How my personal FSBO story cost me thousands

“I can do this!” I thought to myself.

“It can’t be that hard!!!”

Lauren's FSBO

I had sold four of my six personal homes as a FSBO (For Sale By Owner) in the last 15 years, before I became a Realtor.

As I write this, I can almost hear the cringes of my fellow Realtors. But, it’s something not a lot of people talk about, so I wanted to share my story and what I’ve learned from my experience.

In today’s market, I’ve heard of several people choosing to sell their home as a FSBO, because they don’t see the “need” for a Realtor.

“The house would sell itself, right? People are moving to Dripping Springs in droves and it should sell easily no matter what!”



There is SO much more knowledge that is needed behind the scenes. Marketing strategy, networks, presentation, pricing strategies, local market knowledge, contract knowledge, etc… SO much more!

I can definitely relate to FSBOs feelings and desire to save what seemed like an enormous pocket full of equity. When we sold our home in Lubbock, I was hesitant to use a Realtor. I was uneducated on what they actually did to protect me and thought it was going to be a waste of equity to pay a listing agent to sell our home.

“I mean, my house was cute and I could look at Zillow to figure out the right price. I could take pretty pictures, so what could go wrong?” I thought.

Lauren Clarks old home

Well, I was about to find out.

Lauren's yard

I always undervalued Realtors on the selling side because I didn’t know how they were different than just someone with access to upload the home onto the MLS. Yes, some simply do that today – discount brokers!

But now that I’m a trained Realtor and understand the value that a Realtor can bring to the table, I can see how I personally lost tens of THOUSANDS of dollars in all of my transactions, simply because I was clueless on what I was doing.

When we went to closing on our home in Lubbock, I was so excited to cash in on ALL that equity… until I realized the final amount was way less than I had anticipated. No one had advised me on the process, the cost of title fees, the loan fees, what COULD have been negotiated in my favor. Deciding to pinch those pennies and DYI it actually cost me tons of money!

When we got our check at closing I kept thinking something was wrong, where was all of my money? Where was the rest of it? It was sad!

I was clueless about what I was signing in the TREC 1-4 Family contract and got my lunch eaten in different fees and costs because I was not educated in contract knowledge and I did NOT have any representation.

This is the most valuable part of having a Realtor.

Sunflower garden in Lauren's home

Realtors have an agency relationship with their clients once they sign a listing agreement or buyer rep agreement. That means that they have a fiduciary duty to put their clients’ needs above their own. To help shield them from potential loss with their contract knowledge, negotiate for them, advise them about the contract, understand the micro markets and pricing data, set correct expectations and stand in their place against the other agent in the transaction. It’s a big deal.

And when you are a FSBO, then it really is like “going into a courtroom without a lawyer”.

After my experiences, I am now confident that I could have sold all of those homes for more money and with less stress, if I would have had a great listing agent sell my home.

Sunflower in backyard garden

Thanks for reading my story! If you’re considering selling your home as a FSBO, please feel free to reach out to me at 512-569-8480 or email me at

I’m happy to answer any questions you might have or help you understand the value that a Realtor can bring to the table. Don’t make the same mistakes I did — let me help you sell your home for the most money with the least amount of stress!

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"Lauren has been in continuous contact with us the
entire process so far. Lauren has shared multiple resources
and hidden gems for a family relocating from out of state.

Lauren has been, and is still is readily available by phone,
text or email (in person when needed) when we have ANY
question about the area, the process, the contacts, basically
anything a person relocating could need. Lauren has been,
and will continue to be a great advocate for us with our
home builder."

- David and Lisa
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@laurenlovesdrippingsprings 512-569-8480





Licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission


License # 756168


Magnolia Realty Austin Hill Country

101 S. College St.

Dripping Springs, Texas


Managing Broker:

Cody George