What is an FSBO Seller?

FSBO or For Sale By Owner — four words that can mean big savings for the seller, but not necessarily for the buyer. Homes being sold by their owners, also called FSBO homes, are listed without the assistance of a real estate agent so the seller can avoid paying a commission.

But what does a FSBO sale mean to you, the buyer? You’ll still want to do all the same things you would if the house were being sold through a real estate agent.

FSBO sellers often set the price by looking at listing prices in the area, not at comparable actual sales prices. Good comps will help you if you make an offer. It’s also helpful to ask the owner/seller:

• How long has the home been for sale?
• Was it listed with an agent or agents before the seller took over and, if so, for how long?
• Why does the seller believe the house has not sold (especially if it’s been FSBO for a year or longer)?

Most difficult tasks for FSBO Sellers

  • Understanding and performing paperwork: 18%
  • Getting the right price: 13%
  • Preparing/fixing up home for sale: 12%
  • Helping the buyer obtain financing: 3%
  • Attracting potential buyers: 3%
  • Selling within the planned length of time: 7%
  • Having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale: 6%

Source: 2013 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers