New Study Suggests FSBO Sale Prices on Par with MLS Listings

In: Real Estate News

14 Jun 2007

University researchers in Madison, Wisconsin, have released the results of an interesting new study that shows homeowners who sell on their command much the same prices as those who sell through an agent.

The findings fly in the face of what real estate agents have often touted as their greatest warning: that DIY home sellers are risking not getting the best price for their home. The study shows For Sale by Owner sellers got ‘at least as much’ as those who used the services of an agent and MLS listings.

In fact, FSBO sellers ended up with a much fatter bottom line, thanks to the savings of agent fees, typically six per cent of the sale price, or $12,000 for a $200,000 home.

“Our results are good news for buyers,” says the study’s co-author François Ortalo-Magné. “The price buyers pay appears to be driven entirely by the characteristics of the property and of the seller. Whether the property is sold through or a realtor appears to make little difference in terms of purchase price.”

While the study’s scope was limited to the Madison community, it underscores the striking results recently noted in PropertySold client sales (see our June 13th entry)– that they are well above national MLS sales prices, as listed by the Canadian Realtors Association.

This means FSBO homeowners on PropertySold are not only pocketing thousands of dollars in agents fees, they are also getting up to 13% more for their homes, increasing their total profits by nearly 20 per cent — which can add up to a staggering figure at today’s market prices.

So how is it that inexperienced homeowners can match seasoned professional agents when it comes to the bottom line? One reason suggested by the study’s authors, is that FSBO sellers tend to take their time in selling their homes, and without an agent pressuring to sell, they are better prepared to wait for the best price.

For more information, check out the press release on the study, or the full study report; you can also listen to one of the study’s co-authors discuss their findings.

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