Quick Takeaways

  • Don’t waste your time with bargain hunters
  • REALTORS® can provide a detailed CMA
  • You don’t have access to the MLS

Source: 11 Reasons Why FSBO Sellers Should Hire a Real Estate Agent (UpNest, Mar. 4, 2021)

Just released, NAR’s 2021 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers explains why FSBOs don’t want to use a REALTOR® to sell their house.

Looking for reasons to use a REALTOR® to give to FSBOs? NAR has a brochure and handouts to help you.

Selling a home yourself is a bad idea. You may run into fair housing and legal issues. Safety must be a priority. Do you want to let in anyone off the street to view your house? Getting the pricing right is complicated. A REALTOR® has access to many sources to create comprehensive CMA.

Get tips on how to convert FSBOs and dissuade them from selling their own house. Working with FSBOs has many benefits. FSBOs may turn into buyers in the future and may refer you to the friends, family and neighbors.

See References for more information.


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 the member's nar.realtor login.

Most Important Reason fo​r Selling Home as FSBO

  • Did not want to pay commission fee: 36%
  • Sold it to a relative / friend / neighbor: 30%
  • Buyers contacted seller directly: 8%
  • Did not want to deal with an agent: 56
  • Agent was unable to sell home: 1%
  • Could not find agent to handle transaction: Less than 1%
  • Other: 10%

Source: 2021 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers (National Association of REALTORS®, 2021)

Information Fro​m NAR

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

Most people buy only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years between purchases. Even if you’ve bought a home before, laws and regulations change. Real estate practitioners may handle hundreds or thousands of transactions over the course of their career.

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

Be persistent. FSBOs will likely reject your first overtures. By the third or fourth time, you may find them at the peak of their frustration and ready to sign on with you.

The REALTOR® Advantage, Is Your Agent a REALTOR® Brochure (Item # 135-145)

This brochure was created with support from the That’s Who We R® campaign and helps support the messaging that whether buying or selling, REALTORS® bring value to the process.

The FSBO M​arket

Why Selling Your House on Your Own in 2021 Is a Mistake (Keeping Current Matters, Dec. 30, 2020)

The documentation involved in the selling process is growing dramatically as more and more disclosures and regulations become mandatory. In an increasingly litigious society, the agent acts as a third-party to help the seller avoid legal jeopardy.

The Top Pitfalls That Trip Up FSBO Sellers (Forbes, Dec. 11, 2020)

Perhaps the most important piece for-sale-by-owner sellers get wrong due to lack of expertise is the price. Despite so much information being available online, the average person does not have the know-how to select comparable properties that sold recently.

Sound Off: Why Do People Sell Their Homes Without a Realtor? Why is this a Bad Idea? (SF Gate, May 3, 2020)

Today’s market demands the effective use of technology to properly stage, show and carry the transaction. The Realtor can also protect the owner from potential legal problems and ensure neutrality, integrity and competence.

Working ​With FSBOs

Can You Buy a FSBO Home with a Real Estate Agent? (realtor.com®, Jun. 18, 2021)

To move forward with purchasing a FSBO property, you should ask your real estate agent to contact and ask the seller to sign a fee agreement. Be warned, there will be owners who don’t want to pay fees to any real estate agent, but many will be willing to pay at least the buyer’s agent’s fees since the agent is bringing the buyers and helping with the process.

11 Reasons Why FSBO Sellers Should Hire a Real Estate Agent (UpNest, Mar. 4, 2021)

One thing you might not be taking into account as a potential DIY home seller is just how available you’ll need to be in order to show your home. Are you really going to be able to call in sick or cancel your plans every time someone wants to look at your home? Potential buyers aren’t going to want to work around your convenience. A professional Realtor, however, doesn’t need to take a day off work in order to show your home, since this IS his/her job.

The Ultimate Guide for Turning FSBOS into Listings (Smart Agents, Nov. 15, 2020)

If everyone's going after FSBOs with pushy sales messages and scripts, opt for a helpful approach. Help them along the way, see where they're stuck, offer some input and build trust and rapport so it's easy to get the listing when they give up and decide to list with an agent.

Books, eBooks ​& Other Resources


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

42 Rules to Turn Prospects into Customers (eBook)

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

OPEN-Question Selling (eBook)

Red-Hot Selling (eBook)

Selling in Tough Times (Audiobook)

Selling Your Home in 45 Days or Less (eBook)

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

Tips & Traps When Selling a Home (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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