For Sale By Owner: Not a Good Move Right Now?


Do you really need a real estate agent to sell your house? Fans of the For Sale by Owner (FSBO) approach say no. But here is a cautionary tale about the potential pitfalls of going the For Sale by Owner route.

Matthew Peters and his wife, Fiona, had two FSBO home sales under their belt, so they naturally opted for the do-it-yourself strategy the third time around as well.

The average seller looking to unload a home automatically assumes the first stop is securing a trustworthy real estate agent to market and sell the property. But for an adventurous few, the idea of saving that 5 to 6 percent broker commission is just too tempting.

The Peterses were in that small percentage. The couple had been renting out their two-bedroom ranch in Madison, Wisc., for about three years when they finally found a buyer last year willing to pay the $191,000 asking price.

Then the trouble began.