— Websites like Zillow and For Sale By Owner make selling a home without the help of a licensed real estate agent a tempting prospect, allowing sellers more control over their listings and the opportunity to keep the 6-percent sales commission they’d traditionally have to fork over to an agent.

But how likely are houses to sell without the guidance of a full-time real estate expert?

In mid-August, only 10 homes on Zillow were listed for sale by owner in the city of Syracuse, all single-family homes. Of them, six have been listed for more than 50 days, and the prices on three were recently reduced.

Another popular sell-it-yourself site, For Sale By Owner, currently lists 17 homes in Syracuse, with one recently sold and another under contract to sell. Of the remaining 15, only two were posted within the last month.

Do-it-yourself home sales are far from competing with traditional sales by agents in the Syracuse area, but for those who’ve decided to try selling by owner, the motivation is typically the same.

Susan Li, a broker associate with Coldwell Banker in Fayetteville, said she specializes in working with people who’ve given up on the for-sale-by-owner approach.

Li said the most common reason people attempt to sell on their own is the possibility of saving the 6 percent of the profit that would otherwise go to commission for an agent.

“Obviously, people think they want to save money but over 94 percent of them eventually list it and sell with real estate professional,” Li said, citing statistics from the National Association of Realtors.

Several Syracuse homeowners who listed their houses online instead of going through an agent said their biggest incentive was maximizing profit.

Sheehan Macintosh and her husband put their 3-bedroom West Side home up for sale on Zillow.com in June, she said.

Vote on this Story by clicking on the Icon


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment