Armed with the information super highway (World Wide Web) at our disposal, selling a home without the assistance of a licensed real estate expert has never been easier. Right? The 14,651 home owners that presently have their homes listed For Sale By Owner (FSBO) and advertised on Zillow share this belief (Zillow.com, 2017). In the South Florida market, real estate commissions vary but at an average rate of 4-6% this can take a chunk of change from the seller's bottom line. So why will an estimated 80% of these FSBO sellers ultimately end up listing their home with an agent?
Selling Your Home Without an Agent Just Became More Difficult
Selling your home without the assistance of a licensed real estate expert, just became more challenging. On February 15, 2017, Zillow Group the self-proclaimed "Largest Real Estate Network on the Web" announced that both Zillow and Trulia will cease to accept manually entered listings effective May 01, 2017 (Zillow Email Communication, 2017). In an effort to provide buyers and sellers with the highest-quality listings data, listings posted on these sites will be provided strictly courtesy of information from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) feeds.
Zillow's website proudly boasts that sellers which, post their home for sale on Zillow and Trulia reach the largest audience of home shoppers on the web (Zillow, 2017). For sellers electing to go the FSBO route, effective May 1st, their properties must be listed in the MLS in order to be seen by "the largest audience of home shoppers on the web," leaving these sellers S.O.L. This policy change further added to the opposition that FSBO sellers encounter in an effort to bypass paying a real estate commision for the sale of their property. The primary problem with this strategy is that the vast majority are unsuccessful and ill-equipped to facilitate a transaction involving one of the largest financial investments that a homeowner will encounter, thereby wasting valuable time and resources.
FSBO Sellers Operate at a Deficit
The change in Zillow's policy represents a blow to the FSBO industry. In today's market, every property that is priced properly will sell, with exposure being key. However, selling a home poses an even greater challenge when buyers don't even know that the listing exists. Even in the midst of a seller's market, an estimated 80% of FSBO sellers ultimately list their home with a real estate agent. Why? You ask. Selling a property is an art, not a science. I am a licensed real estate expert with 16+ years of experience in my field, a business degree in finance, over a decade of maketing experience under my belt, and a comprehensive marketing plan in place. Suzy Seller, the FSBO seller, is a small business owner that works 14 hour days, has limited expertise in the field of real estate, has never facilitated a real estate transaction without representation, and limited time to devote to showing and marketing her home. Who do you think is more likely to sell the property for a greater return on investment (ROI)?
Never miss an update! Subscribe to my weekly blog posts to ensure that you stay in the South Florida real estate loop. From community information to changing market conditions and answers to commonly asked questions, stay informed. Knowledge is power.