FSBO and discount-broker sales at record lows
BY TEKE WIGGIN
You might think that the internet and today’s seller’s market is coaxing an unusually large share of homeowners into selling without an agent.
And for those home sellers who list with agents, you might guess that they’re favoring the limited-service variety — commonly referred to as “discount agents” — more than ever.
But you’d be dead wrong on both counts, according to figures released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The share of recent home sellers who sold with an agent remained at a record high of 89 percent in the last year, and a record-high share of those professionals provided a broad range of services, rather than a more limited set, NAR reported in the 2016 edition of its annual “Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.”
As agent popularity soared, for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) sales scraped along at an all-time low of 8 percent of all sales.
That’s the same level NAR reported in 2015, down from 12 percent in 2006 and 15 percent in 1981, the year NAR began tracking FSBO marketshare.
Anemic housing inventory and the spread of technology also haven’t given a boost to agents who put more of the work in a seller’s hands, typically in exchange for a below-market fee.