 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm

For Sale By Owners also cannot pre screen buyers and do not always know the right questions to ask a potential buyer not to mention conveying to a loan officer should they be lucky enough to get a contract on their home. Most FSBO do not write the contract properly for a lender this is when a Realtor expertise is needed


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: