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Q: Real Estate (for sale by owner compared to realtor sold house) ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Real Estate (for sale by owner compared to realtor sold house)
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: brian5228550-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 15 Jan 2003 16:49 PST
Expires: 14 Feb 2003 16:49 PST
Question ID: 143242
I am looking for articels or reports/studies comparing houses sold
(for sale by owner) as compared to houses sold by realtors. What I
want the article to say is that for sale by owner houses do not bring
as much money and take longer to sell as compared to houses listed

Request for Question Clarification by bobbie7-ga on 15 Jan 2003 19:22 PST
I located three  articles, however all are based on the same study.
They say that FSBO properties receive less money and take longer to
sell. A few other  on realtors website also claim that FSBO’s  receive
less money and take longer to sell as well. Would this suffice as an

Request for Question Clarification by bobbie7-ga on 15 Jan 2003 19:28 PST
It should say: A few other "articles" on realtors website also claim
that FSBO’s  receive less money and take longer to sell as well.

Clarification of Question by brian5228550-ga on 15 Jan 2003 20:31 PST
When was the study done and what area of the country. If it is done in
the last few years, and hopefully not by some real estate office, then
YES, it would suffice. I am hopefuly that your response to me will
include the study/reports author and date. Published articles such as
newspaper or magazines would be helpful too but that may be to much.
Thank you very much for your help. What a great tool this is. My first

Request for Question Clarification by bobbie7-ga on 16 Jan 2003 05:07 PST
I apologize, it wasn’t a study, it was a “survey” by the The NATIONAL

The information about FSBO properties receiving less money and taking
longer to sell was taken from the above survey and published  in a
June 2002 article.

I will continue to do more research and this question will remain open
for other researchers to answer.


Request for Question Clarification by sublime1-ga on 16 Jan 2003 12:22 PST

I have located a real estate agent who claims, on their site,
that a 10-year study has shown that homeowners gross about
9+% more when selling via professional Realtors, than when
selling privately. The agent offers their email address for 
questions related to this claim. I have emailed the agent
and am awaiting a reply in regard to the availability of the
article and how recent it is. I will get back to you when
I receive a response.

Subject: Re: Real Estate (for sale by owner compared to realtor sold house)
Answered By: ragingacademic-ga on 16 Jan 2003 19:16 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear brian5228550,

Thanks for your question.  First, let me request that if any of the
following is unclear or if you require any further research – please
don’t hesitate to ask me for a clarification.

Let me just start with an anecdote – several years ago, I lived in St.
Louis Missouri and this little startup, FSBO, rented a nice little
building at the corner of Lindbergh and Olive and began publishing a
weekly FSBO magazine with listings; the idea was that for a very low
fee (I seem to recall about $450) you could receive signs, a listing
in this magazine, and some help with contracts etc. – but no MLS
listing.  Well, a couple of years later the big, shiny signs came down
and the company went out of business.  Anyway…

Most of the data in the press comes from surveys conducted by the
National Association of Realtors (NAR); I have reviewed several dozen
articles - however, if you feel that this is not the kind of data you
are in need of, let me know - and we'll keep looking.

An article in the Dec 8 2002 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette titled “SELLING
MONEY” (see citation below) quotes the following statistics:

+ “An association (National Association of Realtors) survey of 5,700
people who sold and bought houses in 2001 found that 13 percent of
those were For Sale By Owner transactions. In 1997, it was 18 percent.
A couple of years back, experts were predicting that the number would
reach 40 percent by 2005.”

In other words, rather than becoming more popular, FSBO is becoming
less popular – even though house prices have increased rapidly and the
potential savings today are therefore far greater in real dollar

Also –

+ “The survey says the median sale price nationwide of a house sold
with agent assistance in 2001 was $175,000, while that of a FSBO was
$137,400, a difference of 27 percent.” (same National Association of
Realtors survey)

This article contains some great stats on FSBOs – I can’t quote
everything here because of copyright restrictions, but here are some
of the numbers, and if you have access to a public library you should
be able to have them find the article for you and extract the rest –

Characteristics of FSBOs 
* Median age is 42 years. 
* Estimated median household income is $64,300. 
* 73 percent are married couples. 
* 56 percent have no children living at home. 

Reasons for selling homes themselves 
* 46 percent -- did not want to pay commission fee. 
* 18 percent -- sold to friend or neighbor. 
* 13 percent -- buyer contacted owner directly. 

(there are about five times more stats in the article)

More statistics from what appears to be the same survey – but from a
different article – this is from Knight Ridder Tribune Business News,
Jan 13 2003 -

“The association's survey found the lowest percentage of FSBO deals in
the Northeast: 9 percent of total sales in 2001, compared with 19
percent in the Midwest, 13 percent in the South and 11 percent in the

“Of those who sold homes themselves, only about 35 percent said they
planned to use that route again, according to the survey. About 43
percent said they weren't sure whether they would do it themselves the
next time, and 22 percent said they would use a real estate agent.”

And here’s an interesting tidbit –

“…FSBO sales often have other hidden costs. Attorneys may charge more,
because a for-sale-by-owner transaction may include some paperwork
that a real estate agent might otherwise handle...”

(same article)

From the Washington Post, August 3 2002 –

“George Hamilton-Brown decided to try selling his five-bedroom Clifton
house himself because he was disabled and home all day to show the
But more than two months passed and he got only one offer, which fell

Well, eventually, George sold the house through a Re/Max agent –
“Hamilton-Brown had listed the house at $425,000. Walker (the Re/Max
agent) sold it for $428,000.”

An article in the Los Angeles Times from June 30 2002 is titled –
“For-sale-by-owner Web listings appeal to thrifty home sellers but
haven't quite clicked yet with buyers.”  The article provides several
examples of sellers in the Southern California market who had tried
the FSBO route but have not seen any results; for example –

“Christie Stoddard hasn't done much better. She recently listed her
$490,000, four-bedroom Brea home on But after a
month, her ad doesn't appear to be working. "We've gotten more calls
from just having a for sale sign out front," she said.

And another relevant stat –

“Only 16% of homes nationwide are sold without an agent, and that
figure drops to 10% in the West, says the National Assn. of Realtors.”

The following is from the Seattle Times, September 16 2000 –

“But that's a slight adjustment compared to other FSBOs. One on
Seattle's South Lake Washington Boulevard recently had a sign that
said the price was reduced from $1.5 million to $900,000. It then sold
for about that amount and through agent Endanchy Girma of Skyline
Properties, who also got her 3 percent commission, although the
sellers at first didn't want to give her anything. But as Girma said,
the house had been on the market "forever."”

And results from an earlier realtor association survey –

“ A 1999 survey by the National Association of Realtors found that
home sellers used agents 77 percent of the time, down 3 percent from
1994. But of those who went on their own, only 32 percent said they
would do it again.”

An Aug 6 2000 article in the Sun provides additional data from this
survey –

“…the No. 1 obstacle FSBOs faced was the owners' ability to set the
correct price. The NAR survey reported that the final median selling
price of a FSBO home was $113,000. The median price for an
agent-assisted transaction was $129,900.”

And –

“In the NAR's 1989 survey, 68 percent reported that they sold their
homes themselves to save the commission. Last year (1999), 46 percent
gave that reason.”

More data from the latest NAR survey is online at –

The following page has some more FSBO statistics –

I hope this response adequately addresses your request.  Please let me
know if you are in need of additional information concerning this



Pittsburgh Post - Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Dec 8, 2002; pg. J.1

More Owners Pass On Agents, Sell Own Homes 
Knight Ridder Tribune Business News; Washington; Jan 13, 2003; 
Kevin Harlin;

For Sale by Owner, With Some Help; Marketing Update: Despite Best
Efforts, 2 Owners Give In to Realty Agents
The Washington Post; Washington, D.C.; Aug 3, 2002; 
Daniela Deane;

Sites Unseen; For-sale-by-owner Web listings appeal to thrifty home
sellers but haven't quite clicked yet with buyers
The Los Angeles Times; Los Angeles, Calif.; Jun 30, 2002; 

FOR SALE BY AMATEUR Keeping that 6 percent for yourself sounds mighty
tempting, until you have to do the work.
Seattle Times; Seattle, Wash.; Sep 16, 2000; 
Bill Kossen;

Survey homes in on trends Realtors association releases report on
buying, selling; `Biggest sample in decade'; Data indicate increasing
use of Internet in process
The Sun; Baltimore, Md.; Aug 6, 2000; 
Robert Nusgart;

Search Strategy:

“fsbo” statistics
ti (for sale by owner) or ti (fsbo) <on Proquest - searched all
articles from 2000 to date>
brian5228550-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $15.00
way more info that i expected. thank you..

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