There was a lively conversation on our neighborhood Nextdoor last week from someone who was listing his home for sale by owner (FSBO) and wanted to get the word out to neighbors but definitely did NOT want to attract the attention of real estate agents. He had a few choice words for agents around what he considered to be their unreasonable commission for “the easy job of sticking a sign outside.”
Well there’s an oversimplification. While we await a follow-up sometime NEVER saying the home has been sold, without a Realtor and for asking price, we thought it was a good time to examine again why it’s not a good idea to try to sell your own home. It just so happens that the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers was just released, and their data further supports this claim.
Data from the report shows:
The number of homes sold by owner decreased in 2018 to “the lowest share recorded since this report started in 1981.” Just seven percent of home sales were logged as an FSBO. This is likely due to: fewer homes being listed FSBO overall; and homes listed FSBO not selling and ending up, ultimately, with agent representation.
“The median age for FSBO sellers is 55 years.” Could this be a factor of people thinking they have enough life experience and knowledge to play real estate agent?
“Seventy-one percent of FSBO sales were by married couples that have a median household income of $98,800.” Regardless of marital status or income, it’s not a stretch to say that those who opt to try to sell their own home are doing so to try to save some money.
However, “FSBOs typically sell for less than the selling price of other homes; FSBO homes sold at a median of $200,000 last year (up from $190,000 the year prior), and signiﬁcantly lower than the median of agent-assisted homes at $264,900.” While it’s not possible to make a straight-up comparison between the $200,000 and $264,900 number, that is a GLARING difference.
The report also showed that among the “most difficult tasks for FSBO sellers” were “getting the right price,” at 17%.” This makes sense considering agents have access to comparables, historical data, and a network of other real estate professionals to provide pricing counsel and context, whereas sellers have…Zillow.