Fizzling FSBO’s


There’s one area of real estate that, I have to admit, really fascinates me. That’s market of For Sale By Owners that exists out there. Now, we can argue all day long the relative merits, or lack thereof, of selling by yourself and we can probably do that all day long. It also is worth mentioning that there really are several different kinds of For Sale by Owners (FSBO’s) as well. There’s the kind where the seller knows somebody who wants the property and they mutually make the deal happen. Then there’s the folks who want to save money but realize the value to them of having their home marketed on the MLS. There’s plenty of businesses that will provide that kind of service, including Help-U-Sell, Redfin…etc. These sellers essentially do the actual work of the listing, they have an umbrella that covers them when it comes to basic marketing. In my mind, the service these sellers get isn’t anywhere near as full as the kind of service that I, for one, would provide. As I said, I’m sure we could argue all day long about which is a better way to sell your home…but having said that, there’s still one more FSBO category that almost all of us can (I think!) agree on. That being the individual, sole proprietor For Sale By Owner:

I’m talking about the seller who puts a little red and white sign in the front yard…and that’s about it! I’m talking about the FSBO’s that have no Internet presence at all, much less MLS presence. I’m talking about those FSBO’s that don’t even have a flyer box out front, much less a virtual tour and certainly they won’t cooperate with a realtor who might have a buyer for their home. I’m also talking about those FSBO sellers that seem to always have a price on their places that is completely preposterous and certainly out of touch with reality.

Take, for example, a few local entries. In Nantucket Cove there’s a townhouse listed right now at 19 Binnacle for $778,000. I think it’s significantly overpriced. Much nicer units have sold there recently for $750,000 or less…yet there’s a mystery FSBO over there asking $869,000. WOW! Would any of you be interested in buying that place at that price? Appraisals apply to FSBO’s too! Having said that there’s another FSBO of this ilk on Turnstone listed for $898,888. This one’s a little closer to reality…but not much. It’s still too high at that price, and let’s not forget these sellers are not paying a commission to anybody…and they still want more that market price. Blog reader Michelle asked about these FSBO’s and wondered why they were on the market so long. 1) no exposure at all on the Internet, 2)no real marketing of any kind, 3) It’s not in the MLS and most importantly 4) the price is absurd.

Again, I’ll now get off of my soapbox.


  1. I totally agree with your post. Most FSBO’s do seem to be very out of touch with reality. I know it is a niche that some Realtors work really well, but some are so far out of touch that it may not be worth the effort to try and work with them.

  2. Chris Brunner says:

    I have a FSBO around the corner from my house. Nice older gentleman who is a widow and wishes to move into a smaller place. He’s done a lot of work to the house but is asking entirely too much for it. It’s been sitting there… idle… for 8 weeks now

  3. Jean Hanley says:

    LOL I have a FSBO directly across the street from me. His house is listed about $150K over the comps in the area, but in looking at his title profile, he is upside down and has to sell high. Doesn’t mean he WILL. He really should be doing a short sale, but makes his payments on time. I do like to work them though, because they do eventually list.

  4. Perrin Cornell says:

    Do I get a FSBO or two sure… but mostly why deal with people that place little value on your services and more often than not think they know more than you (other than financial considerations)…

Speak Your Mind