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FSBO: Am I Crazy?

My husband and I have decided to sell our Boston condo -- ourselves. I have to admit that I'm a total stress case about it, but my personality would have the same stress level if we were with an agent. Except maybe I wouldn't be doubting our every move.

Here is why we decided to go FSBO (For Sale by Owner):

  • Most importantly, we'd be taking a financial loss if we paid the required 5% commission to Realtors. With the state of the economy, our place just hasn't appreciated very much in 2.5 years -- but we've already outgrown it.

  • We're hoping most people looking for condos in Boston, search the Real Estate section on Boston.com, where we bought an ad.

  • We sold our teeny-tiny apartment in Manhattan ourselves back in 2007 and received full asking price during the first open house. But then again, it was a different time and a different city!

  • We live in a very popular neighborhood in Boston and have a newly renovated place. Call us cocky, but we think it's going to sell with or without a Realtor, and again, we just don't want to lose money.

Our first open house is this Saturday. Our families think we're nuts. What do you think? Have any advice? I'll be sure to chronicle what we've done to get the house ready and how our FSBO goes. I'm terrified no one will show up.

The Jetson Family Found Living In...Finland?


For some reason I pictured the house of the future to have more rounded edges and moving parts--you know, sleek, curved furniture and conveyor belts to move you from room to room.

But no. It's really just a house like yours and mine, with a few more wires, maybe.

The home in question belongs to Jari Arkko and sits near Helsinki, Finland. It's a pretty smart home. In addition to giving the Arkkos access to stored media in the home and allowing them to monitor home health remotely over the network, the home scored an amazing 2200 on its SATs.

To be fair, Jari has an advantage over the average homeowner. While he did use some readily available components for his connected home (including the Ericsson Connected Home gateway), he also designed some of the elements himself. Truth be told, there seems to be little that the Arkko house can do that the average homeowner with a pretty modest budget couldn't achieve in this country.

It might be more than coincidence that my stumbling upon the Ericsson/Arkko video came just on the heels of having read this HomeToys article by an Intamac Systems employee about connected homes and the need for a better broadband experience in this country. A home connected to the network is really only as "smart" as the network itself, and as broadband goes ours is pretty well behind a number of European and Asian countries.

It is equally unfortunate for the industry in this country that home automation and networking probably aren't top priorities for homeowners right now as we fight to emerge from a recession. Perhaps it would help the Intamacs and Ericssons of the world to give consumers some hard facts on how installation of connected devices increases the value of the home.

Maybe then more of us would go the way of Jari Arkko rather than, say, install new kitchen countertops or faucets.

Have you done any automating in your home? Tell us about it.

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