FSBO vs Agent to Sell Your Home

By Kevin Dougherty | May 10, 2021

Early on in my career, after finding out that I had only been licensed a short while, a veteran agent told me, “You don’t even know what you don’t know”. Maybe not the friendliest comment but she was right! 20 years later, I still remember that conversation and now couldn’t agree more with that sentiment. What you don’t know can definitely hurt you and that lack of knowledge and experience translates in to very real dollars. Only through many years of experience can an agent be prepared to handle the hundreds of potential pitfalls that could arise in every transaction… and inevitably, at least one or two always do! The internet doesn’t come close to telling you everything you need to know. The money a Realtor saves you will surely exceed any small about of commissions you might save otherwise.

Everyone is busy these days. You probably are too. So assuming your time has some value to it, a quick calculation might reveal that the time you’d have to spend on a real estate transaction might equate to a lot less savings than you think. Do you have time to do all the following?

  1. Showings
  2. Feedback Solicitation
  3. Disclosure Documents
  4. Transactional Documents
  5. Fielding / Answering Questions
  6. Preparing Marketing Material
  7. Executing a Marketing Plan
  8. Address Objections
  9. Scheduling Vendors
  10. Schedule / Facilitate Inspections

Research shows that selling your home without a live agent will result in about a 5.5% lower sales price than if you did use one. That’s more than double the commission you would most likely pay a good Realtor.

But let’s ignore for a second the money you would statistically save during a transaction. Even ignoring those potential tens of thousands, who is going to pay for all the other transaction related expenses? If you try to do it yourself, then you are! So, if you choose not to use a Realtor be prepared to absorb the cost of;

  • Professional Photography
  • Professional Videos
  • MLS Postings
  • Flyers
  • Transaction assistance
  • The cost associated with your time
  • Legal issues

And of course, since you do one or two transaction in your life and will most likely create some unintentional legal exposure, is your Errors & Omissions Insurance policy up to date? What?! You don’t have that type of insurance? Well, your Realtor does. Rest assured that through your Realtor’s E&O coverage, your legal exposure in substantially mitigated as well. Let the Realtor worry about fraud, negligence or lack of disclosure. You have other things to worry about.


  1. Marketing
  2. Negotiation/s
  3. Inspections
  4. Transaction Management
  5. Closing protocols
  6. Liability / E&O
To further discuss this or any other topic, please feel free to reach out and get ahold of me at:
Kevin Dougherty
(619) 977-7777