There are a number of options available for selling your home—and all of them have their own pros and cons. For those wondering how to sell a house, the most common choices are:
- Sell it yourself—going the FSBO route.
- Pay a flat fee to list it on the MLS.
- Pay a flat percentage to use a discount agent.
- Take a cash offer from a real estate investor.
- Work with a traditional listing agent.
Now let’s explore the pros and cons of each option in the latest post from Sold.com!
Wondering How to Sell Your Home?
Traditionally, there have largely been just two options—going the “for sale by owner” route, or working with a traditional real estate agent.
Those two options are still on the table, but now there are even more choices available to sellers, such as paying a flat fee to sell on a new tech website; paying a flat percentage to use a “discount agent”; even selling the home by a cash offer.
As you might imagine, each of these options has some pros and cons—and there’s no one right answer! What’s important is selling your home through the route that makes the most sense for you and your real estate goals.
As you consider your options for how to sell a home, make sure you take each of these ways seriously, making an informed decision based on all the pros and cons. Here’s a quick guide to get you started.
How to Sell Your House: Considering 5 Different Options
For Sale by Owner
The first option is to list the house all on your own—what’s known as the For Sale by Owner, or FSBO, route.
You can probably guess as to some of the pros and cons of this home selling method.
On the one hand, there’s no middleman—so you get to pocket all the money you make from your home sale! On the other hand, because you’re going it alone, you don’t have any resources or expertise to fall back on. Everything—from listing to marketing to ensuring legal compliance—falls on your shoulders.
Additionally, going the FSBO route brings you these advantages:
- You may make more money from the sale.
- You can have complete control over all aspects of the sale, from the list price to how you choose to market it.
- You can devote 100 percent of your attention to selling the home, where a traditional agent will have another client needs to juggle.
- If your home is on a busy street or in a popular neighborhood, you may be able to sell fairly quickly without needing an agent to promote it.
With that said, there are also some drawbacks to the FSBO approach:
- If you make an error with pricing, you may not reap as much financial benefit as you’d think.
- You don’t have an established network or MLS access to draw on.
- Simply put, selling your home is hard work—especially when you choose to do it all on your own!
As you can tell, deciding to sell your home all on your own is sometimes wise and sometimes isn’t—and much the same thing can be said for the other options on our list.
Selling Your Home for a Flat Fee
Another option is to list your home on a tech website, where you can pay a flat fee in order to sell.
It’s quite simple. You pay a set amount—regardless of the valuation of your home—and in exchange, you get an MLS listing. This allows your home to be “found” by house hunters in your area, something that going the FSBO route may not allow for.
The thing to understand here is that, well, you get what you pay for—and in this instance, what you’re paying for is an MLS listing, nothing more and nothing less. That listing goes a long way, but there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of pricing, staging, marketing, and showing the home—and like with the FSBO option, you’re left to do that on your own.
The plus side: You still get to pocket most of the profits from your home, and you have a clear sense of what you’ll pay for the MLS listing upfront. If you’re willing to do a little work, these websites can definitely be helpful—but they’re not going to sell your home for you. You still have to put some effort in.
Selling Your Home Through a Discount Agent
A third option for selling the house is to pay a flat percentage—not the same thing as paying a flat fee—to what’s often called a discount agent.
There is an obvious advantage to using a discount agent over a more traditional agent—and the advantage has to do with cost. You’ll agree to pay the agent a set percentage of the total sale amount, often as little as one percent—less than what you’d pay if you went through a more conventional brokerage.
The thing to understand is that discount agents are basically running a volume game; to make up for their discounted rates, they simply have to take on more clients than a traditional agent might. Because of this, a discount agent will typically be a little less responsive than a more conventional counterpart.
The flipside is that, because discount agents have to sell a lot of homes to stay in business, they tend to come with a lot of experience—even those who have been in real estate for shorter periods of time may have a lot of closings to their name.
For some sellers, this option represents a good middle ground—a way to get some real estate experience behind you without having to pay high percentages or fees. Other sellers may find this option too middle of the road, however, with the level of service not quite justifying the price tag.
Selling Your Home by Cash Offer Through an iBuyer
A fourth option for how to sell your house is to sell by a cash offer to an iBuyer. Some quick notes about this option:
- In most cases, selling by cash offer means you’re selling your home to a real estate investor. You may even have seen some signs on the street corner advertising cash home sales (“we buy homes fast!”).
- There are a number of advantages here, particularly the fact that you can generally close on your home sale quite quickly, as there’s no mortgage underwriting process to go through.
- With that said, you’ll often end up selling below market value—and these deals tend to attract scam artists, as well. It can work in your favor, but extreme caution is advised.
Selling Your Home Through a Traditional Real Estate Agent
Finally, you can sell your home the old-fashioned way—by working with a traditional real estate agent.
The advantages? You have a seasoned professional who can help you price, list, promote, stage, and show your home, guiding you through each step of the process and handling a lot of the hassle and headaches for you.
The downside, of course, is that this tends to be the most expensive way to sell your home, and may require you to forfeit a few percentage points off your sale amount.
How to Sell a Home: Which Option is the Best?
As you investigate the different options for selling your home, make sure you use the resources made available by Sold.com—including our free reports that guide you toward the best home selling option for your needs.
Take the first step toward a truly informed home sale by answering a few questions today!