A close look at "For-Sale-By-Owner" (FSBO) data from The National Association fo Realtor's 2006 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Each year a small army of home sellers throw caution to the wind and “go it alone” — without the assistance of a licensed real estate professional. Now they can get a boost by putting their home listing on the MLS website which many home owners consider to be the magic bullet for selling a home.
This ever-decreasing band of risk-takers, ventures into the land of pricing, marketing, screening, scheduling, showing and paperwork, with the goal of saving some money. It's often an experience they find less than rewarding.
The numbers (if not the sellers) tell the story.
In 2006, just 12 percent of sellers chose the FSBO (“For Sale By Owner”) route, down from 13 percent the previous year, according to NAR’s 2006 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. This is down from about 20 percent in 1987.
But more telling than the decline in FSBOs is the fact that 40 percent of all FSBOs sold their homes to someone they knew prior to the transaction. This means that only 7 percent of all home sales are open market FSBO transactions. The rest are simply unrepresented sellers in private transactions.
Eighteen percent of FSBO sellers indicated that preparing the home for sale was the most difficult task when selling without the assistance of an agent, followed closely by understanding and performing paperwork (16 percent) and selling within their desired time frame (15 percent).
As for profit — after all is said and done, FSBOs don’t always come out with fatter wallets. Again, the numbers tell the truth.
Homes sold with the help of a real estate professional in 2006 sold on average for 32 percent more than FSBO sales. The median FSBO selling price in 2006 was $187,200, compared with $247,000 for agent-assisted transactions. The truth is MLS doesn't sell homes, real estate agents sell homes with good reason. They are skilled negotiators often selling for much more than a homeowner, even with real estate fee's that means more money in the sellers pockets. Realtors have an intimate knowledge about the market, what the competition is like, where the market is going and have a large network of realtors to find the right buyer for your property. Realtors are experts in marketing an often have access to other professionals (stagers, appraisers, photographers, lawyers, mortgage professionals) that home owners don't. Bottom line, a good real estate agent will get your home sold for more in less time making sure your biggest investment is taken care of to YOUR benefit.