There are some people who will always want to go it alone and sell their home as a for sale by owner. Real estate agents will often argue the pros and cons with anyone thinking about doing things themselves and it is our belief that the cons outweigh the pros (but, we’re real estate agents, so we have to say that). Although the potential for doing it as a for sale by owner (or FSBO as they are called in the industry) has greatly increased since the boom of the internet for real estate by making it easier to be spotted, there is still a key ingredient missing from most for sale by owners properties. Bet you’re thinking it’s “the expertise of an agent”…right? Well, that’s not where I’m going with this one.
The key ingredient? The MLS or Mutiple Listing Service. While it can be argued that the wealth of property sites on the internet make up for this, the MLS is still a treasure trove of information for home buyers.
Ninety-one percent of home buyers who used the Internet to search for a home purchased through a real estate agent, as did 71 percent of non-Internet users, who were more likely to purchase directly from a builder or from an owner they already knew in a private transaction.
As you can see from the quote above (from an analysis of the NAR Survey of Home Buyers and Sellers), 91% of home buyers that used the internet still used a real estate agent. So where did they find the property they eventually bought?
When buyers were asked where they first learned about the home they purchased, 42 percent said the Internet; 34 percent from a real estate agent; 10 percent a yard sign or open house; 6 percent from a friend, neighbor or relative; 5 percent home builders; 2 percent directly from the seller; 1 percent a print or newspaper ad; and less than 1 percent from other sources.
Although more people said they found their home on the internet (42%) than they did from a real estate agent (34%), this number is not something to throw away. Would you want to throw away 1/3 of your potential buyers by not using a real estate agent? Something else to consider – what percentage of the 42% of people that first found their home on the internet were using an agent’s IDX search or found a home that was on a listing syndication website (which are often pushed through thanks to the MLS)? Even if the answer is zero, the 34% is still a large chunk of people to not advertise your property to.
Of course, there are other pitfalls and problems to selling a home on your own, but for now, I’ll leave that argument for another day.
image courtesy of sidewalk flying