For the past few years, the real estate market has been red hot. The strong
seller’s market was fueled by low interest rates and the intense focus on
our home environment brought on by the lockdowns of the pandemic. As
more companies adjusted to allow a more flexible work-from-home option,
people were able to move to locations that better suited their lifestyles. As a
result, it seemed like buyers were everywhere and listings typically
received multiple offers almost immediately.
There have always been sellers who have been willing to forgo the help of
a professional real estate agent to avoid the commission costs of their
services. In the brisk seller’s market of recent years, FSBO (For Sale By
Owner) listings could easily gain attention through a simple online listing
and a yard sign. As the market shifts away from this frenzy, FSBO sellers
may need to reexamine their strategy.
While a buyer’s market does not mean one can’t sell their own home, it
does require more effort. Marketing becomes critical. Large online
platforms, like Zillow and Trulia, offer the ability for FSBO listings to be
placed without an agent. One can also advertise open houses, add video,
and adjust as needed. Some real estate agents will take a limited listing
that puts the listing on the local MLS as well, for a small fee.
Most importantly, selling without an agent is more work for the seller. As the
market slows, a FSBO must be prepared. It can take longer to sell and as
home prices fall, this lost time could equal significant dollars, negating the
potential savings of selling FSBO.