For-Sale-By-Owner Home Sales Drop to Lowest Level on Record

In our busy marketplace, there’s a temptation for homeowners who want to sell their house to sell it on their own, but one recent study says homeowners are selling through Realtors at record rates. In fact, according to the National Association of REALTORS® 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, only 8 percent of home sales last year were done without an agent. That’s a low that hasn’t been seen since the annual report started in 1981.

Sellers in North Texas seem to be following the national trend. While the market is certainly busy and sellers can often expect multiple offers on a property, homeowners are turning to MetroTex Realtors to help them decide which offer is best for their situation. The rate of properties sold by the owner, known as for-sale-by-owner sales or FSBOs – have dropped 5 percent in the last 10 years, down from 13 percent in 2005. The reasons vary for going FSBO; the most common reasons are that sellers didn’t want to pay a commission or fee or they were contacted directly by a buyer (18 percent).

It would seem that more seasoned homeowners tend to be more likely to consider selling on their own. The median age for FSBO sellers is 54 years. But selling without a Realtor does come with an often unseen cost: FSBO homes sold at a median price of $210,000 while agent-assisted sales sold at a median price of $245,000. For most sellers, they probably could have significantly netted more if they had sold through a Realtor even when you consider typical fees. However, as 21 percent of FSBO homes are sold to a friend, relative or neighbor, getting the most money for the sale may not have been the primary goal of the seller.

MetroTex Realtors report that their clients cite valuing the agent’s expertise as the number one reason for choosing to use a Realtor to sell their home. Sellers also mention wanting to save time, and not wanting to handle scheduling appointments, marketing, or negotiating the details themselves as the primary reasons they choose to use a Realtor. 

The MetroTex Association of REALTORS® is comprised of more than 16,000 licensed agents in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. For more information on buying, selling, and leasing property in Texas, speak with a MetroTex REALTOR or visit