In a sellers’ market, some homeowners might be tempted to try to sell their house on their own (known as For Sale By Owner, or FSBO) instead of working with an agent. When the inventory of homes for sale is as low as it is today, buyers are eager to snatch up virtually any house that comes to market, and often don't pause just because the seller is unrepresented. This makes it even more tempting to FSBO. As a result, some sellers think selling their house will be a breeze and see today’s market as an opportunity to FSBO.
Let’s unpack why that’s a big mistake and may actually cost you more in the long run. I share some of this information from direct experience working as a buyer's representative for FSBO properties, and have seen firsthand what the sellers often leave on the table.
According to the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 41% of homeowners who tried to sell their house as a FSBO did so to avoid paying a commission or fee. Seems obvious, right? Well, in reality, even in a sellers’ market, selling on your own likely means you’ll net a lower profit than when you sell with the help of an agent. I'm not simply talking about getting your price.
The NAR report explains:
“FSBOs typically sell for less than the selling price of other homes; FSBO homes sold at a median of $217,900 in 2020 (up from $200,000 in 2019), and still far lower than the median selling price of all homes at $242,300. Agent-assisted homes sold for a median of $295,000…Sellers who began as a FSBO, then ended up working with an agent, received 98 percent of the asking price, but had to reduce their price the most before arriving at a final listing price.”
When the seller knew the buyer, that amount was even lower, coming in at $176,700 (See graph below):
That’s a lot of money to risk losing when you FSBO – far more than what you’d save on commission or other fees. We haven't even discussed the negotiating experience an agent brings to the table. Despite the advantages sellers have in today’s market, it’s still crucial to have the support of an expert to guide you through the process. We live and breathe this process for a living. A good real estate professionals is a trained negotiators with a ton of housing market insights that average homeowners may never have, and cannot gain simply from tracking the market through third party sites. An agent’s expertise can alleviate much of the stress of selling your house and help you close the best possible deal when you do.
If you’re ready to sell your house this year and you’re considering doing so on your own, be sure to think through that decision carefully. Odds are, you stand to gain the most by working with a knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent. Let’s connect to discuss how a trusted advisor can help you, especially in today’s market. That way you'll be able to evaluate your decision with facts and inside information.
The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Montana Good Life Properties Inc and Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.