man and woman on computer

Reserve the DIY approach for small home repairs — when it's time to list your home for sale, trust a professional.


Hiring a real estate professional is not only the easiest way to sell your home, it’s also the smartest.

It’s natural to focus on maximizing profit when it’s time to list your home for sale, and selling your home yourself may seem like the easiest tactic.

But in reality, the dollars you save on commissions are often a wash when you consider the higher sales price an experienced agent — with pricing expertise, negotiating skills, and market access — can bring to the table. Statistically, a home on the market listed “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) takes longer to sell (and eventually sells for less) than its real estate pro–represented counterparts.

Here are five reasons to reserve the DIY approach for small home repairs and to think about hiring a real estate agent to sell your home.

1. Pricing

The fastest and most affordable way to sell your house is to price it correctly. Price too high, and you risk your home’s becoming a stale listing. Price too low, and you lose money.

Experienced agents know the nuances of your local market and how to price based on those specifics. By hiring an agent, you’ll ensure you won’t make any emotional home seller mistakes when pricing your home.

2. Negotiating

Selling your home is a major business transaction. The sale process has three significant negotiations: the initial offer, the counteroffer, and the postoffer period, which includes inspections and requests for concessions.

Bottom line: You need a skilled and objective negotiator on your side during these discussions.

3. Exposure

You want your home to get the maximum exposure to the greatest number of potential buyers. Your agent will prepare all the marketing materials, coordinate the Internet marketing, host open houses, and network regularly with other agents who may have interested buyers.

4. Buyer perception

The vast majority of potential buyers are going to be represented by an agent of their own. FSBO deals can often deter those agents, who prefer to work with another real estate professional or who worry about not receiving their own half of the commission.

And if, as the seller, you do plan to pony up a buyer’s agent commission, you’re really saving only 3%, not 6%, on the sale.

5. Smooth sale process

A professional real estate agent has the experience to work through the sale process efficiently, stepping in when there are financing problems, dealing directly with buyers’ objections and complaints, keeping everything on track, and facilitating the contracts and escrow to a successful, smooth close.

Have you sold your home FSBO or with an agent? Share your experiences and tips in the comments below!