Whandshakee read a new Ph.D. dissertation about real estate selling models so you don’t have to. Here are five top takeaways that explain
some mysteries about how home sellers think.

Valentin De Marco, Jr. is a doctoral candidate at the University at Albany, which is part of the State University of New York (SUNY). His dissertation is on the “Decision-Making Processes of Nontraditional or ‘For Sale By Owner’ Home Sellers.”

He dug into the existing research and then interviewed some home sellers who don’t want to use full-fee agents. Here are some highlights of his findings.

  1. DIY sellers are highly informed. They are experienced sellers  and buyers who know the lingo, resources and process of selling and buying homes.
  2. Ebay, Etsy, Uber, Airbnb, Homeaway and other consumer-to-consumer models are making it easier –even the norm – for consumers to work directly with other consumers. In the past, an agent might have provided a comfortable buffer from the other party. Now, people are accustomed, even conversant, in dealing directly with other consumers. They don’t necessarily think that an arm’s length transaction is better. In fact, an intermediary can complicate things when a homeowner believes he knows his neighborhood, his home’s appealing points, and other marketing angles. An agent just gets in the way.
  3. Homeowners want control. They have a good idea of what listing agents do to earn their commissions and they are not impressed. They would rather hire an agent for technical aspects of the sale and do other parts themselves.
  4. When DIY-minded homeowners do hire agents, they negotiate better commissions. They know what they are doing and are committed to gaining more control of the process, rewriting some of the rules along the way.
  5. Homeowners who have previously bought directly from other owners are more likely to choose nontraditional channels to sell. They believe that if it worked once, it will work again.