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    3-15. Sell “by owner”. - Electronic Edition

    3-15. Sell “by owner”. - Electronic Edition
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     Another term for this approach is the acronym “FSBO” (For Sale By Owner). FSBO fits the profile of the can-do owner-builder nicely. “Out of Commission” by Mark Henricks in Spirit Magazine April, 2005 says more than one million U.S. homeowners try to sell their homes each year without an agent. Half succeed, amounting to 14% of residential deals in 2003. Broker commissions range from 4-7%. (Assistance services in Florida had billboards for 1.5 and 2% commissions. In California, we’ve seen flat rate seller assistance services for any home at $3,000). Typical tools: yard sign, newspaper ad, and open houses. The average FSBO listing is 2.5 months, according to Forsalebyowner.com. And 65% report selling during that time. Online services charge from $14.95 (owners.com) to a deluxe $699 at Forsalebyowner.com (includes six-month placement in MLS.) Use an R.E. attorney or title insurance agent to help you if you go it on your own. Bill Carey, author of How to Sell Your Home Without a Broker says it’ll take 100 hours over a five-month period, and save you an average of $12,000.

     I love this stat: the NAR (National Association of Realtors) says average selling prices for FSBOs are 20% less than for brokered properties. (NAR publicizes this to suggest that a broker gets more for your house. The real meaning is that brokered homes tend to be higher-end.) Realtors have been on a campaign to talk you out of FSBO for years. Notice how the 20% figure is misapplied by Bryan Kohler, CEO, Salt Lake Board of Realtors, writing in the Salt Lake Tribune, April 2, 2005:

“The major reason people list their own homes for sale is to try to save money by eliminating the sales agent’s commission. According to National Association of Realtors (NAR) statistics, an owner who sells without using a Realtor nets an average of 20 percent less than if they had used a Realtor. For example, the average home in the Salt Lake area is selling for about $186,000, so a Salt Lake home seller could gain as much as $26,040 from the sale handled by an agent – even after paying the agent’s commission. Nationally, 24 percent of for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) sellers thought that getting the price right was the most difficult task when selling their home.”

     Very interesting analysis by the standard bearer for the local Realtor board. I’d call it “the new math”. I like how he refers to the sales agent’s commission as a given. But the Realtors are winning the propaganda war. Recent stats of 14% of homeowners selling FSBO are down from 18% in 1997.

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