The Center For Debt Management
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Selling Your House:
For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

For Sale By Owner (abbreviated as FSBO) is a real estate term which describes the situation in which a property is offered for sale directly by its owner and without that owner having solicited the help of a real estate broker, implying that no real estate commission is associated with the sale. In recent years, the term has been used more broadly to describe the process of marketing, buying, and selling of real property without the representation of a real estate broker.

Many sellers who choose to sell via FSBO do so to avoid paying a commission to a broker, typically 6% of the selling price of the property in many parts of the US. Commissions can range between 5% and 7% in different markets across the U.S. as well as in Canada.

According to a press release by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) regarding their most current annual survey of real estate consumers, 2005 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers:

  • 12% of 2006 US real estate transactions were FSBO.

  • 13% of 2005 US real estate transactions took place via FSBO
    (down from 14% in 2004).

  • The record percentage of 20% of US real estate transactions
    (since tracking started in 1981) took place in 1987.

Some FSBOs, who are willing to pay a reduced fee, may contract with a broker to list their property on the Realtors' local Multiple Listing Service for a flat fee. This may be one of the fastest growing segments of the real estate industry.

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, which claims that 75% to 80% of homes in Canada were sold through brokers, it would appear that "Sale by Owner" accounts for some 20% or 25% of the remainder.


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