There are a lot of arguments out there about what is the best way to sell. For Sale By Owner (FSBO)? Full Service Agent? A hybrid of the two? There are benefits to both the DIY and the Full Service approach, but both also have their downsides. Let's examine the options:
With a full service agent, the quality of your agent can vary widely and you may or may not get the full effect of all the marketing that an agent can do. The most important thing they can do is to make sure your home is on the MLS and all the major portals (Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com). Especially for harder to sell properties, agents can provide some tricks of the trade for a property that isn't moving immediately and can help the process run smoothly with minimal input from you. However, a full service agent is very expensive, charging 6% of the Total Sale price, not just of your portion. If you own 20% equity in your home, that 6% commission is actually 30% of your equity. If you have less equity, you might even have to come out of pocket to pay this. For some, the ability to hand off the sale to someone else and not have to do anything themselves is worth that price. For others, it might not make as much sense.
That is why up to 20% of the US market turns to some version of the For Sale by Owner model. You aren't spending a huge chunk of your equity as a transaction cost to have someone sell your home for you and you are willing to do the work yourself. Who knows, maybe your real estate agent was getting paid more by the hour than you are! However, with the DIY approach, you may not be marketing to all possible buyers if you aren't on the MLS. This means that you get less buyers looking at the home, and may sell it for less money or take longer to sell. You also don't have anyone to turn to to ask questions, help you find the correct legal forms, or find high quality professionals like photographers to work with throughout the process.
The Hybrid Approach
If you are considering FSBO, you should consider the hybrid approach. It is the best of both worlds for homeowners that don't mind doing a little bit of the work themselves but also don't want to spend a third of their equity to sell their home. A hybrid brokerage, like HomeLister, gives you the marketing and listing syndication benefits of a full service agent and gets you on the MLS to make sure that all buyers are seeing your home. They also provide guidance and paperwork, as well as any professionals you might need. However, they do this while charging a low flat fee that is significantly less than what you would pay a traditional agent. A combination of software and experienced agents to help you only when you need it make this possible. Many studies have shown that being on the MLS is the most important factor in what price your home will sell at, so you have to make sure that your hybrid broker is actually a licensed brokerage and a member of the MLS. Studies over the last 20 years have shown that homes sold by hybrids like HomeLister sell for the same amount of money or more than those sold by full service agents, which is significantly more than those sold by classifieds alone.