Should You Sell For Sale by Owner in this Pittsburgh Real Estate Market?

When the sales are hot in a real estate market, sellers are tempted to go it on their own. If you have been thinking about selling your home on your own, let me share a few reasons why you may want to reconsider.

  1. Asking Price – determining the correct asking price is a crucial step to ensure a quick sale. An experienced real estate agent can find and interpret the most up to date sales information. A real estate agent knows what an appraiser will be looking at as comparable homes. It is hard for a seller to be objective when comparing their home to other homes that have recently sold. Being overpriced is the #1 reason homes don’t sell.

  2. Showing Availability – You must be available when a buyer can come see your home. Restricting the showing availability will limit the qualified buyers who want to see your home. Real estate agents provide you a lock box to make your home accessible to other agents who have a lockbox key. This allows you to work, play and travel without having to worry about missing a showing.

  3. Buyers – Most buyers are working with a buyer’s agent. They can hire a real estate agent at no cost to them. It only makes sense that they would choose to work with a real estate professional who can guide them through this financial decision with skill and expertise. Buyers target for sale by owners because they are looking for a bargain.

  4. Home preparation – You need to properly prepare your home for sale even in a hot market. A real estate agent knows what the current hot points are for buyers in the local market. An unbiased view of what needs to be updated or repaired is key to selling in a hot real estate market.

  5. Marketing – Real Estate agents are experienced in gaining the maximum exposure for your home. Photography, virtual/video tours, drone photography, and brochures are a few elements of a good marketing plan. Knowing the right internet sites to attract buyers is important. For Sale by Owner, websites are viewed less than internet sites used by real estate professionals.

  6. Legal Requirements – Improperly prepared documents can cause issues with the lender and force you to put the home back on the market. You must also have the right disclosures that are required by Pennsylvania law for any property being sold. Not only can a real estate agent provide you with the right forms, they can help protect you from unexpected liability in your sale.

  7. Negotiations – This is often an emotional step for a seller. There is more than one negotiation involved in the sale of a home. First, you must negotiate all the fine points of the sales agreement. After the home inspections, there will most likely be a second negotiation. There can also be negotiations after the appraisal or due to lender requirements.


The National Association of Realtors has found that a For Sale by Owner can sell for 18% less than if they listed with a real estate agent.

Finding the buyer is not the only step in the real estate sales process. Real estate agents are skilled in home preparation, sales, negotiations and following a sale through to closing. Your home is one of your largest financial investments. Gain peace of mind by having an experienced adviser help protect your investment and make the most money possible on your sale.

I would be happy to schedule a free private consultation with you to discuss the sale of your home. Contact me by phone at 412-848-3907 or email at I look forward to hearing from you!