By Amanda Ventura

You can sell almost anything online – antiques, used clothes, even your home.

Surprisingly, few people are taking advantage of home sale websites and services in favor of working with a professional to market their abode.

The 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in November showed for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) homes are at an all-time low.

HomeSmart real estate professional Bobby Lieb isn’t surprised. The advantage of working with a licensed real estate professional includes marketing and increased likelihood that only qualified buyers are looking at your home. More people mean more money, as real estate professionals say. That peace of mind is enough of a trade-off for many sellers. Agents, who control a majority of for-sale market and also know the market well enough to advise on whether someone’s asking price is fair and realistic.

However, the benefits don’t stop there.

Nearly 90 percent of home purchases over the last year were facilitated by a real estate professional. This may be related to nearly 35 percent of home sales being to first-time buyers. These buyers are more likely to turn to agents to help purchase a home.

Mortgage disclosure requirements are among the scariest caveats for sellers who put their homes on the market without knowing all the fine print. A single missed document could mean a lawsuit – and this is where most lawsuits take place.

FSBO homes fetched, on average, $185,000 last year. The NAR reports that agent-sold homes went for, on average, $245,000.

With an average agent commission of 6 percent, home owners still come out ahead.

“People who are selling their own home often have the misconception that selling their house by themselves will save them anywhere between 3 and 7 percent of the purchase price,” says HomeSmart real estate professional Larry Feiner, who says there was a time when 20 percent of his business came from former FSBOs.

With the disruption of technology between Baby Boomers and Millennials, you may be surprised at who comprises the majority of for-sale-by-owner deals. The average age of a private seller was 59 and a majority of the sales were completed by households that make more than $100,000.

“The problem with that is most buyers who are looking at FSBOs are looking for a deal, too, and are likely investors who will not pay market value,” says Feiner.