Selling a home has rarely been easier: Pop a sign in the yard and wait for the offers.
So why aren’t more homeowners doing it?
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According to the National Association of Realtors, 8% of homes last year were sold by owners, up slightly from 7% the year before but well below the peak of 15% in 1981. About half of those owners knew the buyer, according to the 2020 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.
That leaves about 4% of homes sold by homeowners directly to strangers, which is consistent with Zillow and Trulia data. For-sale-by-owner homes (“FSBOs”) have traditionally accounted for 4% to 5% of listings on those sites, said Haley Mills, a spokesperson for Zillow, which also owns Trulia.
“Overall, we are not seeing an uptick in FSBO listings in recent months,” she said.
That’s true in Ohio’s three largest metro areas as well, according to Zillow data.
In February, 4.3% of Columbus-area homes listed on Zillow and Trulia were being sold by owners. A year earlier, it was 4.6%, and a year before that, it was 4.5%.
Cleveland has a slightly higher share of FSBOs, at 5.1%, and Cincinnati has 6.1%, on Zillow and Trulia.
The numbers for all cities fluctuate monthly, but have shown no upward movement despite the lopsided housing market of the past year.