Saturday, November 24, 2007

FSBOs Fall Flat

by Broderick Perkins
© 2007 DeadlineNews.Com

Deadline Newsroom - For-sale-by-owner or 'FSBO' transactions in the softening real estate market experienced zero growth last year, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The NAR's 2007 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, released at the recent 2007 Realtors Conference & Expo in Las Vegas revealed only 12 percent of transactions in 2007 were FSBOed, unchanged from 2006.

That's not surprising.

In the time it takes a first-time FSBO to sell a home, he or she has to learn what many real estate agents get to know only after assisting dozens of buyers and sellers for many years.

That includes experience gained from too many deals that don't gel, lessons learned in long hours at seminars, workshops, continuing education courses, conventions and wisdom gleaned from picking up after errant FSBOs who couldn't hack it.

Not to mention housing markets that go boom -- the wrong way.

Today's tight money market of falling prices, foreclosures and deals that don't gel is a potential minefield of blown opportunities for the uninformed.

The survey also reveals the percentage of homes sold without professional representation has continued to decline since 1997, when a record 18 percent of transactions were FSBO deals.

While the survey shows it's possible for a few staunch sellers to complete a FSBO deal, bringing in a real estate professional is a better deal in any market, and even more crucial when things go south.

"Realtors add value to the real estate transaction no matter what market conditions may be," said Pat V. Combs, NAR president.

"Realtors are experts in attracting qualified buyers, negotiating on their client's behalf, and ensuring a smooth transaction," said Combs also vice president of Coldwell Banker-AJS-Schmidt in Grand Rapids, MI.

Nearly half, 40 percent, or four out of 10 FSBO properties were private deals that never made it to the multiple listing service, but "closely held" between parties who knew each other in advance, such as family members or acquaintances.

The NAR survey indicates most FSBOs end up working with a real estate agent.

"It is incumbent on Realtors to demonstrate to unrepresented sellers the value that Realtors add to the transaction," said Joseph Marovich, owner of Marovich Business Institute, a real estate education company.

NAR says the sites that cater to FSBOs have listings that pale in comparison to the home showcased on NAR's which offers more market exposure to would-be FSBOs.

Visit DeadlineNews.Com's FSBO Center
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Are FSBOs An Agent's Best Friend?
FSBOs Remain Viable Market Force
Unprepared Buyers Alarm FSBO Journalist

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© 2007 DeadlineNews.Com

Broderick Perkins, an award-winning consumer journalist of 30 years, is publisher and executive editor of San Jose, CA-based DeadlineNews.Com, a real estate news and consulting service, and the new Deadline Newsroom, DeadlineNews.Com's new backshop. In both cases, it's where all the news really hits home.

DeadlineNews.Com's Editorial Content Is Intellectual Property • Unauthorized Use Is A Federal Crimeby Broderick Perkins
© 2007 DeadlineNews.Com

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