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Triangle Homes Increasingly For Sale by Owner

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CARY — Realtors say at least one in ten people now sell their homes on their own. They avoid paying agents thousands of dollars in commissions. Instead, they pay the local "For Sale By Owner" company $700 for all the guidance, signs and advertising they need.

Ronnie and Gina Odom liked do-it-yourself home-selling so much that they made a commercial for FSBO, theFor Sale By Owner Magazine.

"We sold our house, sold it in less than eight weeks, and we saved over $17,000," Ronnie Odom says.

FSBO's Triangle business has doubled in the past five years.

"All you need to do is show your home," says FSBO network founder Brad France. "As soon as you find a buyer, the attorney and the mortgage company take over anyway."

The surge of FSBOs does not worry theRaleigh-Wake Board of Realtors.

"Naturally, we'd love to have the opportunity to work with a lot of those people who are attempting to sell their homes themselves. Certainly, it's potential business that we're not getting, but as I said there's so much other business in the marketplace," says Ross Rhudy, president of the Board of Realtors.

A real estate attorney says FSBO buyers should have a lawyer, a standard home sale contract, and make sure the terms of the agreement are as precise as possible.

"I would recommend further that the earnest money or deposit not be given to the seller. It should be given to a third party," says Larry McBennett, a real estate attorney.

"I would also recommend that any offer include the contingency for an inspection of the property, both for wood-destroying insects and for mechanical and structural flaws," McBennett says.

Selling a home the FSBO way keeps you off the multiple listing service used by the rest of the real estate industry, so it is not for everyone -- especially people trying to sell their homes quickly.