The Downsides of Selling FSBO

With real estate databases like Zillow and Trulia, it makes sense that selling for sale by owner (FSBO) became increasingly popular in recent years. FSBO is this seemingly easy way to sell your house and save money in the process.

But all that glitters is not gold, and the same is true for FSBO. Even if you’re dead set on selling FSBO, take these drawbacks into consideration.

You probably won’t make as much money.

FSBO homes usually go for less money than ones listed with a paid service, such as this home in Haines City, FL.

Most people want to skip working with a real estate agent so they can avoid paying thousands of dollars in commissions. And it’s true — going the FSBO route will eliminate those pesky fees.

But what most FSBO sellers don’t realize is that listing with an agent usually garners a higher selling price. Even after paying commissions, there’s a good chance you’d still make more money off your home sale when working with an agent. Their invaluable experience can oftentimes pay for itself.

The research is time-consuming and technical.

Properly valuing a home (such as this 4-bedroom) requires a lot of work.

From big things to tiny details, the amount FSBO sellers need to know is practically endless. Here are just some of the things you’ll need to research and/or create:

  • Comps: What other homes in your area are selling for. Be warned — just checking Zillow is not enough. You’ll likely have to speak to a county clerk to find comps (comparable prices).
  • Listing Price: Figuring out how much your house is worth is one of the most difficult parts of selling by yourself.
  • Disclosure Statement: Most states require sellers to provide a document indicating issues with the house (such as radon, structural problems, etc.).

Be prepared to handle even more details and responsibilities when selling FSBO.

Negotiations can be exhausting and difficult.

Back-and-forth negotiations can make selling even the most beautiful of homes extremely stressful.

Some people thrive in negotiations, others prefer to let an expert deal with it. Considering most sellers are not real estate experts or agents, even the most confident negotiators struggle to get the best price.

Unlike something you’re selling at a garage sale, your house is possibly the biggest investment you’ll ever make. Sentimental attachments, lack of real estate experience, and inability to handle negotiations can result in losing money — or even losing the sale.

Marketing is more than just listing your house.

It’s tough to market certain properties, especially international abodes like this Spanish home.

Selling your house isn’t just taking pictures on your iPhone and posting on Zillow. You need professional photos and a way to truly get your property out there. In big cities, your online house listing will be a dime a dozen. In smaller areas that are just outside of cities, your house could easily get overlooked and lost in the shuffle. 

You could have the best house in the world, but if it’s not properly marketed, it won’t sell. 

One small mistake can cost you a fortune.

Whether it’s a modest 2-bedroom or a luxurious 4-bed, 3-bath, no one wants lose money on their property.

From signing agreements to preparing closing documents, the number of legal documents and paperwork to go through is a lot. If you’re not extremely careful (and knowledgeable), you could lose a lot of money. Even if you still don’t want to work with a real estate agent, you should, at the very least, hire a lawyer to help you go through documents.

RealtyHive: A Better Solution Than FSBO

Don’t want to work with an agent and pay commissions? You don’t have to! Decide you want someone to help? We’ll help you find an agent! Want to skip showings and sell as-is? By all means! RealtyHive takes care of the marketing, listing price, the time-limited event, and can even help you get money back at closing, all thanks to Cashifyd.

FSBO is definitely an option, and for some people, it works just fine. But if you don’t want to take your chances at such a massive sale, let RealtyHive make selling your house easier than ever. List with RH today!

Should I Sell My Home By Myself?

Relying on real estate agents to sell your home has decreased in popularity over the years. While the convenience of working with a real estate agent is great, many sellers are shying away from having to pay commission. This begs the question: should you sell your home by yourself?

There can be huge benefits to doing so, but there are a number of factors to consider. Take a look at what’s all entailed in going the FSBO (for sale by owner) route.

Homework & Pricing

Figuring out your listing price is a critical first step. Priced too low, your home won’t get you your money’s worth. Too high, and you might struggle to sell—it’s like the Goldilocks of real estate; you want your listing just right! Do your homework by looking at similar listings to your own home, in your area, to get a general idea of selling prices. An online valuation calculator can also help you find a reasonable estimate. To go a step further, find recent neighborhood comparable sales (“comps”) within the last year by visiting your county’s courthouse or record office. 

As a reminder, real estate agents are not appraisers, but they do all of these things (and rely on their own expertise) to come up with a good listing price. Additionally, a pre-inspection can provide some insight to pricing your home appropriately. Look into hiring an appraiser if you want professional guidance.

Preparing & Staging

You’d probably lose interest in a home listing that had few photos, or photos that showed clutter and grime. If your home’s listing photos aren’t up to par, you’ll miss out on potential buyers.

Preparing and staging your home are crucial to your FSBO home’s appeal. Here are some things to keep in mind when readying your home for its closeup with the camera!

  • Declutter. Tidy things up and clean like company’s coming over.
  • Landscaping. Mow the lawn, trim the bushes and trees, consider planting some flowers for even more appeal.
  • Update. Those things you’ve wanted to upgrade but haven’t? Now might be a good time. Even a fresh coat of paint can work wonders.
  • Highlight. What are your home’s best features? Focus on these when photographing your home, and make sure they’re especially primed and polished for the camera.

One more thing: Taking photos of your home on a smartphone will not cut it. Use a professional camera and editing software, or hire someone who can really help the beauty of your home stand out.


When setting up showings, it’s best to set showing hours on your own schedule—that way you won’t be waiting on someone to show for three hours or have people over at 10 p.m. on a Tuesday. You can set up an open house and include the time and date of this in your FSBO home’s marketing. You can also respond on an individual basis, but again, it’s best for you to say “Between ___ and ____ work for me on Saturday, when should I expect you?” 


An interested buyer will set up a home inspection. A home inspection helps the buyer negotiate your listing price and/or make sure certain things get fixed. As a seller, it’s recommended that you get your own inspection (pre-inspection or otherwise) so that you can compare notes and advocate for your price.

Lawyers & Title Companies

There’s a lot of paperwork that goes into closing on a house. If you choose to sell your own home, there’s a lot to be said for working with a real estate lawyer. While you can find paperwork for selling your house online, working a real estate lawyer adds a sense of relief and reassurance—you know your bases are being covered.

Even if you’re able to do every single thing in the FSBO home selling process, there’s one thing that can’t be DIY. You’ll need to work through a title company or agency to safeguard your transaction. These are relatively easy to find, and they will walk you through the final steps of selling your home.

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As you’ve probably gathered, selling your own home is a detailed and lengthy process! It can absolutely be done, but you can also rely on the professionals to make your FSBO home sale easy. RealtyHive can help FSBO clients with marketing, pricing, and even an auction. Or if you end up wanting to work with an agent, we can steer you in the right direction with your area’s most trusted real estate agents. Contact RealtyHive today to make your home selling process a breeze!