FSBO, Just the facts.

Every year a percentage of home sellers decide to throw caution to the wind and brave the market alone without the help of a real estate professional.

 This diminishing group of FSBO’s (pronounced fizz-bows) venture bravely into the land of marketing, screening, qualifying, scheduling, showing, relentless calling, emailing  and paperwork. All for the common goal…to save money in their home selling transaction. It’s often an experience found a little less than rewarding.

The numbers gathered by NAR  (The National Association Of Realtors) tell the story.

In 2006 12% of home sellers in the United States chose to go this route. This is down from 20% in 1987. More telling than this decline is the fact that 40% sold their home to someone that they already knew prior to this transaction.

“Yeah, but isn’t it as easy as putting out a sign, waiting for the calls, and rolling your wheelbarrow to the bank?”

According to NAR 18% of FSBO sellers indicated that preparing their home or investment property was the most difficult task when it came to selling without the aid of an agent. The next most daunting task was listed as keeping up with paperwork which came in at 16%, and selling within the desired time-frame at 15%.

“Well, the bottom line is WE SAVED MONEY, right?”

Again, citing NAR, homes sold by owner do NOT statistically come out financially ahead.

In 2006, sellers leaning on the aid of real estate professionals sold their property for an average of 32% more than FSBO sales. The median sold price of single family, stick framed homes that I gathered from our MLS looking back at the last 12 months was $274,500. Taking this as our baseline and using the number of 32%  puts an average savings of nearly $66,500 in each home seller’s pocket!

I suspect that some of these figures may reflect a number of different things. Among the top of the list is the fact that selling your home is an extremely emotional and sometimes physically draining process. It’s your nest-egg, life investment or possibly your retirement that we are dealing with here. In real estate, much like many areas of life it is important to have a third party that is un-connected emotionally to help guide us in our decision making process. Someone who can stand back objectively and speak into the situation with a little more clarity about the subject, unclouded by strong emotions. Additionally, no matter how much time, energy and research you may put into selling your home, you will be hard pressed on equaling the effort of a licensed real estate agent. A Realtor that is working full time is doing just that-putting a full time effort in understanding our ever-changing market.

The bottom line is, according to the numbers, it pays to have a real estate professional on your side when selling your home in any market.


One thought on “FSBO, Just the facts.

  1. Setting the initial price is THE most important thing that can be done. The second most important thing is having impact with the initial introduction to the market and the Realtors who will probablly sell it. Too many people don’t make the splash and don’t price properly. A great post that will be very helpful to your market.

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