By-owner Sellers Lose 19%

It’s actually a bit surprising to see the dramatic reduction in FSBO prices according to 2013 NAR data*.   By-owner homes sell on average for 25% less than listed homes.  Factoring in 6% real estate commissions (divided four ways between listing broker and firm/buyer’s broker and firm) means the bottom line for the by-owner seller is a loss of 19% final sales price.  In the $500,000 price range that could mean the difference between a sales price of $500,000 and $595,000.

By owner sales have steadily declined over the past decade, from 14% in 2003 to 9% in 2013.  Of that 9%:

  • Over 40% involved people sellers already knew (family or friends).
  • 12% of FSBO sellers had been contacted directly by a buyer and were not actively soliciting a sale.
  • Only 6% of recent sellers sold their homes on the open market without the help of a real estate broker.


The median sales price of an open-market FSBO home was $184,000.

The median sales price for all broker-assisted homes was $230,000.

Bottom Line – Assuming 6% total commissions, by-owner sellers walk away with a 19% lower sales price.

We’d be happy to address the reasons for these differences.

*Data from 2013 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.