SERIES: Types of buyers and why FSBO’s can’t get them

Part 1 on Corporate Relocations here

Part 2:  The Internet Empowered Consumer


FSBO More and more home buyers are starting their home searches on the Internet.  The convenience of looking at homes 24 hours a day, even in your underwear (see this article) is a powerful convenience.

Some statistics from N.A.R.

Homebuyers’ Use of the Internet

80% of home buyers used the Internet as a source.
81% of Internet home buyers also used a real estate agent.
63% of non-Internet buyers used a real estate agent.
74% of buyers who searched online drove by or looked at a home they first saw online.

To reach the Internet Empowered Consumer, you must answer the fundamental question that forms the basis for all decisions undertaken by this consumer:  What’s in it for me?

Since it stands to reason that these buyers are looking online because it is convenient, they are also going to look for the source of homes that offers the greatest convenience. 

These convenience seekers are unwilling to scour the Internet for multiple sources for homes.  They are going to Google search for “Real Estate ______” – and where the blank is located, they are going to plug in the name of the city they are interested in.

Here in Chicago, that means they are going to land on the web pages for the major brokerages, and the major real estate portals. 

Neither source caters to listings offered “By Owner.”

The number 1 source for homes on the Internet is – the website that Realtors put all their listings on.  Every single Realtor who belongs to a local MLS or Realty Board sends their listings to

And by definition, none of those properties will be “By Owner.”

The source for all the real estate information on AOL’s real estate search portal is  Several others, too.

As a FSBO, you have access to several classified advertising web sites, and a handful of “By Owner” web sites.  But remember the credo of the Internet Empowered Consumer?  What’s in it for me?

The buyers that search for listings on the classified ad web sites are likely looking for something in particular:  to save a commission, too.

Buyers who search out FSBO properties often do so in order to do the same thing that the seller is trying to do.  So even if you have taken the commission savings into consideration with your list price, seekers of FSBO properties are going to try to negotiate even more off the list price of your property.  Perhaps another 2%, 3%, 5% or even 6% off since he thinks you’re trying to keep all that money for yourself!

In the immortal words of one of my esteemed competitors at another company “It ain’t all big hair and Cadillacs.”