For Sale By Owner, What’s next…

Real Estate Agent with Lake Life Real Estate




We have all known or have tested the waters as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO). A FSBO is generally looking to maximize profits when selling their home. By removing a Realtor from the equation, a FSBO stands to save, on average, 6% of the sold price for their home. Another commonly perceived benefit of selling a home without a Realtor would industry knowledge – based on the availability of the Internet information. As a Do-It-Yourselfer, taking on a challenge and saving money and doing it just as good as a professional has been the centerpiece behind these decisions. But what if I told you, the facts and research fail to support those choices or ideas.



Saving money is nearly everyone’s true goal in many transactions. Money and time has been invested into a home, sacrificing any money and time would be hard for most people to understand. With today’s access to information – through web-based home search engines – many FSBO generally feel confident understanding home much their home is worth and mistakenly believe the “worth” equates to a close figure of an appraisal. Oftentimes those quick estimates do not account for Short-Sale Homes, Foreclosed Homes, Estate Sales, or Family-to-Family sales. These sales often are lower than a home in good condition, new renovations, ideal location, etc. By factoring the distressed or lower value sales, a FSBO could be leaving several thousand dollars on the table.



The national average median sales price for a FSBO in 2016, as stated by Inman, FSBOs accounted for 8% of the national home sales. The typical FSBO home sold for $190,000 compared to $249,000 with an agent assisted sale. If the FSBO knew the buyer – close friend, family member, or colleague then the FSBO median sales dropped to $151,900. Many times, a homeowner selling by themselves will not understand the housing market, market reports or simply do not have the time to adequately market their home. A typically case of “You Don’t Know, What You Don’t Know.”



With Real Estate sales, each state in the union may have various levels of paperwork to process a sale. Many FSBOs rely on a real estate attorney or a title company to oversee this part of the process. And some FSBOs do not chose the resource of a real estate attorney. The title company’s responsibility is primarily to insure all documents have been received and the lender’s paperwork is properly processed. In either situation, a real estate attorney nor a title company has Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance. With the abundance a documentation, disclosures, and requirements, simple issues are commonly overlooked. And a very simple issue perceived by a FSBO could be seen as fraud from a buyers’ viewpoint. These innocuous issues could develop into a lengthy and costly legal matter. A Realtor has E&O Insurance and possess a greater understanding of Real Estate requirements and expectations. Avoiding a potential litigious expense is a greater savings than not hiring a Realtor.



At the end of the day, a FSBO transaction is a higher risk and potentially a very stressful scenario – both during the closing period and (if issues arise later) losing money due to potential lawsuits and incredible amount of stress and strain on you and/or your family. The risks are high, and the rewards would be very low.


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William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

The perils of sellng on your own are just to great to chance it

Apr 27, 2018 01:55 AM #1
James Grant
Asheville, NC

Hi Ben,

I agree with you. Selling a home without the help of an agent to avoid paying is understandable. You may wind up making more money overall. Yet, there are some cons to selling for sale by owner without the help of an agent. Thanks for sharing!

Apr 27, 2018 05:17 AM #2
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