Ken's Naperville Real Estate Blog : BUYER BEWARE! THE FSBO...


I know a lot of people who enjoy shopping for homes that are For Sale by Owner (FSBO)...

The general belief is that they will be getting a good deal from the FSBO, because "there was no commission."

Don't fall into this trap. 

People who put their homes on the market FSBO generally don't need to sell their home.  They are usually "testing" the market and inevitably price their homes too high.

I should know.  I tried it once.

It was back in 2004.  I was selling financial products at a bank, and wasn't happyI wasn't sure what I wanted to do, so my wife and I entertained the idea of "selling" our home and moving to Michigan...

We put our home on the market For Sale Buy Owner and priced it $20,000 above the market.

Why?  Cause we weren't ready to sell.  And most FSBOs aren't either...

Or they would be using a Realtor.

If you are looking for a good deal in real estate, find a motivated seller...

And beware the FSBO.


A Realtor you can trust. 

Comment balloon 7 commentsKen Tracy • September 11 2009 09:54AM


Ken-Great advice for homebuyers.

Posted by Joseph D. Federico, Eastern Massachusetts Real Estate (Donahue Real Estate Co.) about 9 years ago

Ken: I appreciate your perspective … and your personal experience with a FSBO however the statistics on FSBO suggest something different … in my area 85% end up listing with an agent within 17 days. 15% are either successful with their sale or took the property off the market. With our inventory being so low here in Silicon Valley, I am actually looking at FSBO’s for my buyers … and of course will represent them with a full commission.

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) about 9 years ago

When given the opprtunity to visit with an individual before they do a FSBO, I strongly suggest that they price thier home as if it were listed with a Realtor and considering commission, because in my neck of the woods, 9 out of 10 FSBO's convert to using a Realtor after their house has not sold.   People in this market are acutely aware of prices and if a FSBO were priced differently previously a buyer would likely question the difference.

Posted by Pam Wemhaner about 9 years ago

Good advice Ken I wish more FSBO's heeded it.

Posted by Heather Adkinson, Real Estate Agent - Moses Lake (Windermere K-2 Realty LLC about 9 years ago

Ken - prior to becoming an agent I too, tried to sell my house FSBO. It's easy right? Just stick a sign in the front yard and put an ad on Craigslist....Needless to say, after 3 weeks with no activity - I listed with an agent. Like many others I didn't realize the value of marketing that an agent has, until I tried it myself.


Posted by Teresa K. Nelson (Windermere Real Estate/HLC) about 9 years ago

Hi Teresa, Heather, Pam, Kathleen and Joe.  Thanks for stopping in.

When I first started, I used to work FSBO's.  I don't any more.  It was always unpleasant for me.

Unless a home is really special, they are always overpriced.

Heck, they are always overpriced...

Thanks again,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) about 9 years ago

Hi Ken... it is interesting how most FSBO's are overpriced and yet, people who sell their homes by listing with a REALTOR generally get a higher sales price for their home and sell it more quickly.  It's a compelling case now matter how you look at it!

Posted by Steve Shatsky about 9 years ago

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