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.


We've 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® - Research, 2018)

Information Fro​m NAR

Study: FSBOs Net 'Significantly' Lower Profits, (REALTOR® Magazine, Aug. 17, 2017)

The Right Way to Approach FSBOs, (REALTOR® Magazine, June 2017)

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. 2016)

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

FSBOs Hit Record Low for Third Straight Year, (inman, Oct. 30, 2017)

FSBO Risks: 4 Scary Scenarios 'For Sale by Owner' Home Sellers Face, (Realtor.com, Aug. 16, 2017)

How to Do 'For Sale by Owner' the Right Way, (U S. News & World Report, Aug. 11, 2017)

Homes for Sale by Owner: 5 Reasons Why FSBO Sales Fail, (Realtor.com, Aug. 8, 2017)

'For Sale by Owner': The Benefits of DIY Real Estate, (Entrepreneur, July 13, 2017)

For Sale by Owner FSBO Tips: Tips for Home Selling Without Representation as a FSBO, (The Balance, Apr. 16, 2017)

Selling Your Home 'By Owner': What's Really Happening, (Forbes, Jan. 17, 2017)

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)

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)

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)

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

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

Working ​With FSBOs

Top 10 Reasons Why RSBOs Fail (For Sale By Owner) in Real Estate, (Rochester Real Estate Blog, Sept. 14, 2017)

Pros and Cons of For Sale by Owner: Weighing Your Options, (Homelight Blog, July 13, 2017)

When a FSBO seller asks the buyer's agent: 'Will you cut your commission?', (inman, July 6, 2017)

Everything to Know About Buying a Home Without a Real Estate Agent, (redfin, Feb. 28, 2017)

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)

Books, eBooks ​& Other Resources


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

42 Rules to Increase Sales Effectiveness (Kindle, eBook)

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

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

Getting the Sale: Confirming the Commitment to Buy (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 (eBook)

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

OPEN-Question Selling (eBook)

Red-Hot Selling (Kindle, eBook)

Selling in Tough Times (Kindle, eBook, Audiobook)

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

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

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

Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.

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.


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