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FSBOs Mostly Soar in Hot Markets. Not This Time

When demand outstrips supply, more sellers try to save money by going it alone – but FSBOs dropped to 7% in today’s unstable market, a level not seen since 1981.

CHICAGO – The volatile housing market over the last couple of years has driven more consumers to use real estate professionals rather than attempting to complete a transaction independently. FSBOs (For Sale by Owner) made up only 7% of home sales in 2021 – the lowest share since 1981 – according to the latest Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors®.

It’s a stark contrast from 15 years earlier when 12% of sellers went the FSBO route during the 2006 housing boom, the data shows.

While sellers were also in the driver’s seat last year as bidding wars exploded and list prices soared, 90% of them still worked with an agent to get their home sold, according to NAR research. This may mean consumers are getting the message: Realtors are an ally in any housing market.

Top things sellers expect Realtors to do for them

  • Pricing a home competitively
  • Marketing to potential buyers
  • Negotiating a deal

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