For Sale By Owner Statistics


With the evolution of the Internet more and more sellers are thinking of selling their home themselves. A lot of web sites have sprung up catering to this “do it yourselfer.” But is selling your home yourself a good idea even with the help of web sites? Lets first look at the National Association of Realtors statistics;

For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Statistics

  • FSBOs accounted for 8% of home sales in 2014. The typical FSBO home sold for $210,000 compared to $249,000 for agent-assisted home sales.
  • FSBO methods used to market home:
  • Yard sign: 42%
    • Friends, relatives, or neighbors: 32%
    • Online classified advertisements: 14%
    • Open house: 14%
    • For-sale-by-owner websites: 15%
    • Social networking websites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.): 15%
    • Multiple Listing Service (MLS) website: 10%
    • Print newspaper advertisement: 3%
    • Direct mail (flyers, postcards, etc.): 3%
    • Video: 2%
    • Other: 1%
    • None: Did not actively market home: 25%
  • Most difficult tasks for FSBO sellers:
  • Understanding and performing paperwork: 12%
  • Getting the right price: 6%
  • Preparing/fixing up home for sale: 6%
  • Selling within the planned length of time: 18%
  • Having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale: 6%

I want to focus on just one statistic, the first one, for this post and dissect it,  “The typical FSBO home sold for $210,000 compared to $249,000 for agent-assisted home sales.” That is, FSBO’s sold for 6.38% less then other properties using an agent. That is more then the old standard 6% real estate commission of a decade ago.  Today it is down to 5%.  Why does this happen? Having been in the real estate field for over 25 years and having dealt with 100’s of buyers, many of whom have bid on FSBO homes before I became their buyer’s agent, the typical buyer’s psychology goes like this, “Since the sellers are saving on the real estate commissions, I am going to offer less by the commission amount.”  That is why the statistics are so close to a standard deviation based on the commission rate.  So you take on this chore yourself hoping to save on the commissions and then give up in sales price what you could have hired a Realtor to do for you.

It is frustrating enough to go it alone and it is another thing to meet with buyers who wish to lower their offer amount by the very amount you wanted to save in the first place.  I am not trying to talk you out of selling your home yourself, I only want to make you aware that there are lower cost listing options that obtains for you a broker/agent on your side and also saves you money, time and trouble.

My next post will be on the difficulty of getting the right price.

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