Industry News

Going FSBO in a slow market

Tough times can motivate, frustrate agent-less sellers

By MARY UMBERGERFour years ago, when Judy Cruz decided to try to sell her house on her own, it couldn't have been easier. She struck up a conversation with a neighbor who said he'd love to buy it from her. Deal done. But when she decided to sell her Chicago condo this year, it was a different story. "I tried advertising it online for four months," said Cruz, who explained that posting free classifieds on Craigslist were the sum of her efforts. "The only calls I got -- and I think there were just five -- were from people who wanted to know if I would consider rent-to-own." That wasn't an option, so right after Memorial Day she gave up and listed the unit with an agent. Her for-sale-by-owner experiences are a familiar story line in housing's then-vs.-now saga, where time and effort have acquired new, sometimes painful meaning. But "bottom line" has new meaning, too, considering home values have declined and the notion of milking every dime from a t...

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