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.
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.
4. My For Sale By Owner Experience
By homebuyer99 at reddit.com
Another reddit poster discusses his FSBO transaction in detail. This piece was published only a few weeks ago and has already received 54 comments.
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
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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.”