Unrepresented Sellers: A perspective on selling without an agent 

The term FSBO is misleading as all properties are ultimately sold by owner – the owner sets the price, approves all preparation and marketing and the owner reviews and accepts or rejects offers. The difference lies in whether the seller is represented by a licensed realtor. Given the high failure rate of unrepresented transactions, there are several issues to consider when choosing whether to go it alone. For example, over 30% of owners that try to sell their own home end up working with a realtor.

    • Unrepresented sellers statistically sell homes for 16% less than true market value, as a group losing more than 10% even if no commissions are paid.

    • Unrepresented sellers cannot access 50% of available market channels. This constrains the pool of qualified buyers.

    • FSBO properties take more than four times the average time to sell. The longer a property is on the market, the farther below its true market value the final sale price will fall.

    • Represented sellers have access to empirical real time data and know how to apply it. Unrepresented sellers have to rely on generic Web statistics from popular real estate portals Such data is designed to drive Web traffic and sell advertising and has no claim to accuracy.

  • Unrepresented sellers are exposed to high legal liability. Ignorance of real estate laws is no defense to a seller and real estate laws are srict. Our sellers benefit from the oversight of our company attorney, a thirty plus year veteran of real estate law.

  • Represented sellers gain access to qualified buyers. Around 80% of people viewing a home cannot afford to buy or have a contingency. Unrepresented sellers have no structure to qualify potential buyers, causing a large number of false starts.

  • Over 50% of unrepresented seller transactions fail to close through contingency, breach of contract, failure to appraise etc.

  • Unrepresented sellers disclose their circumstances and allow unidentified strangers to access their property without adequate personal safety protections.

Unrepresented sellers typically have two motivations for not hiring a real estate broker. In 50-70% of cases, unrepresented sellers simply do not want to pay a commission. Mistrust or previous negative experience with a real estate agent ranks as the second highest reason.

There is very good cause for this mistrust. Over 90% of agents are minimally licensed sales people at a franchise and less than 13% have graduate degrees. The most critical task for a home seller is to choose the right realtor.

To sum up, unrepresented sellers as a group lose far more money than the commission they would pay a realtor. Their houses sit longer on the market. Their transactions have a high failure rate. They take on unnecessary legal liability and put their personal safety at risk. Even the most profit driven investors and developers use carefully chosen realtors. A homeowner that will sell one or two homes in a lifetime will do well to choose the best person for their team and optimize their sale. Finding a great realtor is far less work than trying to manage a complex sale without the right team.

When the time comes to sell your property, we ask that you consider us as one great option. Call John today at 206-356-3650, we will empower you to get the results you want.