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Saying FSBOs sell for less is misleading.

I read an article referencing a study on how For Sale by Owner (FSBO) sell for less. In my opinion, this is misleading because they are only looking at FSBOs that did NOT sell through the MLS.

These days, most successful FSBO listings are on the MLS. They use a flat fee services that lists them on the MLS. They might also use a professional photographer for great photos, and many do open houses that are also listed on the MLS so everyone knows about them. They also offer to pay a fair buyer’s agent commission.

I would agree if you do not list on the MLS you are going to sell for less. You will have less demand, and therefore will be more likely to sell at a lower price.

However, if you are listed on the MLS, have great photos, and do some brokers and public open houses, then I think you will find the selling price is about the same. There are no statistics to prove this point, or to say it is not valid, which is why stating FSBOs sell for less is misleading.

What this study really shows is if you sell without being listed on the MLS, you will sell for less.

Realtors add tremendous value to every transaction. We do not need to quote a misleading study to try to get sellers to sell through us. If you want to use this study I think it is fair to say that if you sell without being listed on the MLS you will sell for less. To say FSBOs sell for less is something we do not have good data on, so it is a misleading statement.

About Bryn Kaufman

Principal Broker and creator of OahuRE.com, one of the most popular websites on Oahu. I enjoy working with PHP, MySQL, jQuery, JavaScript, HTML5, Ajax and more. I am always looking to improve my Website and business. When not working, I enjoy spending time with my family and doing anything on or in the Ocean.

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  • My question is why do agents spend so much time trying to convince owners they are worth the commission they make?

    • The public feels we earn too much commission so we feel the need to justify our high commissions.

      I agree with the need to do things to justify our commissions, but misleading the public with a misleading FSBO study is not the best way to go about it.

      I do try to present as much value as possible to sellers and buyers on our website so they understand the true value of using us.

    • Drew Laughlin

      Because we’re so bad at articulating our value to the transaction. I have had clients, who are in sales themselves, tell me they have no idea how we keep everything straight. I also tell people it’s like professional sports, we make it look easy so they don’t have to get the 9pm phone calls or the 20 text messages asking how many offers we have.

      We need to get A LOT better at itemizing and articulating our worth to every transaction.

  • I will even tell them how to do it, Then I tell them how much money I spend doing it and the time it takes me and most don’t want to do that much work beside all the other work they have to do to prepare to move and work and raise their kids. When some on tells me they have sold so many homes in the past. My answer is usually that is a good month for me.

    • I think the fact that they are speaking with you means they are leaning towards using a full commission Realtor and not using a flat fee or discount broker to list.

      We offer both, and the ones that want to do part of it themselves will not even contact a full commission Realtor. They just contact us and we list it and normally if they price it right it is in escrow within 1 to 2 weeks.

      • I start at a discount and also offer a flat fee with defined services ( which probably exceed most others)

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