For Sale By Owner (FSBO) is all grown up. Thanks to some pretty powerful technology and an ever-growing population of tech-savvy and informed consumers, the time to challenge the status quo has arrived.
The flood gates opened significantly over the past two years, when consumer use of online real estate searches reached an all-time high of 92 percent (2014) and crested to 60 percent for mobile and tablet usage on weekends. This tipping point has major implications for agents, brokers, and their strategies moving forward.
Considering that there were more than 5 million residential real estate sales in the U.S. last year, the value of online DIY home sales capabilities is monumental.
FSBO levels the playing field
No branch of the industry has benefited more from the online tech movement than FSBO. It was not only time to level the playing field for homeowners choosing to sell without the assistance of an agent, it has given homeowners a huge advantage.
For decades, agents had buyers and sellers convinced that they were incapable of understanding or managing a home sale without an agent—an absurd notion since the reality is, anyone can do it. Statistically, FSBO home sales are completed faster and with less drama today than in years past, for the simple reason that both buyers and sellers have much better access to market information and tools.
FSBO hasn’t always been this transparent, but thanks to aggregate websites like Zillow and Trulia, everyone can access listing data online in the comfort of their own homes. And a surprising number of people love to pore over home listings online routinely.
FSBO vs Realtor.com
Here’s the difference: Realtor.com inputs listings into regional MLS systems, which are not accessible to non-realtors and are overseen by a board of local real estate brokers. Independent, non-MLS sites like Zillow and Trulia aggregate their listing data from individual broker sites—in fact, many firms listings automatically syndicate to Trulia and Zillow.
Trulia and Zillow also pull their data from other sources, which Realtor.com does not do.
And here’s what accessibility means to FSBO home sellers today:
- Simple – No one needs to depend on an agent to access pricing reports anymore, a huge coup for the FSBO industry. With ListingDoor’s FSBO website, you get a pricing report that makes assessing your home’s value super simple, and yes, you can access most home sales listings that agents traditionally hoard. Thanks to remarkable new tools and technology, even the National Association of Realtors (NAR) admits that FSBO sellers are able to price their homes accurately.
- User-friendly – Powerful FSBO marketing tools are user-friendly, intuitively designed and readily available. Even if you’ve never sold a home before, ListingDoor’s marketing tools are designed to make sure you succeed. In fact, we believe ours are the best marketing tools!
- Easy! Step-by-step instructions give home sellers every advantage to sell their own homes, and pocket the 6 percent fee they would have had to pay an agent. It makes sense that agents spent all those years telling consumers they couldn’t do it themselves! Six percent commission on a $220,000 home is more than $13,000! Now, consumers don’t have to just “pay up” because agents tell them they can’t go it alone. Technology sure gave ordinary home sellers an eye-opening lesson in “can-do.” Not to mention a much better return on their investment.
- Fast – FSBO programs have become so automated with modern technology, sellers can usually price their homes and receive all their customized marketing materials in less than 5 days. The time table from pricing-to-showing is lickety split.
- Short and sweet – In today’s FSBO market, the reality is that negotiations are shorter and less dramatic than ever before, since both buyers and sellers have much better access to market information, once exclusively available only to realtors.
- Results – Even the National Association of Realtors (NAR) admits that FSBO sellers price their homes more accurately. In the organization’s 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, NAR’s own facts and figures found that FSBO sellers drop their home sale price only one time or less 91percent of the time. In contrast, real estate agents drop home sale prices one time or less, 78 percent of the time. FSBO sellers hit the target better, and more often.
- Smart! – Some smart researchers at Stanford and Northwestern Universities presented study results confirming that FSBO homes sell for more money—an average of 4-7 –percent higher when no agent was involved in the sale. Add the commission savings, and that percentage increases. The studies that don’t reflect this conclusion are those funded by the NAR.
FSBO is all about empowering homeowners with great options, tools and strategies to help you succeed, and keep that agent fee in your own pocket. It’s not just about leveling the playing field, it’s about winning!