Should I sell my house to an investor, for sale by owner, or with a real estate agent?

Monty Schmidt, Nor Cal REI

Ever wonder if you you should sell your house through a different way.. You know, besides the traditional way of selling with a realtor? I have. In fact, I think about it with every single house that I buy.


Because each method of selling is tailored for a specific situation. Each method has it’s positives and negatives, would you like to know what they are?

First, let’s start with the most common way:

Listing on the market with a realtor-

I’m not a realtor, but I’ll tell you this: Selling with a realtor is one of the best ways to sell a house if you’re looking to get top dollar. It’s also the most common way that homeowners in America choose to sell their home.

What’s so great about listing with a realtor?

The best thing about listing is that you get exposure on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which allows hundreds of thousands of buyer agents to see your property with the click of a button. More buyers equals more offers, which means you have more choices.

Since you’re hiring an agent, they will be doing most of the dirty work for you. I’m talking about finding buyers, negotiating pricing, and putting together all the paperwork. Great stuff right? Now it’s not all fine and dandy when it comes to selling on the market.

In many cases, you will need to have the property appraised, have your realtor walk people through your house multiple times, have the buyer do an inspection, and wait anywhere from 30-90 days for your house to be sold.

Also, you’re competing against other homes in your neighborhood that are for sale, so the house will need to be retail ready (no major damages, updates, improvements needed)

Listing with a realtor can be ideal if:

  • Your home is in good condition
  • You want to get the highest price
  • You have plenty of time and energy to wait until the house sells

But even with those benefits, you are still giving away 6% of the sales price to have someone do it for you. Which is kinda a lot right?

Which brings us to our next option…

Selling For Sale By Owner

You get to avoid paying realtor commissions. Is there really anything more for me to say?

If only it was that simple. You see, when it comes to selling FSBO, you kinda need to know what you’re doing. Why?

As a seller without a realtor, you have to market the property for sale by yourself through a few different strategies in order to find buyers. You will need to List it on craigslist, zillow, redfin, and any other sites to get exposure (the more the better). Some homeowners go as far as placing ads in the paper or making handwritten signs to place on the side of the road all in the name of saving 6%.

Remember, it’s also up to you to put together a contract that protects you and find a title company that is suitable to your needs. Which isn’t difficult, but can get annoying sometimes. 

First thing you need to know before listing FSBO is that you’re going to get bombarded by investors who are looking to buy your house.

Which can be good and bad. Most of them will give you a lowball offer, but some will give you a fair offer with great terms (more on that later). Which is why it’s important for sellers to know the value of their areas.=

If you want to get the highest price selling on your own, you need to find a retail buyer. Someone who’s looking to live there and not someone who is looking for investment property.

Here are some situations where selling FSBO can be ideal:

  • you have real estate experience or know the prices in the area well
  • you’re a real estate agent/broker
  • you know how much your home will sell for
  • you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty
  • you have a entry level to mid level priced home (much larger pool of buyers then higher end homes)

And Finally we have…

Selling your house to an investor buyer

Last but not least is selling your home to an investor (someone like Nor Cal REI)

First off let’s just start off with one of the biggest differences: you sell directly to a buyer who pays with cash.

You don’t have to wait for a buyer to come along and make you an offer because most investors will make you an offer in 2 days or less. Also, in most cases you won’t need to get an appraisal or have an inspection on your house.

Another great thing is that many real estate investors offer flexible payment options such as taking over mortgage payments, paying you over an extended period of time for a higher price (owner financing), and options for avoiding foreclosure.

And now for the rest of the benefits:

-cash offer (no waiting for a loan to be approved )
-fast closing (usually less than 2 weeks)
-no realtor commissions (yay)
-no inspections (taking a risk on our end)
-no repairs (sold in as-is condition)

There are some reasons why selling to an investor might not be for you, and here’s why:

-Investors need to buy homes at a discount meaning you probably won’t get full market value for it.
– Not all investors are the same, so you need to find someone you can trust

Here are some situations that can be ideal for selling to an investor:

  • Your house needs repairs or updating
  • You need money ASAP
  • you’re moving out of town
  • you’re in a situation where you need to sell quickly- waiting for a buyer just won’t cut it.
  • You don’t want to deal with the hassle of selling traditionally (ease of transaction)

If you’re looking to sell your house quickly, easily, and hassle free, Nor Cal REI can help. We work with homeowners in all kinds of situations to provide a win-win solution for both sides.



PO Box 215291
Sacramento, CA 95821




Privacy Policy