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Maryland “For Sale By Owner Signs” are Becoming an Endangered Species

They may be getting rarer, but you still see some Maryland area “For Sale by Owner” signs from time to time.  Sometimes they signify an owner who, truth be told, simply doesn’t mind letting it be known that he or she isn’t in much of a hurry to sell the place.  This can be true if it’s an extraordinary example of its architectural style, or beautifully landscaped and maintained, or in other ways, from curb to chimney-top, obviously a prime piece of local property.  This is a For Sale by Owner anomaly though; you don’t see many of them.


A far greater number of them (‘FSBOs,’ for short) are average, run-of-the-mill homes—or even clearly neglected ones (in the latter case, the For Sale by Owner designation invites passersby to assume the sign really means “Fire Sale!!!”).

But for everyday-looking local For Sale by Owner properties, that sign out front has to make you wonder.  Currently, 88% of homes are sold through a real estate agent or broker—a percentage that’s been steadily rising for more than a decade.  What would impel the owner to take a route that the vast majority of sellers avoid?

There’s often a history behind the sign: a major experience that prompted the go-it-alone venture.  That story usually falls into one of two general categories—and they’re polar opposites!


This camp had a pleasure cruise the last time they sold their home.  Their agent put together a listing, and BANG!  That was it!  Showings by the end of the week, and SOLD in days!  For the full asking price!  A dream closing with no unexpected details, gifts to and from the excited buyers, and nice notes still exchanged at the holidays…

The Happy Story takeaway: selling a house is so simple, why in the world would you gift a commission to a third party?  It’s so easy, why not save thousands of dollars? Up goes the ‘For Sale by Owner’ sign…


These folks found themselves all but victimized by a previous home sale.  Everything went haywire from the get-go.  They may have started on the wrong foot, assuming that every licensed agent is equally qualified and offers the same level of service (or they simply trusted a relative or friend of a friend that had little to no experience and treats Real Estate as a part-time job).  From there, it was all downhill.  Bad communication, missed appointments, showings to loud-mouthed prospects who made it clear they were not about to pay anything like that asking price.  Maybe even a change of agents, but the eventual sale, after those lengthy missteps (and perhaps a technical hitch or two at closing) resulted in a disappointing sale price.

The Unhappy Story takeaway: I bet I can do this better, myself!  Up goes the Maryland For Sale by Owner sign…


The current national statistics seem to indicate that the FSBO sign itself is a lot more likely to engender an Unhappy Story result.  A typical For Sale by Owner home, if it sold at all, yielded just 80% of what agent-assisted sales brought, so do the math, before you go it alone.  Not to mention the hassle of foregoing all the technical and marketing help a good agent brings, plus a massive reduction of liability.  The most important key to create your own Happy Story… is to first find the right agent.

So you really need to call ExecuHome Realty at 443-632-3800 or contact us by CLICKING HERE.  We are Maryland’s Very Own Real Estate Company, born and raised in Maryland since 2005.  With over 350 licensed Real Estate Professionals and 7 full service office locations throughout Maryland: Baltimore City (Canton/Fells Point), Bel Air, Elkridge, Parkville, Pikesville, Timonium, Westminster, and coming soon to Annapolis… WE CAN’ T WAIT TO HELP YOU BUY OR SELL YOUR NEXT HOME!



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