FSBO Vs Using Realtor


When you decide to sell your home, you have 2 options. You can sell it on your own as a For Sale By Owner, and the other is to use a professional Realtor. Each one has the main goal to get it sold to the closing table, but each are quite different. How you approach the sale of your home is a choice that can make the process easy or difficult.


  • FSBO: When selling on your own, you will decide on the price you want to sell your property. FSBO usually will do this by looking on FREE public websites like Zillow to determine value. These sites have information, but how relevant and accurate is unknown. FSBOs also use what their neighbors have sold for or what the neighbor’s current home is being sold for. Each home will have different square feet, updates, and condition of the property itself, which will affect value. Emotional value can lead to pricing the home wrong.
  • Realtor: Realtors have tools that can help define a value. They have access to all the relevant comps that have sold in the area. They know which can and cannot be used for your specific home. Realtors will also walk the property to review it and then compare back to the comps. Adjustments will be made for updates, condition, square feet, appliances and more. A Realtor does not have emotion when it comes to pricing. It is based on data and the home itself.


  • FSBO: All forms must be purchased. A Seller must provide certain documents to potential buyers to keep in compliance. Sometimes the sellers cannot get access to the documents needed. If a buyer without an agent wants to make an offer, one of the parties must seek out a purchase agreement that both sides agree on using. You should not use a FREE or general agreement.
  • Realtor: A Realtor has access to all documents needed to put a home up for sale. From listing agreements to required documents that must be accessible by other Realtors. A Realtor also has a good purchase agreement that has been used many times.


  • FSBO: When you are selling the property on your own, you must find the best ways to get it in front of potential buyers. There are several websites out there and social media that can be used. Some of these websites connect with others, but you will be doing the marketing one by one, setting up new profiles, logins, and listings. When you make changes, you will need to login to each one and update the information and/or photos. Social media is good, but like real estate websites, you will have to post to each individually.
  • Realtor: When a Realtor does the marketing, they use the MLS. The MLS is a portal for thousands of Realtors and real estate professionals to search and find homes for their clients. The MLS also connects to thousands of other websites automatically sending out information on listed homes to be seen by potential buyers. When changes are made on the MLS, they are updated on the 3rd party websites in seconds. Realtors also use social media to connect with potential buyers and other Realtors. There are many platforms and sub-groups within these platforms that Realtors use. One of the biggest tools Realtors use, is email (CRM) to get the listing in front of Realtors and clients. Realtors keep solid databases of contacts to be able to market to them in a click of a button.

Showing Houses:

  • FSBO: Someone selling the home on their own will be taking all the calls on their own, setting up appointments, tracking the appointments, and then following up on the appointments. The FSBO must find ways to verify who is coming to see the home. How does a FSBO ensure that the people coming to their home, to go into their personal space, are Realtors with potential buyers and not just people wanting to wander through the home. FSBO also must provide access information to those who request to see the home. They provide lock boxes, leave the door open or stay to let the requested viewer in.
  • Realtors: A Realtor working to sell your home will monitor all showing requests. Realtors use technology and tools like ShowingTime to approve or reject showings based on the needs of their clients. Those who have access to request showings through this tool are licensed Realtors, allowing the Realtor and their client the safety of knowing that the person showing the home is legit. The tool also only allows lockbox codes once the showing is approved. Another tool Realtors use is electronic lockboxes. This adds another level of security, with being able to track access when it starts and ends. It also does not have the same code being used over and over. It uses the Realtors phone to connect with the box to get to the key. Realtors also get showing feedback from the showings that allow them to analyze the thoughts of the other Realtors and clients who have seen the property.


  • FSBO: When an offer comes in to a FSBO, the home seller must review the doc and understand it in its entirety. Many purchase agreements have legal terms and deadlines that can affect the outcome of the sale. FSBO must negotiate with a professional Realtor. Another part of the offer is the review of the buyer’s mortgage approval. If there is a cash offer, this can be another challenge when requesting the docs to show the buyer can close cash.
  • Realtor: A Realtor handles offers of real estate for a living. They have seen the various wording and versions of local real estate companies and knows what to look for regarding price, deadlines, and concessions. Purchase agreements seem like boiler plates, but they can come with some legal issues if one side fails to perform. If there are issues found after the bottom line, it can be difficult, if impossible to correct. A Realtor knows what to review to not have issues. Realtors are also professionals when it comes to reviewing approvals from mortgage companies. They know the right questions to ask the mortgage companies. If a cash offer comes in, the Realtor knows how to request and review the right documents to make sure the cash is available to close.

Post Offer:

  • FSBO: After the bottom line of an offer the seller must make their home available and handle the inspection and appraisal, along with requested walk-throughs. Depending on the outcome of the inspection and appraisal more negotiations may happen to request a reduction of price or change to the terms of the purchase agreement. This can be difficult for a FSBO since they do not have access to comps and other current information or understand the write up of the inspection. It is much harder for a FSBO to argue appraisal valuation and the buyer’s agent will not help since they want the best pricing for the buyer. They do not work for seller.
  • Realtor: A Realtor will handle the inspection and appraisal. Your Realtor will review both the inspection and appraisal as it comes in. If there are additional negotiations, they will review the requests and make their opinions. Some buyer’s agents look to offer one price, knowing they will ask for a reduction after an inspection. Realtors also can review inspections to see if the requests are correct or just a way of getting a price reduction. A Realtor can help argue valuation if the appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price by proving comps that are recent and that match the subject property. A Realtor who prices the house right will have the information to back up value when an appraisal comes in lower than expected.


  • FSBO: When documents come in for the closing. A FSBO will need to look at all the costs and understand what is being charged to them and to the buyers. A closing statement has a lot of fees, commissions, payoffs, and taxes. If there are errors in items like commission, you will need to negotiate and work that out with the buyers Realtor. Doing this can delay or cause the closing to not happen.
  • Realtor: A Realtor knows how to review all closing documents from the closing statement, the title work, and all docs required to sign. A Realtor will make sure that all charges are to the right party in order to have a smooth closing. Any discrepancies the Realtor should have documentation to back it up, especially commission, which is part of the listing.


If you have any questions about real estate or would like to buy or sell a home, Investment property, or commercial property in  Michigan, please e-mail us at info@mittenrealtygroup.com or call 248-294-7850.

Thank you,

Scott Fader and Gary Brincat
Mitten Realty Group, LLC

Mitten Realty Group is a veteran owned company located in Michigan. Scott Fader and Gary Brincat are two of Michigan’s multi-million-dollar top producers. They have been working in real estate as brokers, Realtors, investors, property managers and real estate company owners for over 20 years. Together they would like to share their experiences, knowledge, success and failures to help buyers, sellers, Realtors, brokers and anyone else in the real estate and business, so that together we can grow as a community.


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