Sell your home yourself or use a real estate agent?

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gweinstn
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Sell your home yourself or use a real estate agent?

Post by gweinstn »

My wife and I are selling are home and are trying to decide whether to try to do it on our own or use an agent. The commission is probably 5% on a substantial home so the dollar amount is large.

We have a 6 month window of time, but still don't want to lose out on prospective buyers, especially in this market. We live in a depressed rust belt city. Any thoughts or insights would be appreciated.

gweinstn.
ronr
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Post by ronr »

I sold two houses myself. In both instances, I did better than I would have with a real estate agent. I advertised in the local paper and had a sale within a few days.

BUT -- and it's a big but -- I had time to both educate myself a bit about marketing and legal requirements; the resources (friends) to obtain the legal advice I needed; and also, at the time, houses were selling quickly.

I thought I had priced both fairly -- although the last sale was for more than a real estate broker thought we should ask!

Also, I did wind up paying a brokers fee -- but 1/2 of what I would have. I was contacted by a broker representing the seller, and they asked for, and I agreed to, a small commission (perhaps 2-2.5% -- I can't recall as it was some time ago).

So I think the combination of having enough time to do it right, a fair price, and a demand for homes in the area helped me.

Depending on your situation, you might consider marketing it yourself for a month or two, and if unsuccessful, give it over to a broker.
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Peter Foley
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Post by Peter Foley »

I've sold two houses, one FSBO and one with a Realtor. (Full disclosure: I once held a real estate license, but never used it.)

I made out much better with the FSBO. That said, a realtor once told me that you have less need to list with a realtor if you are selling in a neighborhood with mixed housing stock. If you are trying to sell a cookie cutter in a development, you need help generating traffic to your door.

A theory I have not tested, I admit. But it is something to think about.

If you go the FSBO route you need to do some work to get the price right.
rwwoods
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Post by rwwoods »

Consider this - It is presently a buyers market, so your house is going to compete with a lot of others for those few buyers. Most of those other sellers will be using realtors with access to a lot more selling tricks than you have. What makes you think you can compete with them? If it were a good market, I would say go for it, but I think it may be foolish to do in this market.
PlainJane
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Post by PlainJane »

Be careful.

The problem with going FSBO is that you lose access to the vast majority of qualified buyers. Most people who are ready to buy, hire a broker and then only see the homes that brokers steer them to. Brokers don't come to FSBO homes, becuase they get no commission for doing so. Also, when buyers search the net, they most often look at MLS (Multiple Listing Service) sites like www.realtor.com Without a broker you can not be listed on this service. Only buyers who are actively looking for FSBO will see you. Fewer and fewer buyers are using print media to find a home.

We recently sold a home with a "flat fee" broker. For a fee of a few hundred dollers, you can have your home listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Your home appears on all sites as if you were represented by a regular broker. Even other brokers don't know that you are not represented by a "regular" broker and will steer clients to your home just as they would to any other listed home.

However, you must still pay the buyer's broker a commission. You set the commission when you register with your flat fee broker. It can be anything you choose, but to be competitive you should chose market rate. This way you will end up paying half of what you would have paid had you used a regular broker. If market rate in your area is 5, you will end up paying 2.5% plus the flat fee.

On the other hand, you can still advertise your home in local papers and try to sell it to someone unrepresnted. If you manage to do that, you pay nothing. So for a few hundred dollers you get the best of both worlds....access to brokers and the ability to advertise and sell FSBO.

Good luck.
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djmbob
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Self ot Agent

Post by djmbob »

I have sold my last 4 houses myself without and agent - in fact have only used an agent once when selling my first home in WY back in 1985.

I will be selling my current home next year starting in Feb, and although my town has seen APPRECIATION for homes (San Antonio TX), in looking at the number of homes in my area of town that come close to matching what I hope to sell, I see that I just have so much competition that I will list with a Realtor to bring people to my door.

I probably will not break even given the Realtor's fee (military guy and have only been in the house 2 1/2 years when I go to put on the market), but with all the building going on in my part of town, I don't have the same profit margin to play with as the builders do. And with what I have already put into the house, cant compete with them on "free" upgrades etc.

To get an idea of your competition, I suggest you go to a site like Zillow.com, enter your zip code and a few of the parameters of your home and really see how many homes are out there as your potential competition of homes on the market. Sites like Zillow aren't perfectly current in their data, but it does give you a ballpark look to include as a factor to gauge what your chances might be to do on your own.

It also depends on your time horizon. I am listing the house 11 months before I will actually move, so at least I can be a bit more willing to wait a bit longer, IF the house is truly priced right.

Good Luck... its a bog decision!

Cheers
Ray
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dcbonnett
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Post by dcbonnett »

In the book entitled "Why smart people make big money mistakes" the behavior psychologists maintain that usually more is netted in real estate sales using a Realtor by their ability to get a better price with greater traffic. I have bought homes for rental, rented them and then sold them to new homeowners. I've sold direct and used Realtors. In a very good market it seemed that I could do quite well. When the market turned and the phone stopped ringing, I used a Realtor.
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Dale_G
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Post by Dale_G »

It partly depends on the property, where it is, and whether there are any buyers out there.

In 2003 I sold my winter home in Boca Raton. It was a gated community with no "for sale" signs allowed. I used broker who lived in the neighborhood. The house had three offers before it hit the MLS - and was sold in 2 days.

In 2004 I sold a home in Ohio. One of the nicest homes in town. I listed it with a broker and it sold in 3 days. The lady who bought it drove by the house every day - and told me she often thought about stopping to ask me if I would ever sell! A sign in the yard FSBO would have saved me a few bucks.

I now live in a single family in Orange County FL, near Orlando. There are something like 27,000 homes for sale in greater Orlando, and fewer than 1,000 are moving per month.

I am in a good sized development. I own the place, so there are no cash flow considerations. There are no gates or sign prohibitions and it doesn't cost much to get access to the MLS. When I get ready to do the condo thing, I'll do FSBO. I don't want to be the market leader to the downside, but when homes become affordable again (2012?), they will sell.

Dale

edit to fix typo
Last edited by Dale_G on Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Rich_in_Tampa
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Post by Rich_in_Tampa »

ronr wrote:I sold two houses myself. In both instances, I did better than I would have with a real estate agent.
How do you know that?
ronr
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Post by ronr »

I sold two houses myself. In both instances, I did better than I would have with a real estate agent.

How do you know that?
Had I not done the work myself in determining a marketable price for the property, I would have taken the broker's advice in setting a sale price.

In both instances, by doing my own research, I determined that a fair price was higher, in one case about 10% higher. My determination was made by going to the local town office and researching sales of comparable properties.

If I'm paying a broker, I expect him to do that kind of work. But in both cases the broker was one who had seemed to function OK as a buyer's broker for us.

So I got a higher price, paid less commission and sold both properties promptly with minimal advertising.
Malachi
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Post by Malachi »

PlainJane,

That was a lot of good information. I'm storing away that information for future use.

Thanks for the post.

Marcus
sport
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Post by sport »

I sold a house in a rust-belt city last June. There were many more houses for sale than buyers. I used an agent, and even then, the process took 14 months. I am glad I used an agent. A similar house across the street from that one has been for sale for almost 3 years. That seller has tried a number of agents, and FSBO at different times. Now that financing has become more difficult for many buyers, I am really glad to have it sold.

Jeff
lad
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Post by lad »

I sold a house by myself in March. I was lucky in that I found a buyer without an agent through word of mouth. It may sound glib, but tell everyone you know that you are selling your house. In my old workplace, two people who sat four offices from one another ended up as seller and buyer on a real estate transaction. And they ended up paying a realtor 6% because the seller never told anyone she was selling!

That said, buyers are going to be wary of dealing with FSBOs; this is, after all, the biggest purchase of their life. You have to make it worth their while to deal with you, and that usually means pricing the house below what it would be priced with a realtor. The realtor I would have used wanted to list my house for $375k. When my FSBO buyer came along willing to pay $350k (after a lot of negotiation), I jumped at the chance to just sell the thing. It was the same as getting $371k with a realtor, which was about the best offer we could have expected. (As luck would have it, the market crashed two months later, and I would have been lucky to get $350k even with a realtor.) Did I make any more money than I would have with a realtor? Maybe a little if any. But I saved a lot of hassle, sold the house quickly, and I feel good about putting money into a young house buyer's pocket rather than an overpaid realtor's.

As others have said, make sure you know what you're doing before you go FSBO. Research comparables. Stage the house and make it as showable as you can. (I recommend "Seven Steps to Sold" by Donna and Shannon Freeman of HGTV fame.) Get some sample contracts. Have a list of mortgage brokers and title insurance companies available for buyers -- give them every confidence that you know what you're doing. Keep in mind that this is the biggest purchase of their life!

And, last but most importantly, price your FSBO attractively. This next piece of advice may be a bit controversial, but I recommend pricing your FSBO below what you would list it for with a realtor and making a *limited* FSBO effort designed to market mainly to unrepresented buyers. (I do think a realtor is generally worth 2.5-3%, so if you can't sell to an unrepresented buyer, you may as well have your own agent working for you. Your mileage may vary on this point, though!)

If you want to go by my strategy, figure out where your unrepresented buyers may be (work, friends, Zillow, Craig's List?) and advertise there at at an attractive price, discounted from what you would list it for with a realtor. See if you get any interest within a couple of weeks. If not, bite the bullet and list with a realtor for your original asking price, under the assumption that better marketing/exposure may get you a better price in the end. Good luck!
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LH
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Post by LH »

10 easy steps to FSBO your house

A "best of the boards" thread from the early retirement forumn on for sale by owner.
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LH
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Post by LH »

dcbonnett wrote:In the book entitled "Why smart people make big money mistakes" the behavior psychologists maintain that usually more is netted in real estate sales using a Realtor by their ability to get a better price with greater traffic. I have bought homes for rental, rented them and then sold them to new homeowners. I've sold direct and used Realtors. In a very good market it seemed that I could do quite well. When the market turned and the phone stopped ringing, I used a Realtor.
I read that book too, and I remember that part, for what its worth its the only part of the book I kinda did a double take on and wondered if the authors wife was a realtor or something. Had more, but that would get off topic too much, good luck. Great book btw.
Last edited by LH on Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Bud
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Post by Bud »

I only had one home to sell and sold it myself, for a better price than the three Realtors I checked with quoted me. I was in a similar situation as you. My time strategy was to spend one month educating myself, one month selling, and then I still had four month to reconsider. But the house sold after two weeks... higher price than the Realtors wanted to ask and no 7% commission.

I educated myself by reading books on selling my own home and checking out other homes in the area which were comparable before deciding on pricing my home. This involved contacting many Realtors to view homes and viewing many open houses. I maybe invested 100 hours maximum and reaped the benefit of $15,000 (the cost of the commission) - this was in 1995. That is $150/hour for my time - not too bad.

A Realtor will not necessarily generate more traffic.

Anyone looking to buy a home will look through the paper or check websites listing homes in your area. And many buyers will steer towards a home that is for sale by buyer because they realize that the seller is paying no commission and thus has more room to negotiate.

Also, any responsible Realtor will bring his/her client to see your home, it is part of their fiduciary duty.

Make sure you pay a lawyer to go over the sales contract with you - which will cost something, but much less than a Realtor or a serious legal mistake.

Good luck with whatever decision you make.
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FloridaOldie
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We sold them ourselves

Post by FloridaOldie »

We have sold three homes (1982, 1999, and 2007) without realtors. But we did use a lawyer to handle the contracts and other paper work. Lawyers' fees were extremely reasonable.

We put the first one in a realtor's hands for six months. Nothing happened. So we had a professional paint a sign, put it up out front and sold within a couple months.

In the second case, our place was in the country but on a lake. Again we had a professional sign painted and installed. Had two offers the next morning and sold immediately.

The third one was a summer home on a private mountain. I sent letters/email to all owners. Had several offers within the week and sold for more than the resident realtor said we would get.

In each case, we saved a considerable sum.

But as others have said, do your homework, ask a reasonable price, use a lawyer, and be as professional as possible.
sschullo
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Post by sschullo »

Two questions:
Great discussion. I am retiring in July and we are planning on selling two properties this coming year and talked about going the FSBO route too. The initial problem is setting a price with our primary house. Its a signature house built by a student of F.L. Wright in a middle class neighborhood hillside home in Los Angeles. There aren't any homes that we could find online that are selling that we can compare and set a price.
1. Any ideas?

Has anybody used the HelpUsell or similar service? They have different price ranges depending on what level of service you want. For example, the highest price of $1000 flat fee gets you on the MLS, a website to show your house and legal consulting.

2. Sounds good but has anybody use this service and what was your experience?
Thanks in advance,
Steve
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greg24
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Post by greg24 »

sschullo wrote:Has anybody used the HelpUsell or similar service? They have different price ranges depending on what level of service you want. For example, the highest price of $1000 flat fee gets you on the MLS, a website to show your house and legal consulting.

2. Sounds good but has anybody use this service and what was your experience?
We used a outfit called Assist2Sell. They charged 4.3%, which is higher than what you are looking at. But it sounds like we got the same limited service. We just wanted to make sure we made it into the MLS system. We kept our home well, and presented it very well for sale. The realtor was inept, but we seem to think they all are.
:D

If you get into the MLS system, I think that is good enough. Take the $1k level and do the legwork yourself.
blink32
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Post by blink32 »

sschullo wrote:T There aren't any homes that we could find online that are selling that we can compare and set a price.
1. Any ideas?

Has anybody used the HelpUsell or similar service?

2. Sounds good but has anybody use this service and what was your

As a former practicing Realtor(technically Realtor-Associate as I wasn't a broker) I have this info:

1. There HAS to be something you can compare with. Even if you break it down to just the basics ie: 4bed, 2 bath, 2car vs your house being the same. If your home is truly a one-off home and there are no others in a given radius (say 1 mile) then you need to go for a drive in your neighborhood and accept that you will have to set the trend for that style home. Find homes that would appear to be similar in construction and any kind of architecture if possible. Note the address and commence the search. You can search tax records(many counties are online in NJ, not sure about CA) to find out when and for how much the homes most recently sold for. Don't limit yourself to what is available today. When doing a CMA you need to look at the past. I would typically go back an entire year to pull comps but you HAVE to account for the difference in the market at various times. Worst case would be to find homes in different locations by the same builder and compare the markets. If a 50yro 4br, 2bath, 2car on 1/4 acre with similiar taxes is 250k in your town and the same in that town odd's are the markets will be similar enough to figure out a price.

2. I've heard of a handful of people (friend of a friend situation) having good results with HelpUSell. Seems to have taken off in some respect nation wide. Essentially they give you the basics and then you are left to fend for yourself with appointments and what not. But saves you money.

FSBO's are a good option. Regardless of what a Real Estate Salesperson's duties are to a client it will be difficult to find one that voluntarily shows FSBO homes. Just because they are put in the various for sale systems does not mean they can't be "accidentally" skipped through creative search functions. Sellers just need to resolve mentally that, depending on the market, FSBO will not be free but will be significantly cheaper than using a Realtor. Unless one gets lucky with word of mouth or other free type of communication you will probably drop around 1-2k roughly in advertising if you go with flat fee services plus all kinds of local and web based other than MLS. Then a bit more for lawyer fee's to do it right. Still saving a bundle of cash.

I plan on trying FSBO when I get out of the armpit of the U.S.
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CyberBob
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Post by CyberBob »

You can list on the MLS for free in about 20 states using Iggy's House, which was discussed on the Clark Howard radio show.

Bob
Nowizard
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Post by Nowizard »

It seems that it would be highly unlikely to sell your house quicker with FSBO than with a realtor, at least in our community. The prevailing notion, at least in my house and with one friend, is that FSBO sellers want the same price as a realtor would charge, but want the profit themselves. Also, FSBO sellers, it seems, are people who are more willing, rather than less, to wait. Again, in our area.

We have discovered that ReMax realtors, or at least some of them, have the ability to set their own percentages. Ours has said, he will charge 3% to sell our house if he represents us on the purchase of a new one (or the negotiation with a builder if we build).

Wayne
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Post by sschullo »

Nowizard, cyberBob, Blink and greg
Thanks so much for your comments and links. They were helpful.
Steve
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Post by blink32 »

Steve,

some things I just thought of that you may have already realized so take these with a grain of salt. If you do happen to go with or think about going with a Realtor interview several and have them come in to present CMA's. Pay careful attention to the marketing plans. I quickly realized how many agents can only afford to place your listing in one or two print publications in only one or two issues. Many do not "market until sold" but rather pay for it once and call it done.

A side benefit of having the Real Estate Agents do the CMA is hopefully they are very accurate and if the prices aren't to your liking when figuring in the reduction for commission then you don't have to list with them and you have the information you need to list on your own. I'm certainly not advocating you call them in just for this purpose as we all have to work and time is money.

Last but not least that I can think of now is Open Houses. Have one as soon as it is listed/on the market. I learned that having them right away exposed flaws of the home and expectations of the buyers that were not fulfilled. So many times they are held several weeks after a property has been sitting out of desperation to get it sold only to find out that something very trivial was setting the home back like sticking drawers or loose doorknobs. Things that typically aren't discovered during an agents CMA but could be easily fixed/changed at low to no cost. Things above and beyond simple decluttering and better lighting, etc. It helps to have a very frank friend or relative to go through and pick the place apart even before listing. Better to hear it from them than some stranger and you don't necessarily have to correct everything, but be prepared to have those items brought up at negotiations.

You might be surprised at the fact that many people won't say a word to the home owners when looking to purchase but would talk all the garbage in the world to their Realtor. If you go FSBO it may benefit you to have a friend or relative actually show the home and answer questions but you can be available for any necessary information the guests have as they may open up to that person a bit more. Or conversely you could just not volunteer the info that you are the owner and if directly questioned you could just skirt the answer by saying something like "you are acting as the owners agent.." type deal. But hopefully in an FSBO you would get people who know what they want and how to deal with people.

long winded ehh? :)
Tony
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Post by sschullo »

Hi blink,
Longwinded! Not at all. We have been in enough open houses because we know exactly how they are staged. It’s quite an art and science. We are leaning towards using a company that specializes in architectural homes, they appreciated how we maintained the original features and they are willing to negotiate the commission.

Believe me, as a diehard, I cannot believe I am considering paying a commission! But this transaction might, just might, beat the benchmarks. :-)
Thanks for your feedback,
Steve
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wwhan
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Post by wwhan »

Even if you do not go with a real estate agent, consider having the house staged by professionals. You should go to a number of open houses in the area, check out how the homes are staged and consider what is appealing. Everything should look fresh and pleasant. Minimize clutter. Some stagers are very good, others are pretty poor.

As in any profession, half the people do less than average work.

There are plenty of lousy Real Estate Agents. There are also a few good ones. Some specialize in listings.

Also, in a hot market, a good agent will list the house price a little low, to generate the 20 offer bidding war. I have seen this many times. Many homes have been bid 30% higher than the asking price, even this year.
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LH
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Post by LH »

Bud wrote:
Also, any responsible Realtor will bring his/her client to see your home, it is part of their fiduciary duty.
Do realtors really have a fiduciary duty? Fiduciary is a legally defined standard that has the weight of law, I was unaware it applied towards realtors. Which does not mean it does not, but seems weird that it does, given how they act.

If it does truly apply, how do they handle the conflict of getting both a buyers and a sellers commission? Seems like a bizarre sitution if they are a fiduciary to both parties in an adversarial situation. It would be like a lawyer not having to recuse himself from a case, and instead arguing both sides.......
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Post by Bud »

LH wrote:
Bud wrote:
Also, any responsible Realtor will bring his/her client to see your home, it is part of their fiduciary duty.
Do realtors really have a fiduciary duty? Fiduciary is a legally defined standard that has the weight of law, I was unaware it applied towards realtors. Which does not mean it does not, but seems weird that it does, given how they act.

If it does truly apply, how do they handle the conflict of getting both a buyers and a sellers commission? Seems like a bizarre sitution if they are a fiduciary to both parties in an adversarial situation. It would be like a lawyer not having to recuse himself from a case, and instead arguing both sides.......
See links...

http://www.exclusivebuyersagents.com/duties.htm

http://realestate.about.com/od/df/g/fiduciary_duty.htm
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Post by Allan »

In the last 35 years, as a real estate developer, builder, and small time investor, I’ve bought and sold about 600 properties, consisting primarily of new homes, developed lots, “tear downs”, and about 50 investment properties (duplex, tri-plex, small apartments). I’ve had my real estate license at one time, my wife is a realtor (retired), I’ve tried FSBO, you name it I’ve done it.

In my opinion, I would always recommend that you deal with a licensed realtor. Having said that, and as pointed out, many agents are quite average. I always try to do business with the best. My current realtor sells about 40-50 million$ a year and is associated with one of the best brokers in the City. He is very ethical, very good at what he does, and I never mind paying him his commission. He is more than worth it, he makes me money, and no way would I ever consider selling my own properties. It is well known that buyers expect FSBO sellers to discount the price of their property anyway! So you really are not saving a commission.
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Post by ramsfan »

Allan wrote:In the last 35 years, as a real estate developer, builder, and small time investor, I’ve bought and sold about 600 properties, consisting primarily of new homes, developed lots, “tear downs”, and about 50 investment properties (duplex, tri-plex, small apartments). I’ve had my real estate license at one time, my wife is a realtor (retired), I’ve tried FSBO, you name it I’ve done it.

In my opinion, I would always recommend that you deal with a licensed realtor. Having said that, and as pointed out, many agents are quite average. I always try to do business with the best. My current realtor sells about 40-50 million$ a year and is associated with one of the best brokers in the City. He is very ethical, very good at what he does, and I never mind paying him his commission. He is more than worth it, he makes me money, and no way would I ever consider selling my own properties. It is well known that buyers expect FSBO sellers to discount the price of their property anyway! So you really are not saving a commission.
Although I do not have the same level of experience as Allan, my wife and I are both former Licensed Realtors.

We have bought or sold several properties since, and ALWAYS use a licensed realtor with a good brokerage. We are VERY selective in who we use, only the best, as Allan suggests. A great realtor earns their commissions and more. Also, anyone who says they "saved" 2% going alone, how do they really know? What if they actually lost 5% because the Realtor might have suggested a higher selling price, or done some creative things to help foster a bidding war?

This message thread seems mainly focused on saving commissions. What happens if the transaction does not go smoothly? Where do you turn as a FSBO seller? This is where Realtor experience can really help keep a transaction together.
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LH
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Post by LH »

Dont realtors act as both a buyers agent and a sellers agent simultaneously oftentimes?

If so, how does this fiduciary standard to act in the best interest of both parties work? Or are aspects of the standards simply waived when the person is a buyers and sellers agent in the transaction?

I noted the seeming stipulation of "exclusive" sellers agent, which seems to indicate that there is a category of nonexclusive agent with different fiduciary standards?

thanks for help,

LH
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J.Fred.Muggs
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Post by J.Fred.Muggs »

LH wrote:
dcbonnett wrote:In the book entitled "Why smart people make big money mistakes" the behavior psychologists maintain that usually more is netted in real estate sales using a Realtor by their ability to get a better price with greater traffic. I have bought homes for rental, rented them and then sold them to new homeowners. I've sold direct and used Realtors. In a very good market it seemed that I could do quite well. When the market turned and the phone stopped ringing, I used a Realtor.
I read that book too, and I remember that part, for what its worth its the only part of the book I kinda did a double take on and wondered if the authors wife was a realtor or something. Had more, but that would get off topic too much, good luck. Great book btw.
That was my reaction exactly!
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A Third Alternative

Post by J.Fred.Muggs »

How about a third alternative - sale by auction?

I sold a house by auction in 1998. I used the method described in a book called How to Sell Your House in 5 Days.
Guess what? I sold the house in 5 days! No commissions.

I don't know if I got the highest possible price, but I got a price I found a perfectly acceptable.

Before you make a decision, you may want to read this book and see what you think.
sschullo
Posts: 2586
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, CA
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Primary home and 2nd vacation home SOLD!

Post by sschullo »

Just wanted to follow up with encouraging news for those that do not want to use a realitor.

We sold our vacation condo in Palm Springs in less than a week by simply putting a for sale sign in the window. An English couple who are snow birds bought it immediately at our price. But the pound is extreemly strong compared to the dollar so why not.

Our home in Los Angeles sold in about five weeks. We never even put either on the MLS! But for our home in LA, we did use the LA Times, Craig’s list, FSBO website and I built a website (www.losangelesmidcenturymodernhome.com). What worked best were 200 flyers stuck in mailboxes around the neighborhood. BUT IN THE END IT WAS THE NEIGHBOR next door who bought it! Our neighbor is a religious organization headquarters, Self Realization Fellowship. They are located in the next block and they need more homes to house their visiting monks. We came down a bit in our counter off to get a deal and in this era of horrible real estate news, we did not hold out.

I do have a little bit more respect for real estate agents, it is hard work planning and executing open houses.

Thanks for all the comments. Now the next part is fun. Spending the money on our retirement home in beautiful Rancho Mirage.

Steve
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johnoutk
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:16 am

Post by johnoutk »

Sold one with a realtor, and one by ourselves. Both were frustrating endeavors IMO. The realtor is annoying because it's all a connections deal. They do very little to actually sell the house because the house sells itself. They don't really care how close to your asking price you sell for. If they get 3% of $120k or $110k, who cares? They only see 3% of that $10k, while you lose $10k on the spot. And you'll lose 6% total for both agents.

FSBO is frustrating because you have an uncertain process to do. How does one sell a house? It can be more frustrating when you are under time contraints. We had a house close to the medical center where we worked and aggressively advertised it there. We also had several open houses and put many signs and flyers up. We also spread the word through a lot of people. We actually ended up selling it to some neighbors we didn't know. (They lived down the street and were tired of renting.) Their daughter saw the sign for the open house and brought her parents back immediately to look.

I disagree with the idea that in a down market you MUST get a realtor. Why? The time to sale is likely to be long regardless. You are going to get a lower price and that lower price is going to be worsened by a realtor. You have to be patient. You only need to find ONE buyer. It's not like you're selling vaccuums door-to-door :lol: . I would find someone who knows what they are doing to fill out the paperwork. A real-estate lawyer, a title company, etc.
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