Why do FSBOs often fail to sell? It’s really not a hard question to answer.

Why do FSBOs often fail to sell?

Why FSBOs often fail to sell?As a real estate professional, I’ve seen my share of FSBOs. Most of the time, they end up with a Realtor’s sign in the yard after months of languishing on the market with a “For Sale By Owner” sign. I just passed a former FSBO yesterday. As usual, it has a Realtor sign in the front yard.

Why do FSBOs often fail to sell?

Why do they fail at a higher rate than a professionally listed property?

  • Homeowners seldom really know the current market. That leads to an overpriced home that savvy buyers would never buy. I showed one last year that was 62% overpriced. I guess the seller assumes there is always a buyer with more money than brains out there. What you want, and what a home will sell for may be light years apart.
  • Showing a FSBO can be challenging. When an agent sets up a dozen showings in one day, scheduling becomes an art. Access is the key to making that day successful. If a FSBO can’t allow the house to be shown except on a limited schedule the odds are radically against it. That’s true of listed properties too. Access is critically important.

There’s more to selling homes than placing a sign in the yard.


  • Homeowners may not know how to negotiate an offer. There is usually some give and take in a real estate offer. If a FSBO is locked on a price and won’t budge, or won’t let a home inspection or repair request become a part of the deal, or is refusing a termite inspection, or is demanding of a closing date closer than a lender can accommodate, then a buyer can’t buy it. In a case like this, the house is basically an island with no way to visit it.
  • Homeowners may not disclose things, or they may disclose too much.
  • Homeowners may not understand legal contracts. I ended up re-writing a contract for a FSBO a few years ago because there were so many legal liabilities in it that could eventually come back to bite the seller. The seller had no idea, and the buyer, who wasn’t represented either, had no idea of the legal ramifications of a binding contract full of potholes. Contracts are a Realtor’s bread and butter. Most FSBOs never see one away from a Realtor initiated deal.
  • Listed homes sell for more than FSBOs, on average. On average, listed homes sell 10-13% more than FSBOs. A 2015 article by the National Association of Realtors showed that the average FSBO sold for $185000, and the average Realtor listing for a similar house, sold for $240000. That’s a 23% loss by going it alone. Is it worth it?

Why do FSBOs often fail to sell? – Make the best choice

This list could go on and on, but the reality is that a FSBO is almost always better off selling through a competent Realtor. As is the case in most real estate transactions, fees can be negotiated. If money is an issue, let the agent know that up front and he/she can work with you. Having a qualified agent on your side can reduce stress, and it will help you get across the finish line with a better deal.

Why do most FSBOs fail? For the same reason car mechanics don’t do brain surgery. It’s not their area of ability, and for the sake of the community, they’re better off leaving brain surgery to medical professional who do it everyday. The same is true of real estate. Those who do it everyday are your best resource for an excellent outcome.

When you’re ready to list your FSBO with a competent real estate firm, give Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., a call. We are your local real estate sales pros in this area.


Berkeley-Jefferson County, WV Real Estate Market Review – 2017

Berkeley-Jefferson County, WV Real Estate Market Review – 2017

The BerkeleyJefferson County, WV real estate market had a great 2017. Both markets saw increased numbers at all levels, and they outperformed their immediate southern neighbors of Winchester City, Frederick County, and Clarke County, VA by 31%.

Berkeley-Jefferson County, WV Real Estate Market Review: Positive Numbers

The Berkeley-Jefferson County, WV real estate market increased sales 7% over the same period in 2016. The markets have grown 19% over the past five years. Property values have also increased 4% year to year and 18% over the past five years.

More bang for the buck

The 2017 market saw an average sales price of $209,988 for a single family home with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. Just across the border in Virginia, that same house would have cost a buyer $277,755.

The Berkeley-Jefferson County, WV real estate markets are geographically positioned Berkeley-Jefferson County, WV Real Estate Market Review - 2017to give commuters into the D.C. – Northern Virginia area more home for the money and an equal or better commute to work. The Amtrak Caperton Station in Martinsburg, WV adds value to living in the area.

Home values have increased steadily for the past five years. The 2016 average sales price was $201,341, with 2015 being $192,578, and 2014 and 2013 at $190,586 and $173,226 respectively. That 2013-2017 change in sales price is 19%. The steady increase in home values shows a market that has not only healed from the 2008 recession, but it one that is thriving.

Berkeley-Jefferson County, WV Real Estate Market Review: A Critical Indicator

One of the more critical indicators of market health is the volume of distressed property sales. This an area where the numbers show the biggest improvement. The number of distressed property sales in 2013 was 29% of the market.

Berkeley-Jefferson County, WV Real Estate Market Review - 2017Distressed properties are made up of short sales and foreclosures. Foreclosures dominated the market as the recession of 2008 became the dominate factor in home sales. By 2010, short sales entered the market in volume and created a second wave of bad news for local residents. The change from 2013 to 2017 has been dramatic. Current distressed property sales are down 24% since 2013. The local market has settled into a pre-recession norm of about 5.5% across both markets.

Another positive indicator of market health is days on the market. The days on the market have not changed a single digit in 5 years. Days on the market were 76 in 2017 and they were also 76 in 2013. The middles years drifted back and forth between 93 DOM in 2015 to 89 in 2016, but those changes are small. As long as inventory doesn’t become a challenge for the local market, the Berkeley-Jefferson County, WV real estate markets are set for a banner year in 2018.

When you’re ready to sell or buy a home in the Berkeley-Jefferson County, WV real estate market, give Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., a call. We are your local real estate sales pros.