Southwest Michigan Realtor

By Michael Delaware, REALTOR®

FOR-SALE-BY-OWNER Home Sales Decline Across the Nation


Homes sold without the help of a real estate professional dropped to a record low over the past year.  According to the 2010 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, unrepresented sellers made up only 11 percent of the market, down from 13 percent in 2009.

Working with an experienced Realtor that knows the market gives you an advantage in selling your home.

Owners who sell their home without the help of an agent usually sell to someone they already know.  Factoring out those private sales, the actual number of homes sold on the open market without professional assistance was a record low 5 percent, compared to 10 percent in 2004. 

‘For Sale by Owner’ with declining real estate market value leaves homeowners who seek to pinch a few dollars, and do it themselves left out in the cold with their home grossly over-priced.  A homebuyer working an experienced Realtor will be able to not only save money by not buying a ‘For Sale by Owner’ listed home, they will be buying at the current market values, not what the seller of the home believes it to be worth. 

Having evaluated a lot of homes for banks in the foreclosure tidal wave that has hit our economy in recent years, I can honestly say that a greater percentage of homes that are in foreclosure today were originally bought through a ‘For Sale By Owner’ transaction. 

The seller of the home convinced the buyer the home was a fair market value, and that he or she was saving a lot of money without working or paying a professional Realtor, and unknowingly paid too much for the home to begin with.  Or worse, not consulting a professional, went with a loan offered by the only source they knew, and got trapped in a deadly adjustable rate mortgage because it represented cheaper closing costs. 

These high-priced ‘For Sale By Owner’ transactions worked well for the seller, but left the

Pricing your home correctly in a declining market is essential in order to sell the home swiftly.

 buyer with a future problem, and many lost their homes.  Thus today, with the crashing market values, ‘For Sale By Owner’ sales have understandably gone into a steep decline. 

If you want to sell your home, especially in a declining market, you need to work with a professional Realtor that understands the market, and can research market values with hard facts, not opinions. 

The same would go for a buyer.  You need to be represented by a professional Realtor in this market now more than ever to avoid being taken for a ride.  For help with selling or buying a home in the Battle Creek or Southwest Michigan area, give me a call at: 269-441-8182 or visit my website at:

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