For Sale by Owner vs. Hiring a Realtor


Does selling your home yourself actually save you any money? That is the age old question that every homeowner inevitably asks himself/herself when thinking about listing their home for sale. “Should I do it myself? It can’t be THAT hard” can be heard across the country. These potential buyers are trying to save themselves the money in Real Estate commissions. In Tampa, the standard commission is 6%- 3% to the Listing agent and 3% to the Buyers agent. In essence, only that 3% in commission would be saved, as 89% of Buyers use a Realtor.

The purpose of this article is to show why spending that “extra” 3% will actually yield you MORE money and fewer headaches.


  • First and foremost, Real Estate agents post your home in MLS (Multiple Listing Services), which automatically hits dozens of home selling websites at once. A (good) Realtor will also post all over his/her social media, and in the local Facebook Real Estate private facebook pages, pre-marketing your listing to thousands of Realtors all at once. The age old hack of posting a sign in your yard, and having your home sold is a dying practice, as only 10% of all buyers actually find their home from a yard sign.
  • While “Location, Location, Location” is still important, a poorly priced home in an awesome location will not sell. It is VERY important to price your home accurately. Those who put their homes on the market as FSBO tend to set a price based on an online assessment tool or the lofty sum that the neighbor down the street claims they were offered—two methods that are liable to put the listing price way off.
  • If you were able to list your home well price wise all by yourself, you could still over or underestimate how much to invest in your home to get it ready to sell, diminishing your return. Rather than completely ripping out the kitchen and remodeling (Which could cost you $45,000), a good Realtor could come into your home and suggest painting the cabinets, replacing hardware, and replacing the countertops. All in, this could cost you $10,000 vs the $45,000 (Which you would never get back in the resale of your home). A Realtor is there to help optimize your income with the sale of your home.
  • If you plan on selling your home yourself, prepare mentally as setting up showings and talking to Buyers can be exhausting. Part of a Realtor’s job is to weed through all the phone calls and to be able to determine who is actually serious and who is not.
  • Paperwork can be tricky. There can be a lot of it, and with all of the legal jargon, you might have NO idea what you are reading or even signing! Even if you can understand it on a basic level, what does pg 3 line 98 actually mean in terms of consequences/benefits to you? A Realtor is able to break down the contract and disclosures, helping a Seller digest it bit by bit.
  • A Buyer can not buy a home if he/she can not see it. Are you going to call into work sick, or leave work every single time someone wants to see your home? Especially in Tampa with the high percentage of military buyers, Buyers are also on a time crunch. If they can’t see your home in a very timely fashion, they WILL move on. A Realtor that has been hired to work for you will be your “man on the ground” and do all of the pesky showings at odd hours; that’s what they are there for.
  • Hiring a Realtor will net you MORE money, even AFTER the commissions! The average FSBO (For sale by owner) home last year sold for $208,700 while the average agent-assisted home sale was $235,000. That’s 11% more, almost quadruple the amount it takes to hire an agent. On a double-sided deal its 6%, and even if you choose to sell your home yourself, your buyer will have an agent so that’s 3%. Are you willing to risk sacrificing 11% to try and save 3%?


  • Save yourself the time on the market. The statistic for home sellers who first listed FSBO, then changed their mind and went with a Realtor, is telling: An average of 12 weeks on the market- Hope you are not on a timeline! 

  • Even if all of these points don’t hit home for you, hopefully, this one does- You most likely won’t be satisfied selling your home yourself. I’m not speaking on an emotional level, purely on a numbers and data level. It was reported that 7 out of 10 FSBO sellers in the last year reported that they were not completely satisfied with their experience.

If you have any questions about what your home would sell for, you can click here and within 24 hours you will be provided with comps for FREE. Bay to Bay Brokerage is happy to help any way possible.