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An Introduction to For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Listings

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Curbed University delivers insider tips and non-boring advice on how to buy, sell, or rent a home or apartment. Additional questions welcomed to tips@curbed.com. Up now, the ins and outs of For Sale by Owner (FSBO) listings.

A “For Sale By Owner” listing, aka FSBO (FIZZ-Bo) has always been a dark horse in the fight to sell an NYC apartment. The obvious benefit to the seller is the option of not having to pay a brokers fee, which is usually set at a standard of around 6 percent. Say you’re selling an Upper West Side one bedroom for $629,722. That’s $40,000 saved! That’s a car... or at least a year in private school kindergarden. It’s a no brainer why some people try to sell their apartments on their own. It’s so popular that both domain names fsbo.com (around 280 apartments listed) AND forsalebyowner.com (a little less than 800 apartments) are taken. The NY Times lists “For Sale By Owner” as a main part of the real estate search, and right now, the properties range from a $225k studio to over $11 million. Even Craigslist takes some time off from human trafficking to play host to a huge FSBO section (buyer beware of intense typos).

If selling as a FSBO, the owners are totally responsible for marketing the property themselves with a correct and enticing price, holding open houses, making and printing their own glossy marketing sheets, and going through all the motions that brokers make the (potential) big bucks to organize. This can be a trying process (or maybe you really have a deep desire to be a broker), but some people have found success with this method. Unfortunately, not BrickUnderground’s poor FSBO seller.

When selling as a FSBO, you’ll have to be sure to really keep the brokers out. They will call and ask if you’ll offer a 3 percent commission if they bring a buyer, so decide firsthand if that’s something you would consider. Until then, good luck!
· Curbed University coverage [Curbed]
· FSBO coverage [Curbed]