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Should You Sell Your Own Home or Hire an Agent?

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Selling a house is a big deal and you stand to gain or lose money depending on how the transaction is handled. You can put your home on the market and try to sell it on your own or you can hire an agent.

There are pros and cons for doing it either way. If you sell your home yourself, you’re the one who has to handle all the showings. You might be someone who enjoys meeting people and letting them come into your home and sometimes having a good connection with the homeowner can lead to a sale.

However, you can miss out on potential buyers if you don’t have an agent because most agents want to show homes to people who are represented by other agents.

It’s a professional courtesy and agents know that other agents are aware of the ins and outs of home selling, whereas a homeowner won’t be. When you’re the one handling the sale, you’re close to the situation.

Anything that a buyer points out that you don’t like can sound like a personal criticism. Sometimes buyers will point out what they perceive to be as faults with the home and inexperienced homeowners might be tempted to take less money.

An agent is your go-between and handles any issues like that which might come up. When selling a home yourself, you might run into a case where the house sits on the market and just isn’t selling.

You might not understand why that’s happening, whereas an agent would. However, you know your house better than an agent and you know which selling points to push that an agent may not point out.

Selling a home is a lot of hard work. If you handle it like a business transaction and you have the time to be there to show your home or answer questions when perspective buyers reach out, then you can save on the expense of hiring an agent.

One problem you might encounter, though is that you might not have the kind of time that it takes to deal with potential buyers. An agent fields the calls, the email inquiries and the showing.

He or she can also help a potential buyer know what to do in order to prequalify. Some homeowners have a large social media presence and a large circle of contacts that they can tap to put out the word that they’re selling their homes themselves.

In some cases, for sale by owner homes have sold because of word of mouth. But on the other hand, the size of the audience that a real estate agent can reach will be larger.

The bigger the potential buying audience, the more chances that your home will sell quickly. Once you have an interested buyer, you’ll have to have a contract drawn up.

For this, you’ll need to pay for the services of an experienced real estate attorney. You’ll also have to hire an attorney to handle the closing. Real estate agents include this in the price of doing business with you.


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