The trend in homeowners successfully selling their own home has declined from 15% in 1981 to only 8% in 2019. In the 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, six out of ten sellers knew the buyers who were predominantly a friend, relative or a neighbor.
The fact that these sellers knew the buyer was mentioned as the main reason to sell as a for sale by owner. In these situations, the time on the market was usually less than a week and sellers reported that they received 101 percent of the asking price. 76% of the sellers who knew the buyers did not actively market the home.
The most important reason for selling the home for sale by owner was to keep from paying a commission or fee mentioned by 35% of all sellers. Interestingly, only 14% of sellers who knew the buyer was trying to save the commission while 63% of sellers who did not know the buyer were trying to save the commission.
For sale by owners tend to sell for a lower sales price than homes listed through real estate professionals. The median sales price was $275,000 for all sellers; $200,000 for all for sale by owners and $280,000 for all agent-assisted homes. Exhibit 8-6
The most difficult tasks mentioned by for sale by owners included getting the price right, preparing or fixing up the home for sale, and selling within the length of time planned.