Three fourths of homeowners who try selling their homes themselves are successful, according to data released by Owners.com, an online service that helps owners sell without an agent.

The company said that recent sales reported by the Hillman Group, which supplies yard signs to mass merchant retailers, further indicates a growth in by-owner sales. “For-sale-by-owner yard sign sales are up 20 percent over last year,” said Dennis Blake, vice president of the Hillman Group. “We are definitely seeing a trend that more homeowners are attempting to sell by owner.”

Several lead sellers to try to sell their own homes, said Steve Udelson, CEO of Owners.com and co-author of The For Sale By Owner Kit (Dearborn, 2005). “The do-it-yourself craze has fueled growth in a number of markets, from online stock trading and travel to tax preparation and remodeling. Additionally, the rapid appreciation of house values has resulted in even higher sales commissions, making selling by owner a more attractive alternative, and the Internet has made finding a buyer easier and less expensive. We think all of these factors have led more sellers to try for-sale-by-owner before taking the traditional route – and most of them are successful.”

According to a 2005 survey from Murray Consulting, one-third of sellers were confident they could sell their own homes, up from 18 percent in 2002.

The consulting company’s audit of for-sale-by-owner Web sites found that 75,124 FSBO sellers listed online across the top four FSBO sites. According to their audit, nationwide listings on top FSBO sites as of Oct. 19 were: 49,719 at Owners.com; 12,869 at Forsalebyowner.com; 9,220 at Byowner.com; and 3,316 at Fsbo.com.

San Francisco-based Owners.com has been aggregating data on unassisted home sales by owners since 1995, and will begin releasing data to the public through the Owners.com By Owner Home Sales Index. Some of the data points that Owners.com will be tracking include market indicators such as the number of new by-owner listings, days on market, percentage of successful sales, percentage of sales that eventually land with an agent, and other behavioral trends.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to jessica@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 133.

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