Fewer Americans Are Selling Their Homes on Their Own Than Ever Before, Are Real Estate Agents Really Worth the Money They Charge? Here's What the Data Says –MoneyWise


With the internet and real estate apps available to many Americans, selling a home has become just another thing you can do with the click of a button. A far cry from the old days of putting up a yard sign or placing an ad in the local newspaper. But according to the National Association of Realtors®’ (NAR) 2023 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, people selling their own homes, known as “for-sale-by-owner” (FSBO) sellers, is at an all-time low at 7% of recent home sales. A big reason for the increase in real estate agent use is the rollercoaster that is the housing market of the past two years. Between higher loan rates, a short-lived cooling of home prices and a shortage of homes that’s now driving up prices, there is a lot of uncertainty to navigate alone. “It has freaked out consumers,” Jessica Lautz, Deputy Chief Economist and Vice President of Research at NAR, told Moneywise. Though that hasn’t stopped people from buying homes. “It still is a seller’s market,” she said. Around 89% of sellers recently sold their home through a real estate agent or broker, which is up 2 percentage points since last year, according to the 2023 NAR report. The frequent hiring of real estate agents is a reflection of the heavy lifting required in the complicated and stressful process of selling a home, according to Lautz. “Sellers are relying on their agent to tell them: What can I price my home? How can I attract a buyer? How should I fix up my home for sale?” she said.

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