Among those who chose the FSBO route, 59 percent knew the buyer who bought their homes and 41 percent did not know the buyer. Where FSBO sellers knew the buyer, the time on the market for the home was usually a week and sellers received 100 percent of the asking price. The median age for FSBO sellers is 58 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.


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. 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: 36%
  • Sold it to a relative / friend / neighbor: 32%
  • Buyers contacted seller directly: 16%
  • Did not want to deal with an agent: 6%
  • Agent was unable to sell home: 5%
  • Seller has real estate license: 1%
  • Could not find agent to handle transaction: *less than 1%
  • Other: 5%

Source: 2018 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers (National Association of REALTORS®, 2018)

Information Fro​m NAR

FSBO Transactions Hit New Record Low (REALTOR® Magazine, Nov. 12, 2018)

The Cost of Selling Without a Real Estate Agent (REALTOR® Magazine, Jul. 16, 2018)

Lessons From a Bad FSBO Purchase (REALTOR® Magazine, Jun. 8, 2018)

7 Reasons to Work With a REALTOR® (REALTOR® Magazine)

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

It Pays to Work with a REALTOR® (Item # E135-30) (REALTOR® Store)

The FSBO M​arket

Flying Solo The Dangers Of Going FSBO (Bluebird Realty, Apr. 22, 2019)

In the DIY Era, FSBO Ain’t the Way to Go… (Woods Weidenmiller Michetti Rudnick, Mar. 28, 2019)

5 Reasons FSBO Should Be a “No” (Louisiana REALTORS®, Jan. 31, 2019)

Selling Your Home? 8 Reasons Not To Be A For Sale By Owner (ActiveRain, Jan. 22, 2019)

For-Sale-By-Owner Method is Increasingly a Less Popular Way to Sell Your Home (The Washington Post, Nov. 7, 2018)

Is ‘For Sale by Owner’ a Good Idea? (Moving.com, Jul 10, 2018)

Working ​With FSBOs

Selling Your House: Here’s Why You Need a Pro in Your Corner! (Luther Sanchez, Apr. 22, 2019)

The 5 Best FSBO Scripts of 2019 & Why They Work (The Close, Apr. 10, 2019)

Easy Ways to Find and Work With For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Real Estate (The Balance, Feb. 23, 2019)

Three Keys to Converting FSBOs (Lab Coat Agents, Aug. 27, 2018)

How to Convince an FSBO to List with You (Embrace Home Loans, Jul 2, 2018)

A Killer Strategy For Converting FSBO’s Into Listings (Become a Local Leader)

Top 15 Reasons For Sale By Owners Listings Fail (Graham Real Estate)

Books, eBooks ​& Other Resources


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

42 Rules to Turn Prospects into Customers (Kindle, Audiobook, eBook)

Easy Step by Step Guide to Successful Selling (Kindle, eBook)

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

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

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

OPEN-Question Selling (Kindle, eBook)

Red-Hot Selling (eBook)

Selling in Tough Times (Audiobook)

Selling Your Home in 45 Days or Less (Kindle, eBook)

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

Tips & Traps When Selling a Home (Kindle, eBook)

Winning New Business (Kindle, eBook)

Books, Videos, R​esearch Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. 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 Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the Ten Commitments That Drive Sales (New York, NY: Portfolio/Penguin, 2017) HF 5438.25 .I25 2017

Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie or Die (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2013) H 61.4 S54

The Real Estate Agent’s Guide to FSBOs (New York, NY: AMACOM, 2008) HD 1341 M29

For Sale by Owner (Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 1992) HD 1341 D49F

For Sale by Owner: a No-Nonsense Guide to Getting the Best Price for Your House (Chicago, IL: Probus, 1990) HD 1341 L83

For Sale by Owner (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1989) HD 1341 G42

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The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.


2020 Census

The decennial census is important for all REALTORS® because completing the 2020 census means more resources for businesses and communities.


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