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Four Reasons Why We Will Sell Our Home Ourselves


This is a guest post from Niki at Debt Free By Thirty. She blogs about living a frugal lifestyle and pursuing her goal to be debt free by the time she turns thirty.

We bought our very first home a couple years ago. While we love our home dearly, but the process of buying it was anything but painless. It didn’t help that we were in Washington and our soon-to-be home was in Pennsylvania, but even if we had lived in the same town I think we would have hit road bumps. Now, I think we could sell our house ourselves and here’s why…

Our realtor had no idea what she was doing

I know that this is not the norm and lots of realtors are fantastic and more than capable at their jobs. Most even care about their clients. We just happened to get the one realtor that had no idea about anything and could care less. It didn’t help that we were also ignorant about the ins and outs of buying a home.

The realtor had no idea how to process VA loans, but she also made no effort to learn more about it when she found out we would be using one. Many questions were answered with “I don’t know”, but there was little done to find useful information.

I could actually go on and on about how little our realtor cared or knew. It was completely obvious by the end that she did not have our best interest at heart.

We have to get a lawyer anyway

Where we live, a lawyer (or title company, there just happens to be no local title companies) closes or finalizes the home buying process. I would rather pay more to a lawyer to get advice on what we need to do to sell the home ourselves. Lawyers can be expensive, but they are not nearly as expensive as 6% of your home sale price.

We live in a small town

When we put our house up for sale, it will be known.

Since we have lived in our house (two years) we have met three different families that have lived in or house and all of them lived here for 15 years or longer. It’s now the joke that everyone in our town has lived in our house at one time or another. One advantage of small town living, everyone knows your business or has lived in your house.

Let’s not forget what is available for advertising these days. Newspaper, Craigslist and even getting your own MLS number so you can advertise on places like That is how I found this house to begin with.

Saving some dough

Yes, there will be out of pocket fees that you are not accustomed to when selling your home. But just because it all gets wrapped up in the closing doesn’t mean you didn’t pay for it. There will be lawyer, advertising and even realtor’s fees, if the buyer has a realtor, but it will be much more cost effective to do it yourself.

This may not work for everyone. This would be a colossal undertaking and it might not be worth the time and effort for you, but I think it is something I would love to try and see if we could do it. Being DIY dorks, this would be the ultimate DIY for us.

What is your opinion? Do you often try to sell your house yourself? Or do you feel that the extra cost is worth it?

Money Save Money


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. Selling a home can be tough, but if you’re capable and have the time and savvy it can save you loads of money. I admire your determination and abilities in this. I hate that you didn’t have a competent realtor. They can really improved the entire buying and selling experience overall.

    • I think so too. We fortunately had a family friend who was a realtor and basically held our hand through the whole thing. I was so grateful. I wish the person that got a decent pecentage had done that for us.

  2. Personally, I’ve always used an agent when buying or selling a home. I feel it’s paid for itself. In one case, I was all set to accept the ‘final offer’ on a home we had put a bid in for, but the agent said ‘Go $5,000 less’. They accepted it. That pretty much paid the commission we paid him on the other side, where he listed and sold a condo.

    I guess each situation is unique, but I think a good agent is worth the money more times than not.

    • That’s nice that your realtor was on your side, so to speak. I think if we had a situation lke that I would feel differently.

  3. My parents have always bought or sold homes themselves, and I think we’ve always sold them in less than 2 weeks.

    My mom is all into the decorating thing, which can really help make a home feel like…well, a home.

    The best service an agent can provide is getting you top dollar. I’m not entirely convinced that it means you’ll get 6% extra, especially if you do your own research.

    Most cities now have an online database for property taxes, which will also list home sale dates and their values. That’s what the agent is using to get a good idea for pricing with comps, anyway, so save yourself the 6% and DIY.

    • I really am in to the decorating and staging thing too. I definitely feel that will e an asset.

  4. Realtors are one of those professions that I really despise. There are some good realtors, but there are some that get paid only because “you just need a realtor”. If realtors were paid on performance then it would be a different story. It’s not even the realtors, it’s the system where the realtors (and lawyers) inject themselves into the process by controlling most of the buyers and the information systems.

    Anyway, I’ve known only a couple of excellent realtors who I feel earned their commission out of the perhaps 15 purchases and sales I’ve made over my live for both investment and personal. Sorry to all the good ones out there, but there are a lot of duds who get paid a lot.

  5. I feel a bit of that way to, given our experience. I know there are good realtors, but I know I will always have my best interest at heart.

  6. Based on the story, it seems a good call to sell the house yourself. It is simpler and lesser pain. However, if find a good Realtor, I will still suggest to leave it to professional hands.

    • We’ll see how it all works out.

  7. We’ve only sold one house and we did it by owner. We also bought our current house by owner.

    I think a good realtor can provide a valuable service, but if you decide to go it alone, it’s not as difficult as I would have first thought.

    The two keys are researching the selling price well and doing the marketing. If you’re willing to do those things, you’ll do well by owner.

    • We have known a few people who have done for sell by owners and they were also surprised by how it wasn’t as difficult as first thought.

      Thanks for the advice.

  8. Good luck with the house selling process. It can be easy or stressful whether you DIY or use a realtor. Moving stinks. There are lots of dud realtors out there and I usually get to hear about them since my wife has her license. She does it part time and mainly to help with our investment transactions. I know she has our best interests at heart 🙂

    • That is a great idea if you are going to have investment properties.

  9. On paper, I think its a great idea. In practice, just make sure you know what you are doing, and have the time and energy to do it right. Of course, point #1 is true so often that you probably will do a better job no matter what.

    • I am ready to cannonball into this as far as reading everything I can and getting all the information I can.

  10. We bought our house FSBO and it was a much more pleasant experience than the previous house we tried to buy through a realtor. Like everyone else has stated, there are some great realtors and some duds. Also, there are some people willing and capable of doing it themselves and some who aren’t.

    I agree with Alex’s comment about realtors injecting themselves into the process by controlling the MLS. Craigslist is already starting to chip away at that monopoly. I also envision a future real estate version of Legal Zoom, where buyers and sellers can fill out forms online and get legal advice as needed.

    • I definitely agree with that thought. You can see the trend leaning toward that more and more often.

  11. I’ve never had an experience moving nor selling a house but i think selling it yourself is a good option, provided you are equipped with enough knowledge of the processes. After all it will be a sort of business venture on your part. If you think that selling it yourself is worth the risk of finding an agent or a attorney, then go for it.
    We just should not, however, just ignore the fact that agents and attorneys are people who have sufficient knowledge of the proceeding which could ease out the inconvenience on your part.

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