FSBOs often flop, but success encourages FSBO repeats


If decide to sell your home on your own, you’ve got to somehow muster what amounts to a boots-on-the-ground level of experience akin to that practiced by real estate agents who’ve been in the trenches for years.

As a “FSBO” (for sale by owner), you’ll compete against real estate agents as they wield the mother-of-all marketing tools, the multiple listing service (MLS), a service agents provide only for sellers who list with them.

Also, agents are learned in marketing beyond the MLS, they’ve gained negotiation prowess and they have a network of professionals at their fingertips – just for starters.

Even with special FSBO (for sale by owner) websites and tech tools that make it easier than ever to sell your own home, real estate agents have a 120 percent higher closing rate than FSBOs, according to HomeGain’s 2012 FSBO vs. Realtor Survey.

Do the math.

Among 400 homeowners surveyed from July 31 to Aug. 10 this year, 79 percent used an agent, 21 percent went it alone.

HomeGain said 66 percent of owners using a real estate agent successfully sold their home, but only 30 percent of FSBOs managed to do the same. That’s a 120 percent higher closing rate for sellers who used an agent.

“The value of a realtor in a real estate transaction is made strikingly apparent in our 2012 FSBO vs. Realtor Survey of home sellers. A qualified realtor understands the dynamics of the market and can better assist home sellers in the pricing and preparation of their homes for sale,” said Louis Cammarosano, HomeGain’s general manager.

FSBOs typically go it alone to save thousands of dollars on commissions real estate agents get for their work. Is it worth it, given the high rate of failures.

To successful FSBOs, yes.

• The survey also found that 90 percent of FSBOs who managed to sell their home said they would go FSBO again.

The survey also found:

• Twenty-two percent of FSBOs eventually decided to hire a real estate agent.

• Fifty-five percent of unsuccessful FSBOs who enlisted the aid of a REALTOR were able to sell their home.

• Homeowners who used a HomeGain agent to sell their home had a success rate of 73 percent.

• Homeowners who did not use a HomeGain agent had a success rate of 62 percent.

• FSBOs, again, had a success rate of only 30 percent.

About the author

DeadlineNews.Com's Publisher, Executive Editor and Founder, Broderick Perkins, was the first real estate journalist to manage a daily newspaper's online real estate section. He parlayed more than 30 years of old-school journalism into a digital real estate news service offering "News that really hits home!" -- the Silicon Valley bootstrap, DeadlineNews.Com. Network with Broderick Perkins on LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, Google+ and the Bloomberg Business Exchange.

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