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5 Common FSBO Myths

Hanna Kielar April 25, 2024

Thanks to new technology, the for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) process is becoming easier. Buyers can access listings 24/7, giving them direct access to you, the owner. It’s not necessary to seek the help of a real estate agent as you now have many of the same tools these professionals have.
However, just because there’s more access to tools and resources for FSBO sellers doesn’t mean there aren’t misconceptions out there. Once you learn the reality about these common myths, you’ll know where to direct your efforts and look at the process of selling your home as a business transaction, making the process simpler and more financially rewarding.

Here are the top five myths about by-owner home sales.

Myth #1: By-Owner Sellers Can’t Price Homes As Well As Agents Can

Husband and wife looking into their backyard.

People sometimes believe that pricing a home is such a difficult task that you could end up botching the listing price and selling it for less than its current market value. In other words, if you want to sell your home for top dollar, you need the guidance of a real estate agent.

Reality: Yes, pricing your home takes some research, but you are able to do it on your own. Agents don’t have special powers that allow them to price homes accurately 100% of the time. They check the selling history of comparable homes in your neighborhood, and that’s exactly what you can do as a by-owner seller. There are many online resources that can help you, including this step-by-step pricing guide to help you determine the listing price.

Myth #2: Marketing Requires Specialized Skills And Access To A Closed Network Of Active Buyers

Many would-be FSBO sellers believe that only real estate agents have access to the multiple listing service that lists properties in their area, preventing them from getting their home listed in the directory and marketing it without an agent.

Reality: As mentioned before, there are so many online resources available to you when you sell FSBO. According to the 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers published by the National Association of REALTORS®, 44% of home buyers start their search online, compared to 17% who seek the help of a real estate agent first.

What this means is that your home may be one of the homes they see on these websites since many of them look at online listings. Through online services like, by-owner sellers benefit from the same online exposure that agents provide.

What this means is that you have the same access to resources to market your home. Just make sure to create an enticing listing. Include plenty of good photographs of the inside and outside of your home as well as all pertinent information about your home, local schools and the neighborhood.

Myth #3: It Will Be Easier To Schedule An Open House Or Showing If I Have A Real Estate Agent

Many by-owner sellers think it’ll be hard to find the perfect time to schedule an open house or to coordinate their schedule and the buyer’s for a showing, especially if they have a full-time job.

Reality: It can sometimes be harder when you add an agent to the mix since you need to coordinate schedules with your real estate agent for an open house. For showings, you need to accommodate the schedules of three people: you, the buyer and the agent. Plus, you’ll probably want a chance to speak with a buyer directly to make sure they’re getting accurate information, whether or not that person has an agent themselves.

Myth #4: I’ll Need To Use An Agent Or Broker To Coordinate And Prepare A Transaction For Closing

It does seem like you’ll need to wade through a lot of forms. Not only that, but the jargon seems so complicated that it may feel easier to go with an agent. All those forms are too complicated.

Reality: Real estate agents aren’t the only ones doing the paperwork during the closing process. In fact, many outsource the work to real estate attorneys. Instead of hiring an agent, you can hire your own attorney to help you navigate paperwork and advise you on the types of contracts and disclosures mandated by your state in order to seal the deal. The cost for an attorney is likely to be way less than what you’d typically pay in agent commission fees.

Myth #5: It’ll Take Longer To Sell The Home Myself

Most people think that selling a home yourself means the property will be on the market for longer. That could even mean you’ll have to settle for a lower price than you had originally wanted.

Reality: Yes, selling your home will take time and effort. But you’ll have to put in time and effort even if you decide to go with an agent. However, if you choose to sell by owner, you’ll have more control over the process from start to finish. You can spend time on tasks you think will move the needle instead of having to explain everything to an agent. All you have to do is list your home and complete tasks on your own schedule.