Thursday, December 11, 2014

Should You "For Sale By Owner"?

The article, "5 Reasons You Shouldn't For Sale by Owner,"
makes some interesting points about the disadvantages that arise when an owner sells a house without the help of an agent. However, a couple comments are in order.

Like most articles we see on this topic, the author cites studies that show that houses sold directly by an owner typically sell for substantially less money -- exactly 20% less in this case. The study that allegedly shows this is not referenced.
While it is true that For-Sale-by-Owner (FSBO) houses sell for less money than those with an agent involved, the differential is not nearly that large. Our own in-house studies show that For Sales By Owner properties in metro Denver typically sell for prices that are 4% to 6% less than the sale prices of houses sold where an agent is involved.
This differential is substantial and significant. Most agents charge sellers a fee in that range. Bottom-line: It turns out that most owners that sell without an agent end up doing all the work themselves, but don't put any more money in their pocket for their effort.  They are out their time and don't have any more money to show for it.
One of the reasons that By Owner properties sell for less money is because of Items #2 and #3 in the article. Through Multiple Listing Services, networking with other agents and internet agreements, real estate agents get much more exposure for a given property. Increased exposure means greater likelihood of finding a better and more motivated buyer than is found with limited exposure as a For-Sale-by-Owner seller. 
Be sure to read Item #1 in the article. It makes an excellent point that many By Owner property owners do not consider.