Here's an excerpt:
"Despite the recent slump in the housing market, many Americans are still paying a walloping 6% commission to real estate brokers.
"Many homeowners are now opting to market their property directly to the consumer using online services such as Yahoo Real Estate and Craig's List. There's good reason for going to the Web: One recent survey, conducted by the National Association of Realtors, found that 80% used the Internet when searching for a new home." (Emphasis supplied).
I think it's great that people are turning to the Internet to manage their own listings. I suspect that, at minimum, most homeowners would do a more conscientious job when writing the description of their property (honestly, it fires me up every time I read a hot mess description, see e.g. the post below). However, as I've said before, I think a listing agent has value.
Sure, there are listing agents who don't truly earn their commissions; they put up lousy photos, they write lousy descriptions, and they are useless at showings (e.g. "Gee, I don't know when they put the roof on, I'm not sure how old the central air is...."). But those are the bad ones. A good listing agent puts up virtually pornographic photos of your home, gets the word out far and wide, and prices the home appropriately. It's been my experience that FSBOs (that's "for sale by owner" pronounced FIZZ-boe) get very excited about saving that 6%, but they don't pass any of the savings on to the buyer. If you aren't offering me a discount, why should I take the chance on you? You could disappear into thin air tomorrow but a brokerage will still be there tomorrow for me to sue (god forbid!).
But what do you guys think? Would you buy a FSBO? Why or why not?