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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, 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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