Donna Yates, Move 2 North For Sale By Owner or List with a Real Estate Agent?

For Sale By Owner or List with a Real Estate Agent?

Margaret Woda is a wonderful blogger who writes very thoughtful, intelligent blogs. She's an incredible Realtor®/Associate Broker and an asset to beautiful Crofton Maryland. I found Margaret's blogs very early on when I first started blogging a few years ago on Active Rain. I will never hold a candle to Margaret's writings but I'm glad to have an opportunity to learn from her's and share with others.  If you haven't yet discovered her brilliiance, I'm glad to be the one to lead you to her.   Thank you Margaret. 

There is a moment in the life of all home owners when they are faced with this big red-letter question:



For Sale By Owner (FSBO):

Stubborn FSBODo-It-Yourselfer – I'm a do-it-yourselfer in every other aspect of my life. Talented seamstress, green-thumb gardener, my own auto-mechanic, plumber, and electrician! I even do my own taxes and cater my own parties! How hard can it be to put a sign in the yard and post some photos online?

Bad Experience – I know someone who had a bad real estate experience and, of course, it was the real estate agent's fault that the appraisal came in low and the inspection was full of unpleasant surprises. None of the many factors that impact real estate sales had anything to do with it, right?  Not the property condition, pricing, or even changes in the economy. All real estate agents are greedy, selfish B*!!%#$%!*s who are out to take advantage of innocent consumers, and I won't even consider listing with an agent. Period. Amen. Don't ask again!

Pocket the Commission – I just “can't” list because there's not enough equity to pay a real estate commission. I owe more than my home is worth today! (Or perhaps I do have equity but want to pocket it all.) My mind is already made up, so I'm not going to ask my bank bank if they will allow for real estate fees in a short sale.

Okay, I understand, Mr. Seller. It's your home, your life, your decision. Whatever your reasons, I totally respect them and welcome you into the competitive world of real estate.


List with a real estate broker and agent:

shaking handsFaster Sale -Time is money and I want or need to sell quickly. I have a job transfer (or a contingency on another home). Every month of home ownership means home ownership costs - two mortgage payments – on the current home and the new home. Speaking of time, I don't have a lot of spare time to invest in the home sale process, and I just want to get on with your life!

Less Hassle Pricing, marketing, showing, follow-up, negotiating... life is complicated enough. Who needs to take on these home-selling hassles? Money is no object when it comes to keeping life simple! Well, that's an exaggeration... OF COURSE money is an object. But getting the home ready to sell, leaving for showings, and keeping your cool in negotiations are hassle enough, even when there is a real estate agent involved!

Potential Liability – I'm afraid of the costly liabilities associated with selling a home, and I just don't want the risks. I prefer to rely on a real estate professional to keep on track with required disclosures, fair housing laws, local regulations, and more. 

Higher Bottom LineBuyers know a FSBO isn't paying any real estate commission and they want to put that money in their own pockets, not leave it in my pockets. So forget saving the commission in this buyers' market, where home buyers rule negotiations.  Additionally, real estate agents know hidden costs that can creep into a home sale, and they can help me avoid them. A real estate agent is confident in the likely sale price of the property, so he will advise me when to hold the line in negotiations.

Fear of Failure – No one wants to fail, including me. There is too much at stake with my home sale to risk failing. I want a professional to advise me at every step of the home sale process and to advocate for me in negotiations.

Real estate agent cartoonBut that's not all...

I have high expectations of any agent who lists my home: 

Listen to me (and HEAR me), be honest with me, advise and inform me, advocate for me, represent my best interests, be accessible at MY convenience. 
When I interview you, tell me how you're going to meet these expectations.  That's what I really care about and what I'm looking for when we meet for the first time. If you can't talk about anything but all your awards, don't bother to come.

Copyright 2006-12.  All rights reserved.

  DISCLAIMER: Information contained in this post is deemed reliable on the date of publication, but it is not guaranteed and it is subject to change without notice.

Margaret WodaMargaret Woda Blog SubscriptionMargaret Woda, REALTOR and Associate Broker
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Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., 2191 Defense Hwy., Crofton, MD 21114 (410) 721-1500


Donna Yates
Associate Broker, GRI
706-633-0644 Mobile
Serving North Georgia Mountains and Metro
Metro Brokers - Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate
706-515-7500 Office







Comment balloon 2 commentsDonna Yates • April 26 2012 08:08AM


FSBOs are usually way overpriced or underpriced.  Most have no clue how to price in the current market.

Posted by Edward & Celia Maddox, EXPERIENCE & INTEGRITY - WE TAKE THE HIGH ROAD (The Celtic Connection Realty) almost 7 years ago

Great choice for a reblog Donna. There are a lot of people who are perfectly capable of selling their own homes and do so efficiently, but most people do struggle and eventually need the help of an agent. It's not for everybody.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) almost 7 years ago

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