On the face of it, with seemingly 1,000 buyers for every seller in this market, it would seem a resounding NO! Ive spoken to For Sale By Owners who laugh and say they started getting calls the second their sign went up. Great!
Interesting thing is that as Ive been tracking the progress on over 20 FSBOs, almost all ended up signing with a real estate company. I first contacted the FSBOs but really wasn't trying to sell myself. This was fact finding. One might say I lost 20 opportunities but the lesson was of great value. This 'no salesman' approach gave me the opportunity to stay in touch with people throughout their process. I previously did a similar survey in California in the 80s that had the same result.
What was/is the lesson? ALMOST NONE could actually hold a sale together! I heard many complaints about scheming investors posing as regular buyers, UNQUALIFIED buyers holding sellers in escrow for weeks or even months while trying to find financing, purchase contracts written that were unenforceable or so poorly thought out that the sellers couldn't detach themselves or ended up having to retain attorneys, etc. There were problems regarding disclosures and who would pay for work needed, etc. Bottom line is that if sellers and buyers didn't need real estate brokers, the market would have cleaned us all out years ago. Simple.
So what brokers did the FSBOS choose and why? In my market I expected one of a number of large shops to have a high percentage of the listings. Just like my last survey in the 80s, no particular brokerage came out ahead! It was all over the board with many small mom/pop type brokers in the mix. And, just as in the last survey, the reason each seller went with the broker was. "The agent was in my face when I finally broke down". Real Estate Brokers are necessary for many more important reasons than just placing a sign in the yard, my dear sellers.