For a homeowner wishing to sell their home this will remain a hot topic until the end of time I am sure. Here is my perspective from over a decade of selling homes in Greater Grand Rapids Michigan. 

I believe technology has made it easier for homeowners to get exposure on their property. Websites like Craigslist and Zillow have many users. In fact, they are a constant form of confusion for buyers and sellers. Sellers sometimes believe their home is listed when they appear on Zillow and buyers believe that all homes on Craigslist and Zillow are actually for sale. Many cases they are not.

Just because there is exposure does not mean that it is working in your favor. I know you are “saving” the commission that you would be paying but are you really? I am going to pick on Zillow for a bit and remind you that the only reason Zillow exists is to sell their visitors or leads back to agents who pay heavily to be there in the first place. Next time you are on their listing, check the lower right hand corner of a FSBO “listing” and you will see contact information. Usually this shows up as three agents first and finally the owner of the property. The whole point of Zillow is not to “list” properties but to provide a service to those agents who wish to pay for it. Why? Because so many agents are successful in converting the leads who are visiting their website and making a commission from the sale. Most of the time that I have sold a buyer client a home a FSBO the seller has paid for the commission. It is important to also understand that it isn’t just a commission that should be worried about. It is also my service. My experience; All 13 plus years of it and Hundreds of transactions and all my knowledge is against the seller because my duties are to my client according to the State of Michigan Real Estate license law. Which is my buyer client.

Also keep in mind that 89% of all real estate sold in the country involves a real estate agent so there is a pretty good chance that you will be in some sort of relationship with an agent or a Realtor during the process.

So the point I am trying to make here is are you really saving the commission if you end up paying for it and you are up against an agent who does this for a living?

Let me offer some additional support. According to NAR (National Association of Realtors )

FSBOs accounted for 8% of home sales in 2015. The typical FSBO home sold for $185,000 compared to $240,000 for agent-assisted home sales. That is a big difference.

The average sales price of an unassisted sale is 8% lower than with an agent.

You are probably saying to yourself “But wait! Thats from NAR! of course they will say THAT!!”

Additionally A recent study conducted by Collateral Analytics state that an agent does get 5.5% more than an FSBO sale.

Here are my statistics: The last 5 transactions that I have had with an unassisted seller. ( no agent) The appraisal came in at 4%, 7%, 11% 13% & 17% HIGHER than the negotiated sales price. In each case the seller paid me a commission to represent my buyer.

I am not saying that you shouldn’t sell your home by yourself. I am open to the idea that there remains many other scenarios and ideas why somebody wishes to sell their home by themselves. Just take the time to be informed and figure out if it is the right fit for you. If it is, great! If it is not, call me so we can sit down and figure out your strategy and game plan of selling.


My past five transactions