I am a licensed real estate agent in the state of Kansas. Personally I believe a homeowner can easily sell their home themselves, or sell their home FSBO (For Sale By Owner). What do you think? The real estate industry would have you believe it’s damn near impossible. The stats for successful for sale by owners according to the real industry are around 8%. That seems low. What is the truth behind the success of FSBO’s.
First, way back in 1981, before we had the internet in our homes, the percentage of successful FSBO’s was 21%. That’s very believable and I would expect that the number in 2018 would be even higher. But it’s lower? That doesn’t make any sense. It’s so much easier to sell a house these days. In fact, if priced right and properly prepared for market, homes are selling themselves. Literally!
What I mean by that is with all the real estate sites that are available for public use FSBO’s should be easier than ever to market, right? Well, they are, trust me on this one.
Consumers get online these days to look for homes themselves on sites like Zillow, Trulia, and homes.com just to name a few. Home sellers can go directly to these sites and market their homes themselves. In fact a lot of Realtors do just that trying to avoid paying commissions to other agents, go figure.
Home buyers are often shopping before they approach a real estate agent for assitance. Many of my clients prefer to look at homes themselves and then send them to me. Yes, I know it sounds backwards but it’s what’s happening. Consumers are shopping online for homes on their own. Real estate agents are useful for unlocking doors and filling out paperwork.
So where do these numbers about successful FSBO’s come from.
It’s actually a very slick play on semantics, and not dishonest. The industry grabs the numbers by only counting homes that have been sold by owners with absolutely no help or involvement from a real estate agent.
What I mean is…
- Some FSBO’s end up using a buyers agent because the buyer had a contract or “agency agreement” with a brokerage. (More on that in a future post, and it’s not nice) Those sellers still sold the house themselves. They attracted a buyer, the buyer viewed the property, liked it and wrote an offer. Those sellers still saved thousands of dollars in commissions but in fact ended up having someone to do all the contract and closing work for half the price.
- Sellers sometimes want to get their listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and there are services now that will do that for a few hundred dollars. Yes, the same thing you may pay another agent several thousand dollars for. The industry does not consider those FSBO’s. But who cares about semantics right? We care about saving money and putting it to better use.
- What if you used a Realtor to help you price your house? You know, interview a Realtor, or two, with the assumption that you might list with them so they give you a price analysis? Or what if you called up a Realtor and got some free advice? Would that be considered a true FSBO? Again, who cares. It’s still a For Sale By Owner and you still saved thousands of dollars.
Those low numbers are thrown out there without an explanation for a reason. To scare you. To make you think twice. To stop you.
Don’t be fooled. It’s really not that difficult to sell a house once you know how.
p.s. If you have questions about the process you can join the discussion at fb DIY Real Estate group
p.p.s. For an in depth complete guide to learning how to sell your home yourself and get the most possible money click here!