Specializing in Oak Forest, Garden Oaks, and The Heights. An AGENT of Habitation Realty.

3 Reasons Why "For Sale By Owner" Is Not a Great Idea

Using a realtor can help save you money and give you peace of mind

3 Reasons why “For Sale By Owner” Is Not A Great Idea

Almost 2 months ago I saw that someone was asking questions on Facebook in regards to leasing their town home in an area near the Heights.  It was a very nice property, 3 story, stucco, white, in a very clean town home community.  The price range was somewhere around $2200 – $2500/mth, which seemed about right for the area and for the size of the home.  However, remember, that was 2 months ago and the property still has a “for rent” sign out front, a sign that was purchased at Home Depot or Lowes.  haha.

I remember offering to assist this home owner with the lease, but as many home owners do, he felt like he had it under control and could lease the place on his own.  After following up a couple of times, I decided that I would just wait for his call when or if he could put his pride down and ask for help.


The number one reason why most people attempt to sell or lease their properties without the help of a realtor is to “save money”.  Yes, sometimes putting a sign out front can work, but for the most part these home owners are cheating themselves and if they don’t understand the process or market, they could be loosing hundreds or thousands of dollars on a deal.  Trying to avoid paying an experienced realtor that standard 3% – 6% commission or one month’s rent for a lease could end up costing home owners a lot more in the end.


1.  You’re not a professional

When most people’s car breaks down they usually have a mechanic look at it.  When a person’s tooth is killing them, we all know to trust a dentist and not try to work on our own teeth.  Yet when it comes to selling or leasing a property, many home owners become professional real estate agents over night.

There is so much to know about real estate, the current laws, the market, negotiating, understanding contracts, and working with title companies just to name a few.  Purchasing a sign from your nearest hardware store and throwing your house up on Craigslist or Facebook sound great, but there’s more to selling and leasing a property than simply getting the word out.  Having a professional by your side that knows what he/she is doing can make all the difference and save you the headache of trying to handle something that you have no experience doing.  A good agent is on YOUR side and will work to get you top dollar for your property.

2.  Thousands of potential buyers or lesees will not see your property

“Hiring” a realtor comes with so many perks, and one of them is having access to the MLS, Multiple Listing Service.  The MLS is a massive network that is the standard property search tool available, especially in Houston.  The Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) is one of the best Listing Services in the country and exposes your property to thousands of potential home buyers and renters.  The site is open for the public to search through HAR, however only a licensed real estate agent has access to list properties on the network as well as obtain lots of other important information on properties that isn’t visible to the public.

The guy in my neighborhood that has insisted on leasing his own property could have had it leased already, just by the fact that other realtors with potential lessees would have been exposed to his property information.

3.  You could actually lose money, not save

As stated earlier, most home owners “attempt” to sell on their own in order to save on paying out a commission to an agent.  6% has been the standard for many years, which is split 50/50 between the buyer and seller’s agents.  On a home priced at $275,000 that would be $16,500, with each agent receiving $8250.

Even if the home owner were to find an interested buyer, most buyers are represented by an agent and those agents will only bring their buyers to this home if they can be ensured a commission.  A home owner that refuses to deal with agents reduces his/her chances of selling their home immensely, thus extending the time that their home is on the market.

I’ve seen homes stay on the market for months, causing the owners to continue paying on a mortgage on a home that could have been sold in less than 30 days with the right photography, marketing, and expertise that an agent brings.  Every month that passes where a home owner has to pay on their mortgage is money lost.  And without the help of a knowledgable agent, they could also lose money on the home price point and negotiations, with the increased chance of NOT getting top dollar for their property.

So if you’re a home owner who is considering selling or leasing your property, please take all of this into account and at least sit and consult with a professional.  I offer this same advice to buyers who feel that they don’t need a realtor to find the right home.  Keep in mind that the seller is usually the one that pays commissions to agents so your use of a realtor comes with no charge.  There’s really no good reason not to use an agent.

If you have any questions, I’d love to help.  You can reach me at hector@habitationrealty.com or call me at 8328686636.  Have an awesome day.


Leave a Reply