The List

Enjoy special perks for being part of this
Its 100% free but will save you thousands.
Join and start getting your benefits NOW!!

Main Content

Let’s do the FSBO Dance

Jeff Scott - February 2, 2018

The Seattle/Tacoma housing market is on fire, and it’s a seller’s market. So, why would anyone want to use a real estate agent and pay commission? After all, how difficult can it be to do a “for sale by owner” and save some serious money? Well, it can be far more difficult than you might imagine.

Too many owners seriously underestimate the complexities of marketing and selling their homes without an agent and their real estate expertise. What starts out as a great idea to save money can quickly spiral into a web of complicated legal forms, unexpected fees, costs, and other professionals to complete a deal.

Selling your own home, even in a hot seller’s market, without a real estate agent could end up costing you money as well as leaving money on the table.

BUT … is it impossible? NO.

Let’s look at the pros and the cons so you can decide. This article is not meant to persuade but to educate and advise so that you can make an informed decision for you and your family.


  • It makes sense to go alone, save on commission, and move forward FSBO.
  • It makes sense to hire a professional with proven results.
  • It makes sense to do both. Get help from a Realtor but sell as a FSBO “Nor’West FSBO professional services”


Doing a For Sale By Owner: Going alone checklist

If you’d like to work without an agent, there are some things to consider – First you must be honest with yourself. Do you have the market knowledge and expertise needed to understand the market? Not having this understanding will not serve you well and end the end net you more. NOT ALL REALTORS ARE THE SAME! This is true, just like any industry. Having market knowledge doesn’t automatically happen when someone gets their real estate license. It is gained through experience, community involvement, relationships, updated systems and good old fashion intelligence. A good realtor can save you thousands a great realtor can save you tens of thousands.

FSBO Activities…. Here’s a checklist of a few things (of the many) you’ll need to do to list and sell your home:

Run the comps:

  • You need to run the comps by pulling all of the recent sales in a 1 mile radius of your home.
  • Adjust all past sales to reflect current market conditions?
  • How do those houses compare to yours (are they renovated, bigger, smaller, nicer, newer)?
  • How many days were they on the market?
  • What were the list prices vs. the sales prices?
  • What is the market outlook for your area? This can affect your listing price in a huge way.
  • If Amazon is deciding to open a branch office nearby, trust me you want to know. You wouldn’t want to leave money on the table.
  • Decide on a reasonable price. Price is the biggest determinate on how many buyers will walk through. Price to high you will ultimately net less.

  • Put up a for-sale sign. (Ok … You may be tempted to get that sign over at Office Depot that just says ‘For Sale’ … Trust me sellers think, “Hmm I can get a deal”. It’s a big red flag. Go Pro on your signage.)
  • Create a marketing plan for your home including a marketing budget.
  • Decide where and how to advertise your home. (Domestic and Internationally. Seattle/Tacoma is seeing a huge influx of foreign capital.)
  • How much you want to spend on marketing?
  • In such a competitive market, what’s your “edge” for getting your house noticed?
  • Arrange for professional photographs. (Cell phones don’t count)
  • Do you have a website or webpage to market your house?
  • Do you have a network of contacts to promote your house?
  • Do you have a database of pre-approved buyers already available? – Imagine selling your house off-market and not paying buyer’s agent commission. WIN WIN
  • How and when will you show your house, and will someone always be available to show it at a buyer’s convenience?
  • Will you do Open Houses and how will you advertise them?
  • Do you know how to stage your house or get it ready to show?
  • Will you do a pre-listing inspection?
  • What repairs should you make and how will you build them into your listing price?
    Do you know a reputable real estate attorney to write up a contract?
  • Will you work with a buyer’s agent and how will you compensate them or negotiate the commission savings?
  • Be ready to unemotionally negotiate with a potential buyer.
  • Have a real estate attorney review your final sales contract.

Basically, doing a for-sale-by-owner means acting as your own agent without the experience or training of an agent. It means educating and dedicating yourself in order to sell your home or your risk wasting time and money unnecessarily. There are advantages in each situation. Again, be honest with yourself. Leave the ego at the door. You need to decide if your knowledge, systems, and dedication is present to get you the most money for your home, with the least amount of hassle, in the least amount of time. Look at the amount of money you will net at the end of the day. (That’s the amount that goes in your pocket.)

Using a Professional Real Estate Broker…

Find one that offers a high level of value for that commission check. (If you’re just going to hire your cousin Joe who just got their license, please re-read how to FSBO)

Would you want an inexperienced, untrained pilot to fly your plane or an untrained, unlicensed lawyer representing you? Why would it be any different with a realtor? Expertise always matters when it comes to successful outcomes. Using the right real estate agent will save you money. Weed out the part-timers ! …. Does your agent add up in 2018 or stuck in 2008.

Here are the benefits:

5 Reasons to Use a Real Estate Agent

  • Realtors are qualified, licensed experts in their field. They know the rules, regulations, and laws involved in buying or selling a home.
  • They’re familiar with the jargon, and they know how to read and work with the dozens of documents and disclosures involved with real estate transactions.
  • Contracts are full of legalese they’ve been trained to understand and handle on their client’s behalf. They know how and when to answer certain contractual questions.
    They know to protect you and your real estate rights. They have expertise from their education, training, and experience day in and day out in their field.
  • They are trained to negotiate and act in your best interest. It’s what they do for a living. They can keep the emotion out of the negotiations, and work diplomatically toward the best result on your behalf whether it’s a bidding war, an all-cash deal, contingency offer, or unusual circumstances. The more competitive the real estate market, the more critical their expertise to successful outcomes. They can help ensure you’re not leaving any money on the table during a negotiation.


  • Real estate agents have extensive networks of other agents, potential buyers, and access to off-market listings. They are savvy researchers with access to information that the general public usually doesn’t have. They are more likely than you to learn of a listing before it becomes public.
  • They have other professional contacts. A good agent can recommend a great inspector, attorney, HVAC service company, stagers, interior designers, etc. They know the world of real estate has many players, and they make it their duty to know the best players. The best agents will get you discounts on these services.
  • They are geographical experts as well. They know Seattle’s neighborhoods and understand home values. That means they can steer you toward areas and homes which meet your needs, be it square footage, access to freeways, or school rankings.
  • They know how to market your house to get you the best buyers possible. They are up to date on technology and how to best leverage it on your behalf whether that’s through a web page or social media platform. They understand the value of an excellent marketing plan. It’s important to understand how to reach thousands through social media. (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Google+, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter)
  • The great agents have an aggressive marketing campaign to attract buyers. They may have a buyer on your home already.
  • Knowledge of foreign markets to get your home in front of international buyers (20% of buyers in Seattle)
  • They elevate the stress associated with the DYI model.
  • Every agent offers different services and guarantees at different prices. (Nor’West Property Shop has pre-negotiated a few things for you. Thank us later……. {link to seller tab})
  • Did you know that successful real estate agent train more than 30 days a year?
  • Can provide you a sellers net proceed sheet.
  • Can take the emotion out of the process and help you make an informed business decision.

Nor’West Property Shop is here to help!! Education*Advice*Services

“When getting help with money, whether its insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.” – Dave Ramsay, The Financial Guru