FSBOs Usually Soar in a Hot Market. Not This Time.

by Melissa Dittmann Tracey

The volatile housing market over the last couple of years has driven more consumers toward using real estate professionals rather than attempting to complete a transaction independently. FSBOs made up only 7% of home sales in 2021 – the lowest share since 1981 – according to the latest Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of REALTORS®. That’s a stark contrast from 15 years earlier, when 12% of sellers went the FSBO route during the 2006 housing boom, the data shows.

While sellers also were in the driver’s seat last year as bidding wars exploded. List prices soared, but most of them – 90% – still found value in working with an agent in 2021 to get their home sold, according to NAR research.

FSBOs Typically Sell for Less

In today’s market, where, on average, homes in the Greater Lehigh Valley are spending 16 days on the market and sellers are receiving 103.0% of their asking price, sellers might be getting an extra dose of confidence and believe a Realtor® isn’t needed when their home is such a hot commodity.

But, of note, FSBO listings sold at a median of $260,000 in 2021, significantly lower than the median of agent-assisted homes at $318,000, according to NAR’s 2021 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

The Realtor® List of Things

I’m not here to tell sellers (or buyers) how to go about their real estate needs. But, in closing, I want those considering the option of a direct or cash sale to keep a few things in mind:

  • Realtors® know the best ways to advertise to attract buyers, plus they can use the marketing muscle of their brokerage and MLS to promote your home.
  • With years of bargaining experience and expert understanding of the market, Realtors® can help you close the deal at the price and terms you want.
  • Realtors® have the time and expertise to handle open houses, showings, inspections, and the dozens of other tasks that would take you away from your work and regular routine.
  • Buying or selling a home involves reams of paperwork that can be hard to understand. Realtors® thrive in this world.
  • Realtors® can evaluate your home and suggest improvements to get your maximum value. They’re skilled at handling showings to generate a positive response.
  • Through the Multiple Listing Service, the most accurate data source for local listings with a database of prospects and professional contacts, Realtors® can help you reach the widest range of customers.
  • Realtors® are experts in the community and can work with you to find your ideal home in a location of your choice that fits all of your family’s needs.
  • An experienced Realtor® will continue to support you as questions pop up after the deal is done.
  • Realtors® can refer you to their network of top-quality lenders, lawyers, inspectors, and repair people to make sure you get the best result in every stage of your deal.

The data and the list speak for themselves. Find your local Realtor® at www.greaterlehighvalleyrealtors.com.

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