Dear PoPville – Why no real For Sale By Owner (FSBO) market in DC?

Dear PoPville,

My husband and I live in Mount Pleasant, and have been watching our neighborhood real estate market since we bought our place in 2007. With an current inventory of ZERO single family homes in the area, and places going under contract within a week with multiple offers and no contingencies, we’re curious why there’s not more of a robust FSBO market. We’re considering the possibility of moving, and have a great place in the entry-level (for the neighborhood, of course) price point, but the idea of handing over 6% of the sales price–which could be the better part of our return on investment–to a realtor is really galling.

Without inviting the real estate lobby to argue for all the benefits of hiring a professional (staging, negotiation, open house management and so on), I’m curious for folks to weigh in on why they think more folks don’t try to sell by owner. (I say this also having moved from Madison, WI, which had a thriving FSBO market, where I bought my house with no problems from a lovely set of owners, so I’m familiar with the process.)

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