Working With FSBOs


Among those who chose the FSBO route, 50 percent knew the buyer who bought their homes and 50 percent did not know the buyer. Where FSBO sellers knew the buyer, the time on market for the home was usually a week and sellers received 100 percent of the asking price. The median age for FSBO sellers is 59 years. Every home seller must eventually decide whether to hire a REALTOR® or to sell the home on their own. But even after they decide to go solo, FSBOs can still be convinced to use a REALTOR®'s expertise.


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Before you search elsewhere, take advantage of the research we've already done for you. Formerly known as Field Guides, References tabs contain links to external articles, titles from the NAR Library eBooks collection, websites, statistics, and other material to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives on each topic. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.

Most Important Reason fo​r Selling Home as FSBO

  • Did not want to pay commission fee: 39%
  • Sold it to a relative / friend / neighbor: 33%
  • Buyers contacted seller directly: 14%
  • Did not want to deal with an agent: 7%
  • Agent was unable to sell home: 5%
  • Seller has real estate license: *less than 1%
  • Could not find agent to handle transaction: *less than 1%
  • Other: 2%

Source: 2016 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, (National Association of REALTORS® - Research, 2016).

Information Fro​m NAR

Use Your Safety Knowledge to Convert FSBOs, (REALTOR® Magazine, Aug. 2016).

Solo Sales: FSBOs’ Costly Mistake, (National Association of REALTORS®, Nov. 10, 2015).

Selling Your Home Solo to Save Money? You’ll Actually Make Less Than You Think, (National Association of REALTORS® - Economists’ Outlook, Nov. 9, 2015).

How to Talk About FSBOs, (National Association of REALTORS® - Public Affairs, Apr. 2015).

6 Suggestions for Converting FSBOs, (REALTOR® Magazine Tool-Kit).

Hey Home Owners, Leave the Hard Work to Us!, (YPN Lounge Real Estate Blog, National Association of REALTORS®, Mar. 25, 2013).

Rebenchmarking Reflects FBSO Drop, (Speaking of Real Estate Blog, National Association of REALTORS®, Dec. 22, 2011).

What is a 'Lead' to you?, (REALTOR® Magazine, Aug. 2011).

The Vanishing FSBO, (Speaking of Real Estate Blog, National Association of REALTORS®, Jan. 6, 2011).

Fanning the For Sale By Owner Flames, (REALTOR® Magazine, Jan. 2009).

Public Advocacy Campaign: Don't Try this at Home, (National Association of REALTORS® - Public Affairs) — Print ads, web banners, and other advertising material for targeting FSBOs.

The FSBO M​arket

Don’t Pressure FSBOs, (Smart Agents Blog, Aug. 30, 2016).

FSBO: Financial Pitfalls of Selling Your Home Yourself, (Saving Thousands Blog, Aug. 19, 2016).

Debunked: Three Stubborn Myths About Real Estate Agents, (Realty Times, July 21, 2016).

Top 5 Reasons You Should Not For Sale By Owner, (Realty Times, June 30, 2016).

11 reasons for sale by owner is a bad idea, (Inman, June 10, 2016).

13 Brutally Host Reasons You Can’t Afford to Sell Your House on Your Own, (Realty Times, May 11, 2016).

For Sale By Owner Program, (Realty Times, Mar. 7, 2016).

For Sale By Owner: 8 Costly Mistakes Sellers Make, (Yahoo! News, Jan. 15, 2016).

FSBO: Should You Sell Your Home Through An Agent?, (John Welch Georgia Real Estate Blog, Dec. 3, 2015).

Real estate mistakes you’re probably making, (MoneySense, Nov. 11, 2015).

5 Times You’re Better Off Without a Real Estate Agent, (WiseBread, Oct. 28, 2015).

Will Real Estate Agent Become Obsolete?, (The Street, Oct. 12, 2015).

How to sell your home without an agent, (The Washington Post, Sept. 28, 2015).

Getting Your Home Ready to Sell, (Huffington Post, Aug. 26, 2015).

Home Sellers Advice: List it or SIY?, (Realty Times, Aug. 26, 2015).

For sale by owner: Do you really save money?, (Philly Voice, July 27, 2015).

How to Sell Your House Without Paying an Agent’s Fee, (Time, July 31, 2015).

5 Reasons you Shouldn’t For Sale By Owner, (Keeping Current Matters, June 2, 2015).

Selling a Home Without a Realtor. Know These 4 Risks, (Realty Today, Mar. 26, 2015).

For Sale By Owner????, (Realty Times, Feb. 11, 2015).

Problems with For Sale by Owner, (Angie’s List, Feb. 9, 2015).

Real Estate Matters – For sale by owner may not mean more money for the seller, (The Washington Post, Jan. 28, 2015).

Selling home without agent may not be worth the trouble, (Washington Post, Nov. 19, 2014).

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t For Sale By Owner, (Keeping Current Matters, Nov. 3, 2014).

Websites aim to be the TurboTax for selling your home – without an agent, (OC Register, Oct. 24, 2014).

For Sale By Owner: The Truth About Selling Your Own Home, (Chicago Now, Sept. 4, 2014).

For Sale By Owner: The Myths And Lies About Selling Your Own Home, (Chicago Now, Sept. 2, 2014).

First Time Buyer – Do I Need an Agent for a FSBO Purchase?, (Realty Times, Apr. 29, 2014).

For Realtors, an unwelcome trend, (Crain’s Chicago Business, Aug. 28, 2014).

More homesellers are going it alone – should you?, (Yahoo! Finance, Mar. 25, 2014).

Why For-Sale-by-Owner Sales Fail, (®).

FSBO Websites: Yahoo! provides a list of over 40 FSBO websites that you may want to be aware of.

Working ​With FSBOs

Does Working with an Agent Matter when You’re Selling Your Home?, (Alex Bracke Blog, Sept. 3, 2016).

Flip those FSBOs, (FSBO Real Estate Leads, July 7, 2016).

How Working with a Real Estate Agent Benefits You, (RISMedia, Mar. 2, 2016).

FSBOs: Untapped Opportunities Waiting for You, (RISMedia, July 9, 2015).

Why ‘for sale by millennial’ is the future of the industry, (Inman, Apr. 13, 2015).

5 Tips for Going the For Sale By Owner Route, (U.S. News & World Report, Mar. 29, 2015).

FSBO Listings Can be a Goldmine, (RISMedia, Mar. 5, 2015).

For Sale By Owner: The Alternatives You May Not Have Considered, (Chicago Now, Sept. 9, 2014).

Real Estate Agent FSBO Marketing – Working with “For Sale By Owners”, (AgentMarketing Blog, Aug. 27, 2014).

FSBO: Buyer’s Beware, (Realty Times, Jan. 27, 2014).

Why For-Sale-By-Owner Sales Fail, (®, Nov. 26, 2013).

Books, eBooks ​& Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

42 Rules to Increase Sales Effectiveness (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

42 Rules to Turn Prospects into Customers (Kindle, Overdrive Audiobook, Adobe eReader)

Easy Step by Step Guide to Successful Selling (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Getting the Sale: Confirming the Commitment to Buy (Adobe eReader)

How to Sell Your Home in Any Market (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

OPEN-Question Selling (Adobe eReader)

Red-Hot Selling (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Selling in Tough Times (Kindle, Adobe eReader, Overdrive Audiobook)

Selling Your Home in 45 Days or Less (Kindle, Overdrive Audiobook, Adobe eReader)

Seven Steps to Sold: The Secrets to Selling Your Home for Big Bucks... Fast! (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

The Home Owner's Guide to For Sale By Owner (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

The Home Seller's Checklist: Everything You Need to Know to Get the Highest Price for Your House (Adobe eReader)

Winning New Business (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, R​esearch Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Predictive analytics: The Power to Predict who will click, buy, lie or die, (Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2013). H 61.4 S54

The real estate agent’s guide to FSBOs, (AMACOM, 2008). HD 1341 M29

For Sale by Owner, (Nolo Press, 1992). HD 1341 D49F

For Sale by Owner: a no-nonsense guide to getting the best price for your house, (Probus, 1990). HD 1341 L83

For Sale by Owner, (Simon & Schuster, 1989). HD 1341 G42

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