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Is for-sale-by-owner a good idea for real estate transactions?

Selling a home can be a stressful experience. Here in Massachusetts where the prices of homes can easily push over high six figures, entering into a real estate transaction can feel more like a serious business deal than a personal decision to move out of a family home. While one person may confidently endeavor to handle the details of a transfer of property alone, another real estate owner may want to utilize the skills of a real estate professional when negotiating such a sale.

There can be positives to attempting to sell a home without professional assistance. Some homeowners may feel that only they can present their homes in the most desirable way while others may not be willing to pay the sales commissions that real estate professionals earn through facilitating successful sales. Selling one's own home allows a seller to meet the buyers and to learn about the people who may choose to purchase the property.

Although for-sale-by-owner transactions can be successful, real estate professionals possess specialized knowledge about real estate trends and values to help those people who are entering the real estate market make good decisions about the properties they desire to buy and sell. Such professionals can help sellers price a home competitively and can publicize the sale to other real estate professionals, therefore driving up visits and interest from prospective buyers. They can also offer sellers useful advice for making their offered homes attractive to buyers who want to see themselves within the walls of the sellers' properties.

Though it is up to a seller to decide if working with a real estate professional is right for the particular real estate transaction, there are benefits to both options. For-sale-by-owner schemes let sellers control all aspects of the selling process, though working with a real estate professional allows a real estate owner to capitalize on market expertise from a trained residential property specialist.

Source: The Journal News, "Going it alone: The pro's, and con's, of do-it-yourself real estate sales," Barbara Livingston Nackman, June 6, 2013

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