The concept of “buyer’s remorse” is fairly well known, but those who think they can save a few bucks by selling their home without the aid of a real estate agent could well find themselves experiencing an alternative feeling – seller’s regret.
That’s according to the National Association of Realtors, which published data from its 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey this week which shows that homes sold without the aid of a real estate pro often sell for considerably less money. According to the study, for sale by owner transactions earn an average of $60,000 to $90,000 less than those that involved a real estate agent.
The NAR says that agent-assisted home sales pull in an average of $250,000, which is the national median selling price. FSBO homes however, pull in just $190,000 on average, and it gets even worse when the seller knows the buyer personally, with the average price falling to just $160,300.
The NAR says the discrepancy should cause sellers to question the wisdom of going it alone, without a real estate agent. Sellers usually think they can save money on agent commissions, but the NAR says this is a small price to pay if it means getting a better price on their home.
“Talk to an agent and find out what they suggest for the commission, and then do the math yourself,” researchers wrote on the NAR’s Economists’ Outlook blog. “The closing price for the agent-assisted seller is likely going to be way above a FSBO. [But] in reality, homes sold by the owner make less money overall.”
The NAR seems to be getting its message across, as just 8 percent of sales last year were FSBO, a new all-time low, the researchers said.
We should of course note that the data comes from the NAR itself, which has a clear interest in protecting its members by convincing consumers to use the services of an agent.