How to Sell your Home: FSBO vs estate agent

Selling your home is not an easy business, with each property suiting a different buyer. The approach taken to advertise a property can vary to suit each specific case as well: an auction might be favorable for one, while a campaign targeting a certain country might be more effective for another.

Similarly, the decision to use an estate agent or sell a property privately can also change depending on the circumstances.

It is a sign of just how popular selling a property directly online is that Channel 4 are launching a new series on Monday 20th October: Sarah Beeny’s How To Sell Your Home. If you are debating the pros and cons of selling online by yourself, we weigh up five reasons why FSBO might be a better fit for your home than an agent.

1. Reputation

Estate agents have a stereotypically bad reputation. While they are subject to this unfair generalisation, though, there are a minority that do cause problems. Indeed, in 2013, complaints made to The Property Ombudsman about estate agents in the UK rose 23 per cent compared to 2012. Only one in eight of these led to a formal review, while the majority were within the private rented sector. But of the sales complaints (30 per cent of the overall number), two thirds were submitted by sellers, which means that bad agent practices can still be an active issue for those looking to advertise their home.

Though often unfair, this reputation can also jeopardise the way that your property is perceived; if an estate agent shows you a home and tells you it is perfect, are you more likely to believe them or the person who lives there?

2. Cost

Estate agents offer a detailed, professional service. These skills, though, can come at a high cost. FSBO services are much more affordable, with no commission for listing your property online. Property portals also mean that for those on a budget, your listing can still reach a wide audience.

3. Presentation

Photographs are key to creating a good first impression, whether it is a listing online or in a shop window. Entire websites and books, though, have been devoted to showcasing bad property photos taken by estate agents. It may be time to grab hold of the camera yourself.

4. Working hours

Selling a home is like having a second job. Estate agents, though, may be selling lots of homes at the same time, meaning that they could miss a vital enquiry for your property. Some may even be part-time agents alongside another career. Selling a home yourself will be a drain on your time, but you will also know that you are responsible for picking up and dealing with enquiries, and that you are saving money from paying someone else to potentially spend a similar amount of time finding a buyer.

5. Control

Control is the main reason to consider selling your home yourself. From keeping an eye on your marketing budget to ensuring your photos are what you want, an FSBO listing means you are in charge of the sales process. Similarly, you are in control of what information is shared with buyers when tours are given – crucial if you are keen to avoid disclosing why you are selling – and you can also dictate any negotiations of your asking price.

Photo: The Tim

Compare listings