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5 Amazing FSBO Stories as Told by Real Life Home Sellers

Hundreds of websites discuss how to sell your home without a commission-based broker, a process known as For Sale by Owner or FSBO (pronounced “fizbo”). FSBO can deliver enormous savings. On a $400,000 property, a homeowner can avoid paying at least $12,000 in seller agent commissions and twice that amount if the buyer also forgoes a broker.

Although it’s easy to find FSBO articles written by real estate experts, few are authored by home sellers. But these are the stories I most want to hear. Since I’m a first-time home seller who is about to take the FSBO plunge, I want to learn from those who started out where I am now.

After hours of research, I’m happy to report that I’ve collected several thorough articles written from the homeowner’s perspective. I hope the archive below will inspire more people to pursue FSBO. Perhaps it will even prompt more FSBO sellers to write about their experiences.

So here are my five favorite FSBO stories. Because home sales are complicated transactions, most of these narratives are lengthy and loaded with particulars. But they’re also fascinating to read—especially if you’re thinking about whether FSBO might be right for you.

1.  FSBO Real Estate Ridealong
By PurveyorOfGeekery at reddit.com
Published 07/22/2014 – 08/01/2014

This ridealong was written by a Brit who lived for years in the USA but recently moved back home. The author is an expert marketer who bought a website domain to promote her home sale (this is a great idea that I’m swiping). Her frank and informative story has received dozens of comments from the reddit community.

Part 1: Deciding to list, Listing
Part 2: The Offer
Part 3: Surviving Week 1
Part 4: SPOILER ALERT: Under Contract
Part 5: Home Inspection

2.  Adventures in Real Estate
By Heather at PutThatOnYourBlog.com
Published 05/22/2013 – 07/09/2013

The author is a law school graduate, so she enjoyed an advantage in understanding the contract forms. I like this story not only because of its incredible detail, but also because it lists some selling tips I’ve never heard before (e.g., to create a hot market for your property, schedule showings that overlap and display buyer broker business cards in plain view).

Adventures in Real Estate Part I: Considering Using an Alternative Realtor
Adventures in Real Estate Part II: Listing the House FSBO
Adventures in Real Estate Part III: Making the Sale FSBO
Adventures in Real Estate Part IV: From Contract to Closing FSBO

3.  How We Sold Our House by Owner/Holy Cow Did We Just Sell Our House
By John and Sherry at YoungHouseLove.com
Published 11/10/2010 & 05/13/2013

This young couple has sold two homes via FSBO. Each time, they posted articles loaded with solid advice.

How We Sold Our House by Owner
Holy Cow Did We Just Sell Our House

4.  My For Sale By Owner Experience
By homebuyer99 at reddit.com
Published 12/15/2014

Another reddit poster discusses his FSBO transaction in detail. This piece was published only a few weeks ago and has already received 54 comments.

My For Sale By Owner Experience [Long]

5.  The FSBO Diaries
By Kathy at BrickUnderground.com
Published 03/22/2010 – 09/08/2010

A nineteen-part series about a couple’s odyssey to sell a studio apartment on Manhattan’s upper West side. Spoiler alert: after four months of twists and turns, including the receipt of multiple offers, the owners abandoned FSBO and signed an exclusive listing agreement with a broker.

The FSBO Diaries (Week 1): Our decision to sell bareback
The FSBO Diaries (Week 2): Our first open house
The FSBO Diaries (Week 3): Second open house, first offer
The FSBO Diaries (Week 4): Brokers want in
The FSBO Diaries (Week 5): Get off my couch
The FSBO Diaries (Week 6): The Second Offer
The FSBO Diaries (Week 7): An accepted offer, and some negotiating tips
The FSBO Diaries (Week 8): Back on the market, with another offer
The FSBO Diaries (Week 9): FSBO is like the NYC Marathon, minus the cheering crowds
The FSBO Diaries (Week 10): We test-drive a broker
The FSBO Diaries (Week 11): Selling to out-of-towners
The FSBO Diaries (Week 12): Limbo
The FSBO Diaries (Week 13): Email misfire triggers FSBO nightmare
The FSBO Diaries (Week 14): The holiday question
The FSBO Diaries (Wk. 15-16): Bring it on, brokers
The FSBO Diaries (Week 17-18): Competition
The FSBO Diaries (Week 19-20): The beginning of the end?
The FSBO Diaries (Wks 21-22): Exclusive broker OR price reduction…?
The FSBO Diaries No More

*   *   *

In my next post, I’ll begin telling my own FSBO odyssey. You’ll hear it more or less as it happens because I won’t be listing my home until later this week (at the earliest). Will I be able to sell and, if so, for how much? Stay tuned for all the gory details!

P.S.  Do you know any great seller-authored FSBO articles that I’ve failed to list here? If so, please leave a comment below that links to the story.

Update: Since this article was posted, I’ve submitted the blow-by-blow report of my own home sale journey, which you can read by clicking on this link: “How I Sold My House in 5 Days and Saved $12,000 in Broker Commissions.”

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8 Responses to 5 Amazing FSBO Stories as Told by Real Life Home Sellers

  1. Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom January 19, 2015 at 11:23 AM #

    Good luck selling your home yourself. I’ve sold two FSBO (through a popular website in our city). The first had multiple offers and with the second we met our buyers on the first day of showings. It can be a bit more awkward selling yourself, but for us it’s really been worth it!
    Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom recently posted…Why Do You Want a Budget?My Profile

    • A Noonan Moose January 19, 2015 at 11:58 AM #

      Thanks for sharing your positive experiences, Emily—if you ever decide to write about them in detail, I’ll add your story to this archive! 🙂

  2. Crystal January 19, 2015 at 4:24 PM #

    We’re thinking about buying another rental property and maybe even selling our home and buying a cheaper one. All of that has made us think about getting real estate sales licenses…that could help save us money coming and going and even increase our regular income…
    Crystal recently posted…Another Leak, Feels Fixed!My Profile

    • A Noonan Moose January 19, 2015 at 6:42 PM #

      Crystal: that’s a great idea if you make repeated sells/buys of real estate. Thanks very much for commenting!

  3. Free to Pursue January 21, 2015 at 8:49 AM #

    Fabulous news Noonan!

    Here’s another great opportunity to save, given you have the time and energy to do it. When I hear how much people pay in commissions, it makes me cringe, especially with how little work agents often put into the sale (talk about an exorbitantly high hourly rate). I think the real estate market is moving more towards a fee for service though, similar to what we are increasingly finding for financial services and services in general.

    My parents flipped homes the whole time I was growing up and sold most of their homes on their own, so FSBO is the only way to go from my perspective. There are also listing companies that just offer you a sign for your front lawn and contract package to help the do-it-yourselfers, so it’s becoming increasingly easy to do. And the ROI on so little work on your part cannot be ignored!

    Good luck to you and I can’t wait to hear how it goes.
    Free to Pursue recently posted…A Scary New Kind of CurrencyMy Profile

    • A Noonan Moose January 21, 2015 at 9:37 AM #

      Thanks so much F2P! We went live on the Multiple Listing Service this morning—but no calls yet. 🙁

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  1. Put That On Your Blog - January 22, 2015

    […]  FrugalFringe put my adventures in real estate series on the list of great FSBO stories in such hallowed company […]

  2. Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web | Money Talks News - February 27, 2015

    […] 2. 5 Amazing FSBO Stories as Told by Real Life Home Sellers […]

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