Feb 10, 2009

FSBO Struggles

From CNNMoney.com - "Farewell to 'for sale by owner'?":

Not long ago, for sale by owner (FSBO) Web sites were heralded as a fresh entrepreneurial wave that was going to upend the staid real estate industry. In 2006 real estate sales "unassisted" by a broker accounted for 20% of sales made, says Steve Murray, editor and owner of Real Trends, a market research firm in Castle Rock, Colo.

And Now?

Then the bubble burst. During the past four years, David Zwiefelhofer, who designs FSBO Web sites and sells them to real estate entrepreneurs, has sold about 50 regional FSBO sites through his company, FSBOWebsite.com. Only 30 to 35 are still operating.

No surprise, a return to fundamentals.

So were FSBO sites just flashes in the pan? Murray says that with properties harder to sell these days, sellers are returning to brokers for professional marketing help, causing the unassisted slice of the market to slip to around 15%. But he expects the FSBO market to bounce back - eventually.

When times are good, everyone is an expert and knows best when, actually, success oftentimes depends merely on being adequate enough. When times are tough, we seek out the best of the best to help navigate the perils of the time. Yes, real estate does cycle!

As real estate professionals, we need to cycle accordingly with the times. You want to be the expert that people refer to when they seek out professional advice. Changing our businesses and remaining current with the market is never an easy task but continues to get easier with the onset of technology (cell, Internet, etc.). Shame on you if you're not taking advantage of the countless opportunities to learn from and network (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, all social media venues) with the best in your industry. You can easily pick up the phone and call anyone in the world. You can hop on the Internet and learn the ins and outs of real estate and any other thinkable topic known to man. There are no excuses. Endless knowledge can be found at the tap of our fingertips.

You won't become an expert overnight but it will happen, over time, if you're willing to chip away at learning more techniques to become more proficient regardless of market conditions. In doing so, you will have a much better chance at finding opportunities at a time when despair seems to be the rule of the day for most. Your future is up to you and is in your control to ultimately determine. If you don't like your circumstances use all of the tools and resources available to us to start making a change.


  1. Social Media?
    The opportunity is out there to become better. The cost is usually FREE.

    So many that have learned before you will share openly so that you don't have to make the same mistakes.

  2. Hi Mike,

    Great thoughts! It's amazing to me the amount of people who are always trying to recreate the wheel. Most of what we do has been done before us. Put your pride to the side, learn from those willing to teach, take the best of what they have to offer, and improve upon it.

    When the time is right, share the gift that was shared with you to help someone else begin their journey with the hopes that their road has been made smoother by your mistakes.

    Again great thoughts. Thank you, Mike!

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  4. Sellers can benefit so much by using a professional. I've seen some really sad cases where individuals by-passed the professionals and ended up loosing thousands in legal fees in the end.

    Thanks so much for sharing your information.

  5. Thanks for the info but I think Joel is right -- this just isn't a great climate to try to go it alone. Despite all the info on-line, a good real estate agent is going to devote more time and energy that I can to marketing, showing, etc. I got a ton of good advice on FSBO stuff and buying/selling in my area (NJ) at this site: http://kristinbalsley.com/blog/

    Thanks for the thoughts!