The odds are against FSBO listed homes:

Rolling the diceSurvey results show that in 2008 only 7% of the homes sold between buyers and sellers who did not know each other were sold without the assistance of a listing agent (For Sale By Owner /FSBO).

During a hot sellers’ market when buyers seem to be everywhere, it’s easier for homeowners to sell on their own. But even in 2004, the peak year for the recent housing market boom in most areas, only 10% of homes between buyers and sellers who didn’t know each other were sold without a listing agent.

In addition, only 70% of those FSBO deals involved the sale of a single family home. Another 18% were mobile home sales and 10% involved a condo or townhouse.

Then factor in that 1 in 4 of these FSBO sales occurred in small towns, rural areas or resorts.

The bottom line is that the number of homes actually being sold by unrepresented sellers to buyers who they don’t know them in suburban or urban areas is pretty low.

Why are so few FSBO sellers successful in selling on their own?

There are a lot of challenges to selling a home. It isn’t as easy as simply putting a sign in the yard and an ad in the paper. Real estate agents that sell homes as full-time professionals learn what works and what doesn’t, and have industry research available to them so that they can effectively market their home listings.

When asked, sellers that successfully sell a home on their own often say that they will hire an agent the next time around.

In the 2008 survey, only 33% of FSBO sellers that didn’t know their buyer said they planned to sell their next home on their own again.

They reported that the most challenging aspects of selling on their own were:

  • 16% – selling in the length of time that they planned
  • 15% – preparing or fixing up the home for sale
  • 12% – getting the price right
  • 11% – understanding and performing paperwork
  • 11% – attracting potential buyers
  • 7% – having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale

** Survey results were compiled by the National Association of Realtors© and reported in the 2008 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

If you are thinking about selling a home without hiring a listing agent, there are some specific things you can do to increase your odds of selling successfully. Check back tomorrow for: 20 Tips for FSBO Sellers.