In the domain of real estate, the term "For Sale by Owner" (FSBO) denotes the process by which homeowners elect to market and sell their properties independently, eschewing the involvement of real estate agents. REhearit™ endeavors to offer an analytical examination of this self-directed method of property sale, addressing the ensuing aspects:

For Sale by Owner Key Statistics:

  • FSBO transactions constitute approximately 10% of all residential sales in the United States.
  • A higher propensity for FSBO sales is observed in rural locales, with 13% of rural homeowners opting for this route, as opposed to 6% in suburban areas.
  • In the year 2021, the median transaction value of FSBO properties stood at $225,000, contrasted with $330,000 for properties sold with agent involvement.
  • Properties sold via FSBO typically realize a price that is 5.5% lower than their agent-assisted counterparts.
  • Notably, 50% of FSBO sellers had a pre-existing acquaintance with the purchaser.
  • The average commission rate for listing agents is documented at 5.37%, which is typically apportioned between the listing and buyer's agents.

Prevalence of FSBO Transactions:

  • In 2021, the FSBO share of U.S. home sales was approximately 10%, an increase from 7% in the preceding year. Despite this recent uptick, a long-term downward trend in FSBO popularity is noted, from 15% in 1981 as per records initiated by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Demographics of FSBO Sellers:

  • The inclination towards FSBO sales varies by geographical location, with a notable prevalence among rural homeowners. Characteristics of FSBO sellers include a significant representation of older Americans (ages 76-96) and married couples. The majority of FSBO sales involve single-family homes, and the median income of FSBO sellers in 2020 was reported as $96,700, slightly lower than that of their counterparts utilizing agent services.

Motivations Behind FSBO Sales:

  • A predominant motivation cited by individuals opting for FSBO is the anticipated financial savings, with 61% of sellers identifying this as a key factor.

Comparison of Realtor-Assisted and FSBO Sale Prices:

  • The disparity in sale prices between FSBO and realtor-assisted transactions, particularly the lower average sale price of FSBO properties, necessitates consideration of geographical factors and property characteristics. Despite the potential for commission savings, the net financial benefit of FSBO sales may be mitigated by the lower sale prices achieved.

Realtor Commission Rates:

  • The standard realtor commission in the U.S. is approximately 5.37%, with this fee customarily being shared between the buyer's and seller's agents, and borne by the seller. The impact of this commission structure on the economics of FSBO sales is significant, particularly when considering the customary practice among FSBO sellers to compensate the buyer's agent.

Advantages and Disadvantages of FSBO:

  • The decision to sell a property via FSBO offers certain advantages, such as savings on listing agent commissions and greater control over the sale process. Direct communication with potential buyers may facilitate a more expedient transaction, particularly when the seller and buyer are already acquainted. However, the challenges associated with FSBO sales are considerable, including the potential for lower sale prices, the complexities of navigating legal and financial processes, limited market exposure, pricing challenges, and the emotional demands of direct negotiations.


  • The decision to pursue an FSBO sale warrants careful deliberation, taking into account the potential financial advantages as well as the challenges and potential impacts on the sale outcome. In instances where the seller has a pre-established relationship with the buyer, FSBO sales may transact more rapidly. Nonetheless, the potential for extended market exposure exists. To alleviate some of the difficulties inherent in FSBO sales, sellers may consider seeking professional advice or utilizing flat-fee MLS services, thereby maintaining a degree of control over the sales process while mitigating some of the associated challenges.