Listing with a Realtor vs. For Sale By Owner

Agent vs. For Sale By Owner

NAR ( National Association of Realtors) Generational Trends Report shows Record Highs and Lows

About Nine out of 10 Buyers and Sellers Work with a Professional, while For Sale By Owner Remain Rock Bottom!

  • Real estate agents remain as popular as ever among consumers across generations, the National Association of Realtors  2017 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report shows.
  • Millennials and Gen X buyers are more likely to buy their home using a real estate agent than other generations.
  • FSBO’s   For Sale By Owner is still at  record low of 8 percent.

They say some things never change. And despite the intertwined world we live in, made flat by the internet’s ability to increasingly cut out intermediaries and facilitate direct connections, consumers’ desire to work with a real estate agent appears to be one of them.

According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2017 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report, this applies to both sides of the transaction, across generations.

Specifically, 88 percent of buyers and 89 percent of sellers (matching 2015 and 2016’s historic high) reported working with a real estate agent or broker, research drawn from mid-2015 through 2016 shows.

Eighty-three percent of sellers worked with an agent who provided “a broad range of services and management of most aspects of the home,” while 9 percent “provided a limited set of services as requested by the seller,” and 8 percent “listed the home on the MLS and performed few if any additional services.”

What do Sellers want Most from Realtors 


  • Help Sell the Home within a Specific Time Frame
  • Help Price Home Competitively
  • Help Seller Market Home to Potential Buyers
  • Help Find a Buyer
  • Help Seller Fix and Stage Home in Order to Optimize Price
  • Help negotiate and Keep dealings “Arms Length” from Buyer
  • Provide Marketing Materials and Actions such as Videos, Pamphlets Open Houses & Mailings

Meanwhile, For Sale By Owner Remain Bottom of the Barrel at their Record Low of  8%  

The Need for a Trusted Real Estate Agent is Still Paramount.

  • The Personal relationships and connections remain the most important feature of the agent-buyer/seller bond,” the report noted.
  • The group of sellers least likely to use For Sale By Owner, at 7 percent, was the 37 to 51 years of age.
  • The highest (12 percent) included those between 62 and 71 years of age.

A Few Reasons an Agent stays as Popular as ever May Be;

  • The inventory shortages (agents have the inside market scoop); overwhelming amounts of data to wade through.
  • The increasingly complicated selling and loan process.
  • Real estate websites and ads that encourage consumers to “learn more” from an agent.

The Solution

The report found that although millennials and Gen X buyers were most likely to go online during their search, they were also the most likely to buy their home using a real estate agent at 92 percent and 88 percent respectively. “Online and mobile technology is increasingly giving consumers a glut of real estate data at their disposal,”   “However, at the end of the day, buyers and sellers of all ages — but especially younger and often DIY-minded consumers — seek and value a Realtors’ ability to dissect this information and use their expertise and market insights to coach buyers and sellers through the complexities of a real estate transaction.”