FSBO (or How to Screw Yourself)

1I have been having a lot of conversations with people who are either already trying For Sale By Owner or thinking about trying FSBO.  For many reasons, I think that they are shooting themselves in the foot.  The simplest one is the statistic that 90% of all FSBOs end up listing with a Realtor.  So if you need to sell your house, you are just going to take longer to sell it.  Of the ones that are left, the majority of FSBO sales that actually happen are between people who know each other, and the house never even gets put on the market.

The statistic that most FSBOs don’t know is that the average Realtor homes sell for 25% more than the average FSBO.  Average Realtor sale = $230,000.  Average FSBO sale = $184,000. (Click here and scroll down to FSBO Statistics)

But the one thing that is really screwing you if you are trying to sell your house yourself is the type of buyer that you attract.  There are four types of buyers:

  1. Serious and in a hurry. They may be moving to your town and have three days to find a home.  Or maybe they just sold theirs and need to get into another or they will lose their contract.
  2. Serious, and not in a hurry. They can qualify; they may be a first-time home buyer proceeding cautiously, or they may be looking for that special home.
  3. Investors. They want to buy everything ten cents on the dollar.
  4. Looky Lous. I really shouldn’t call them buyers.  They can’t qualify.  Agents won’t put them in their car, so they go out and they prey on for sale by owners.

Do you think that serious and in a hurry are going to be out with an agent looking at everything they can to find the best house for them, or are they going to be in a rental car trying to find for sale by owners?  FSBO’s rarely see this type of buyer who is most likely to buy now.

Secondly, if you are a serious buyer who wants to proceed cautiously and have someone hold your hand, are you going to be out looking on your own, or are you going to be looking with an agent?

If you want to buy a home ten cents on the dollar, are you going to call an agent or are you going to call a for sale by owner?

And if you are a looky lou, well who cares, right?

FSBOs are most likely to get the investors and the looky lous.  If you list with me, you get people who are serious, and people who are ready to buy now.  That is what you want, right?

If you or someone you know are considering going FSBO, you can reach me at 515.724.3163 or RyanLynch@KW.com and help them get more money for their home faster.

~Ryan Lynch