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Advantages and Disadvantages to Selling a House on Your Own

As with any business transaction, there are pros and cons to selling your own home. Many people are intimidated by the whole process, but if you know what you are up against, and if you are aware of what needs to be done, you will be more effective at selling on your own, or you will be better at making sure your agent does what you prefer. No matter how you decide to sell your home, involvement in the process is important to ensure that you get the best deal possible.


You do not pay commission. This is the biggest advantage people who sell their own homes receive by not hiring a real estate agent. Some agents charge a flat fee while others take a percentage of what the selling price. By selling on your own, you could save anywhere from $4,000 dollars to more than $13,000 dollars. Whether you want to use the proceeds to purchase another property, invest or save, can help you make the most of the every dollar you save.

Home showings take place around your schedule. You can set up scheduled home showings and have open houses to fit the needs of your life, rather the needs of a real estate agent. Additionally, you know that you are home for the showings, and you do not have to worry about someone entering your house when you are not there.

Full concentration on your house. Real estate agents often have multiple homes they are selling at once. This means that you do not have your agent's undivided attention. When you sell your own home, you know that full effort and attention is going into getting your home sold for the best possible rate.

You control the transaction. Nobody else is in charge of negotiations. You decide when to sell for less, and whether to hold out for more. You can make sure things are done your way, and you do not have to consult an agent before closing the deal. Plus, you "own" your mistakes. At least you do not have to worry about whether the agent is making a mistake on your behalf.


You are responsible for all of the necessary legal and financial paperwork. This is one of the most intimidating parts of the home selling process. If you sell on your own, all of the transfer of deed, bill of sale, escrow, assessment, and other paperwork is your responsibility. The only thing the seller should have to do is sign. You need to make sure that you have everything in order so that sale of your home is legal and binding.

All listing and advertising costs must be paid by you. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that realtors have access to can be pricey. If you want your home advertised, you are responsible for all of the associated costs. Flyers, newspaper ads, online classifieds, and other means of marketing your home can get expensive.

Limited free time. In order to get the best possible price for your home, you must be willing to invest the time. You may that you do not have time to participate in leisure, as you must concentrate on selling your home. And you do not want to be away when potential buyers want to look at the house.

Negotiating skills may not be good. Some people have good negotiating skills, while others do not. If your negotiating skills are questionable, you may find yourself out a few thousand dollars. Be aware that many buyers feel that if you sell on your own, the savings received because no commission is paid should be theirs. Likewise, if you do not do your homework on home values, you may find yourself lacking the confidence you need to effectively negotiate.

After evaluating your strengths and weaknesses, and determining how much time you can devote to the process, you should be able to figure out whether or not advantages of selling your own home outweigh the disadvantages.

Nicole Soltau is the President and Founder of The Leading Credit Union Directory. Search, Find, Join.

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