FSBO OR NOT?
So I spent the Thanksgiving holiday in Bergen County, New Jersey and since I'm an addicted runner I logged about six hours running the neighborhoods of Leonia and Glen Ridge, New Jersey. In all of those miles I didn't see a single For Sale By Owner sign in either town. I did see many houses for sale all represented by licensed real estate brokers. So, the more I ran the more time I had to consider the FSBO paradox.
In the State College/Centre County market one couldn't run down two streets in one neighborhood without seeing a handful of FSBO signs in front yards. As I put one foot in front of the other my mind drifted off into that place where runners minds go when the breathing gets hard and the miles pile up and I pondered the possible differences that lead one market to have many FSBO's and another market to have almost none. What are the differences? Are they cultural? Maybe. The neighborhoods reflect a much greater diversity in New Jersey than in Central PA. Are they financial? Maybe. The average list price for the NJ homes is over $600,000 and the average list price in Centre County is a bit over $200,000. Is it a safety issue? Certainly I would think that the safety issue would play a larger role in New Jersey than in Central PA. Is it convenience? Perhaps sellers in New Jersey value their time more than those in PA. and don't want to be bothered with all of the inconveniences associated with selling their own property.
So the question is; what do the affluent people of New Jersey know about professional real estate representation that the people of Centre County don't know, or do the people of Centre County reflect the pioneer spirit of forge ahead, self-reliance and oh, by the way, look at all of the money we put in our pocket by doing it ourselves? Or do they save huge money? That is a topic for another day.
So, as my mind wanders back to the task at hand I'm running up a tough hill of a historic tree-lined street in Leonia but I really haven't solved the FSBO paradox. Maybe you can help solve it or perhaps it is unsolvable.