Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

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seanmerron
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Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by seanmerron »

My house is For Sale By Owner and I put it on Zillow, Turlia, Craigslist but noticed I only get individual buyers looking to come in even when I said I'll offer 3% closing cost assistance to buyers. I noticed I'm not getting any realtors wanting to bring their buyers in...

Do you think this is more so because realtors dislike dealing with FSBOs (which I'm not sure why)? or rather because they just don't see my house because it isn't in MLS?
Herekittykitty
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by Herekittykitty »

I don't see what you are offering a real estate agent.
I don't know anything.
stan1
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by stan1 »

Multiple issues. Realtors use the MLS and don't search through many different websites. A few reasons why realtors don't like FSBO's is because they don't want to get stuck doing the work of both the sellers and buyers agent and because some FSBO sellers are unrealistic/not serious/slow to respond. In general a professional would rather deal with another professional than an amateur. Now you personally may have the house priced exactly right and know exactly how to close quickly but many do not and the realtor has no way of knowing which group you fall into. Finally maybe your locality is different but where I live it is customary for the seller to pay the buyer agent's commission from the sale proceeds. You would need to offer 3% of the proceeds to the buyer's agent at close of escrow -- not 3% back to the buyer who may then stiff the Realtor.
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

You're offering the agent the chance to help sell your house to someone they've put time into for total compensation of zip. If your employer asked if you'd like to come to work and not get paid, would you jump at that?
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westie
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by westie »

Offering to assist with closing costs is pretty standard these days if you're a seller. Doesn't offer much in the way of an inducement to anyone.
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HueyLD
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by HueyLD »

In my area, virtually all FSBO's include a 3% commission for the selling agent. In addition, the FSBO owner will receive many phone calls from real estate agents wanting to list his house.

In other words, real estate agents ain't gonna work for nothing!!
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jimb_fromATL
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by jimb_fromATL »

seanmerron wrote:My house is For Sale By Owner and I put it on Zillow, Turlia, Craigslist but noticed I only get individual buyers looking to come in even when I said I'll offer 3% closing cost assistance to buyers. I noticed I'm not getting any realtors wanting to bring their buyers in...

Do you think this is more so because realtors dislike dealing with FSBOs (which I'm not sure why)? or rather because they just don't see my house because it isn't in MLS?
IMO there a lot of reasons why a realtor doesn't bother showing FSBOs. It does not really matter whether it's in MLS.

Among other things, with no contract in advance, they're not as likely to be paid for their time and effort as they would be with an iron-clad contract requiring the seller to pay the agent at closing. Your offer of closing costs to the buyer is NOT the same as an offer to pay a commission to an agent. And it's not efficient use of the agent's time to negotiate a contract for a single showing in advance compared to showing homes that already have listing contracts through other realtors or agencies that guarantee the commission to the buyer's agent.

FSBO owners are more likely to have the property mispriced -- in my experience as a buyer, typically for more than the market will bear. Fair Market Value is what a willing buyer will give to a willing seller when neither is under duress, as shown by recent sales of comparable properties in the same or nearby comparable neighborhoods within the last few months.
  • NOT what others are asking but not getting;
    Not what the seller paid for the home;
    or what the seller owes on the home;
    or thinks or hopes it might be worth compared to other comparable homes.
The FSBO owners are not as able to be objective about how their home compares in condition, personal appeal, or market value to others that are just like it in the eyes of potential buyers.

FSBO owners are more likely to hover and keep the potential buyers from comfortably discussing and addressing the pros and cons of the home -- especially any problems they may see or perceive. (Like maybe they don't think purple shag carpet and black ceilings that the seller is proud of are truly what the buyer really likes :happy )

These are just a few reasons, but IMO the biggest factor is that the agent is not as likely to be paid for showing it. Even if they brought an offer from a potential buyer, the seller is still more likely to accept an offer from an individual if it can avoid paying the commission.

Something else I think you need to consider.

From what I've read, statistically, something like 90% of buyers are likely to go through realtor anyway. And because of the listings and attention from agents, homes sold by realtors bring a higher average selling price.

A realtor will have done some "prescreening" and will be a lot more likely to bring qualified buyers. This eliminates of lot of people who shop for homes as a hobby, and will eliminate most of the scammers who have no real interest in buying the home, or who will never be able to qualify for financing, but are interested in talking the buyer into letting them move in ahead of time pending getting a mortgage that will never actually happen.

Not to mention that listing with a realtor will eliminate most of the "we buy houses" folks who in my own FSBO experience come with contracts that look good on the front page but have clauses in the fine print designed to steal your home or have you become complicit in possible mortgage fraud by letting them take possession of the home with an illegal or at least very risky "wrap" mortgage that leaves you responsible for the mortgage on a home that they actually own.

Another biggy is that the sales prices for the majority of homes used for determining FMV are based on sales by realtors which include probably an average of perhaps 6% commissions.

So any astute buyer who is looking at FSBO homes is going to expect to get it for considerably less than they'd have to pay for a comparable home that IS listed by a realtor. There's no incentive for an individual buyer to pay the same price when there is more risk of problems coming up in dealing with an amateur seller -- when they can have a professional representing them (or a professional dealing with them on behalf of the seller) to help with the details when buying a comparable home at the same price through normal realtor channels.

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RudyS
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by RudyS »

Realtors DO find FSBOs, but they won't work for free to sell them. They will commonly call to try to get a listing. Or if a buyer has a buyer's agent, the agent will also try to work a commission out of this. That's life!
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by Mudpuppy »

seanmerron wrote:My house is For Sale By Owner and I put it on Zillow, Turlia, Craigslist but noticed I only get individual buyers looking to come in even when I said I'll offer 3% closing cost assistance to buyers. I noticed I'm not getting any realtors wanting to bring their buyers in...

Do you think this is more so because realtors dislike dealing with FSBOs (which I'm not sure why)? or rather because they just don't see my house because it isn't in MLS?
If you truly want to keep it a FSBO, follow the advice given by others on the threads with respect to a commission to the buyer's agent.

Also, make sure you have very good and very detailed photos on Zillow and Trulia. Make sure the pictures are in focus and at high enough resolution to enlarge properly when that option is selected. There should also be adequate lighting to fully show off the features being photographed. Take pictures of all the standard areas of the house (living area, kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, outdoor spaces) but don't bemoan the point with repeated pictures showing the same basic room from a slightly different angle.

I've been monitoring listings for my parents, and two big red flags to me are bad photos (blurry, too dark, thumbs, etc) or outdoor only photos. I see those most frequently with FSBO. On the opposite side of the spectrum, I've seen people who take 12 different shots of their living room, including an artsy shot of the flower arrangement, and that's also a turn-off. There are two professional photography companies in my parents' area that always have a great array of photos, so when I see a listing with one of their watermarks, I know I'll get a good idea of the layout and fit & finish of the home or condo. Very rarely do the FSBO listings pay for one of these companies to do their photos.

The photos are your first impression with online FSBO listings, so you have to take care to take very good quality photos and curate the collection down to a manageable number that really shows off your home.
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Watty
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by Watty »

One thing I have not seen mentioned is that some states have pretty significant seller disclosure laws with significant penalties. Many FSBO people don't understand what is required and may be more likely to fudge the disclosure and a real estate agent may not want to get in the middle of a problem with something that is not disclosed.

A lot of it really depends on your local market. If there are lots of similar houses for sale there is little reason for an agent to include FSBO houses unless they have a contract with a buyer as buyers agent. Even then they would be at the bottom of the list.
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by michaeljc70 »

They won't bother as others have said as you aren't paying them anything. They also use the MLS which you are not in.

I've sold several places myself. I paid someone to put it in the MLS (typically $300) and offered a 2.5% commission which is standard in my area. All the places sold with no problem to people with agents.
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seanmerron
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by seanmerron »

Thanks for the replies everyone! I think a lot of you missed that we are offering 3% CCA (towards buyers commission) meaning the buying agent would get paid. I may get on MLS to see if that makes a difference but if not then it's most likely realtors just not wanting to deal with FSBOs for the reasons mentioned even though I already have a lawyer setup to handle closing paperwork.

Don't see the point in getting a realtor to pay another 15K to that will sell the house for the same price I'm trying to. The good thing is we have no time constraint so will sit and wait :happy
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by RudyS »

I read your original post to mean you were offering 3% towards closing costs. That's not the same as paying a 3% commission to the buyer agent. Might be a semantics issue rather than anything else.
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by LarryAllen »

In my experience FSBO is the biggest waste of time. Hire a Realtor. Negotiate to 4% if it makes you feel good. Hire a top quality Realtor who knows your area. I think doing a FSBO is penny wise... and pound foolish.
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by celia »

RudyS wrote:I read your original post to mean you were offering 3% towards closing costs. That's not the same as paying a 3% commission to the buyer agent. Might be a semantics issue rather than anything else.
+1
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by Herekittykitty »

seanmerron wrote:My house is For Sale By Owner and I put it on Zillow, Turlia, Craigslist but noticed I only get individual buyers looking to come in even when I said I'll offer 3% closing cost assistance to buyers. I noticed I'm not getting any realtors wanting to bring their buyers in...

Do you think this is more so because realtors dislike dealing with FSBOs (which I'm not sure why)? or rather because they just don't see my house because it isn't in MLS?
seanmerron wrote:Thanks for the replies everyone! I think a lot of you missed that we are offering 3% CCA (towards buyers commission) meaning the buying agent would get paid.
I don't think we're missing anything.

3% closing cost assistance does not necessarily mean 3% commission to the agent. Buyers' closing costs can include loan fees, appraisal fees, and all kinds of things - not just agent's commission.

So the way you put it in your original post, which presumably is the way it is in your advertising, does not guarantee the real estate agent anything. If you are specifically offering to pay 3% buyers' agents commissions then say so.

But keep in mind that in at least some places (maybe most, I don't know) the seller often pays 6% commission - in other words, the seller often covers the entire commission. So that even if you as a seller specifically offered 3% commission, if it is standard in your area for sellers to pay the entire 6% commission, the offer of 3% would be a bad deal.

Also - if I were a buyer and expecting to negotiate for the seller to pay the entire 6% commission (as is usual in at least some and maybe most places) - I sure wouldn't look at a house where the seller was saying up front that he was just going to pay 3%.

Bottom line is that the way you are advertising it does not seem to guarantee the real estate agent anything and in addition if you do get specific and say up front that as the seller you will pay 3% commission to an agent when generally sellers pay the entire 6% - you aren't likely to get any bites from agents or potential buyers.
I don't know anything.
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by Mudpuppy »

Herekittykitty wrote:But keep in mind that in at least some places (maybe most, I don't know) the seller often pays 6% commission - in other words, the seller often covers the entire commission. So that even if you as a seller specifically offered 3% commission, if it is standard in your area for sellers to pay the entire 6% commission, the offer of 3% would be a bad deal.
The 6% commission is typically split between both the listing agent and the buyer's agent, not solely for the buyer's agent. Offering 3% solely to the buyer's agent is not out of line, as that would be reflective of a 50/50 split of the 6% commission between the listing agent and buyer's agent in an agent-brokered transaction.
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by Herekittykitty »

Mudpuppy wrote:
Herekittykitty wrote:But keep in mind that in at least some places (maybe most, I don't know) the seller often pays 6% commission - in other words, the seller often covers the entire commission. So that even if you as a seller specifically offered 3% commission, if it is standard in your area for sellers to pay the entire 6% commission, the offer of 3% would be a bad deal.
The 6% commission is typically split between both the listing agent and the buyer's agent, not solely for the buyer's agent. Offering 3% solely to the buyer's agent is not out of line, as that would be reflective of a 50/50 split of the 6% commission between the listing agent and buyer's agent in an agent-brokered transaction.
True and thanks for pointing it out. I wasn't clear about what I meant. I should have said that I recently bought a house. Prior to starting my search for a house, I had consulted an attorney who advised me not to agree to paying any of the commission as it was typical in that area for the seller to pay the entire commission. When I bought the house the seller and seller's agent already expected for the seller to pay the entire commission - there wasn't any discussion about it, it was just done like that. So it appears common in that specific part of the country for the seller to pay the entire 6% commission, which is then split between the real estate agents according to whatever their practice is (I don't know if they split it 3% to each or some other way). I don't know how it is elsewhere in the country. So it appears to me that in that specific locale if a seller offers to pay 3% toward the buyers' closing expenses, that neither a potential agent nor a potential buyer would expect that to mean an offer to pay the selling agent a 3% commission.

Whether that would be the case elsewhere in the country I don't know.
I don't know anything.
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by Mudpuppy »

Herekittykitty wrote:
Mudpuppy wrote:
Herekittykitty wrote:But keep in mind that in at least some places (maybe most, I don't know) the seller often pays 6% commission - in other words, the seller often covers the entire commission. So that even if you as a seller specifically offered 3% commission, if it is standard in your area for sellers to pay the entire 6% commission, the offer of 3% would be a bad deal.
The 6% commission is typically split between both the listing agent and the buyer's agent, not solely for the buyer's agent. Offering 3% solely to the buyer's agent is not out of line, as that would be reflective of a 50/50 split of the 6% commission between the listing agent and buyer's agent in an agent-brokered transaction.
True and thanks for pointing it out. I wasn't clear about what I meant. I should have said that I recently bought a house. Prior to starting my search for a house, I had consulted an attorney who advised me not to agree to paying any of the commission as it was typical in that area for the seller to pay the entire commission. When I bought the house the seller and seller's agent already expected for the seller to pay the entire commission - there wasn't any discussion about it, it was just done like that. So it appears common in that specific part of the country for the seller to pay the entire 6% commission, which is then split between the real estate agents according to whatever their practice is (I don't know if they split it 3% to each or some other way). I don't know how it is elsewhere in the country. So it appears to me that in that specific locale if a seller offers to pay 3% toward the buyers' closing expenses, that neither a potential agent nor a potential buyer would expect that to mean an offer to pay the selling agent a 3% commission.

Whether that would be the case elsewhere in the country I don't know.
There is no selling agent in a FSBO (for sale by owner), so there is no one to split the 3% commission with. There is either no agent at all (direct seller-to-buyer contract) or just a buyer's agent. So stating that one will pay a 3% commission to the buyer's agent in a FSBO is just stating one will pay the typical buyer's agent commission.

Now in this case, the OP seems to be confusing overall closing costs with the buyer's agent commission. While the commission is part of the closing costs, it is not all of the closing costs. So if the OP really meant to state that the buyer's agent commission would be covered, the OP should clarify that. Since the OP has a real estate lawyer, who should be familiar with the local market and norms for buyer's agent commissions, perhaps the OP could consult with the lawyer on the clearest terminology to use in the listing.
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by michaeljc70 »

Herekittykitty wrote:
seanmerron wrote:My house is For Sale By Owner and I put it on Zillow, Turlia, Craigslist but noticed I only get individual buyers looking to come in even when I said I'll offer 3% closing cost assistance to buyers. I noticed I'm not getting any realtors wanting to bring their buyers in...

Do you think this is more so because realtors dislike dealing with FSBOs (which I'm not sure why)? or rather because they just don't see my house because it isn't in MLS?
seanmerron wrote:Thanks for the replies everyone! I think a lot of you missed that we are offering 3% CCA (towards buyers commission) meaning the buying agent would get paid.
I don't think we're missing anything.

3% closing cost assistance does not necessarily mean 3% commission to the agent. Buyers' closing costs can include loan fees, appraisal fees, and all kinds of things - not just agent's commission.

So the way you put it in your original post, which presumably is the way it is in your advertising, does not guarantee the real estate agent anything. If you are specifically offering to pay 3% buyers' agents commissions then say so.
+1
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seanmerron
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by seanmerron »

Thanks everyone! I have updated my house postings to specify I will pay buyer's commission to eliminate any confusion with closing costs.

Every realtor has approached me to sell the house under market value (I know this because recent houses sold for more) and it seems they just want fast sales vs. trying to get me the best value so I'm going to try FSBO out for a bit and if it doesn't work out get a realtor but keep the asking price at my FSBO price or higher since time is on my side and I'd be losing another 15K. :?
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by Lindrobe »

seanmerron wrote:Every realtor has approached me to sell the house under market value (I know this because recent houses sold for more) and it seems they just want fast sales vs. trying to get me the best value so I'm going to try FSBO out for a bit and if it doesn't work out get a realtor but keep the asking price at my FSBO price or higher since time is on my side and I'd be losing another 15K. :?
Don't let others on this board try to convince you that you are wasting your time by trying FSBO. Selling your house by owner can be well worth your efforts. I totally agree with you when you say that the realtors just want to sell your house under market value for a quick sale. While the difference in the commissions they receive from a "quick sale" price and a real market price may be very marginal, the difference to you could be tens of thousands of dollars.
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by jfn111 »

Just a few thoughts-
I try to keep my buyers away from Zillow and Trulia. They often have inaccurate information and I hate when the buyers send me a link for a house they like and it's been under contract for a month. It wastes everyone's time.
There is a lot of FSBO companies that help sellers by placing their listings on MLS. I won't hesitate to show one as long as the commission is clearly stated.
I really don't want to do the sellers work also. Do you have a title company lined up to handle your end of the closing? Are you going to get defensive when the Inspector finds some small things that need to get fixed?
Are you going to understand all the paperwork I send you?, or willing to pay an attorney to review it. (Each Brokerage has their own requirements as well as the State Commerce Dept. The one I put together this morning is 37 pages long.)
For some this is all a piece of cake but for others it will all be a confusing mess.
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by bertilak »

Last time I sold house I went through Hunfry Agents.

They put your request for an agent out to bid. I got several offers. I picked the one that looked best and asked her to visit and tell me what she could offer, as far as commission and promotional plans. I made sure her commission offer only included a discount on her part -- the buyer's agent still got full traditional commission.

I asked how they could offer lower commissions if they had to give a kickback to Hungry Agents. The basic idea is that one of the most costly things a real estate agent has to do (time and money) is secure new listings. Going through Hungry gents saved nearly all of that so they could pay for the service, take a smaller commission, and still come out ahead.

It all worked out well for me. The agent (and a couple of assistants) put in a LOT off effort selling the house. I got exactly what I expected to get and got it in a reasonable time. She also tutored me on negotiating tactics and what to do to fix up in the house for sale. We replaced some vinyl with ceramic tile and bought a brightly colored 5x9 rug. (It really tied the room together!)
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TRC
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by TRC »

Get your house on the MLS. Pretty sure you can do that for a flat fee of several hundred dollars. Offer to give the buyer's agent 2-3% of the sale price.
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by TRC »

seanmerron wrote:
Every realtor has approached me to sell the house under market value (I know this because recent houses sold for more) and it seems they just want fast sales vs. trying to get me the best value so I'm going to try FSBO out for a bit and if it doesn't work out get a realtor but keep the asking price at my FSBO price or higher since time is on my side and I'd be losing another 15K. :?
If you really think your house is worth a premium, list it with the realtor at the premium price. If you get no showings, lower the price. Chances are multiple realtors coming to the same conclusion on market price based on comps are right.
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by michaeljc70 »

seanmerron wrote:Every realtor has approached me to sell the house under market value (I know this because recent houses sold for more) and it seems they just want fast sales vs. trying to get me the best value so I'm going to try FSBO out for a bit and if it doesn't work out get a realtor but keep the asking price at my FSBO price or higher since time is on my side and I'd be losing another 15K. :?
You are the seller and you set the price and decide what offer to take whether using a realtor or not. Of course, a realtor may not be interested if the list price is unrealistic. In my experience though, they almost will always take the listing hoping you will reduce the price later.

A Realtor should run comps and give you a report justifying the price they think it should be listed at. If there is something wrong with those comps, bring it up. If they are just saying "I think your house is worth X", then they aren't a doing a very good job and I would stay away.

It is true that many prefer a quick sale to a higher price and it is smart to keep that in mind. I think the level of activity really helps you gauge the listing price over time.
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by englishgirl »

I am in the process of moving, and as a buyer, *I* was not interested in FSBO properties. Yes, despite being a Boglehead and potentially saving some money. First, as already mentioned, too many FSBO listings just have like 1 photo, or if you're very lucky, 3-6 photos. Do not expect me to spend time going to see a house on the off chance that your 2-line minimal description of your property is in any way accurate. I am just not going to go anywhere unless I've "pre-screened" it by carefully checking out all the photos. A single outside-only photo is only going to get my attention if the house is spectacular, in the best neighborhood in town, and a screaming deal. Second, I already think that you are going to be unrealistic because you're FSBO. I don't have time for that. I want a carefully thought out offer price on a property and I want someone professional to deal with MY realtor so we can get stuff done in a timely manner. As it is, the house I am buying is using one of those discount 4% realtors, and while I think the realtor is perfectly professional, the client is unrealistic and demanding, and insisted on hand-writing a vague contingency on the contract that no sane buyer would have accepted. We had to say we were walking away and the seller's realtor had to spend a long time talking her down from it, so we could go back to the properly prepared contract we had offered in the first place. The seller was also difficult about other things, including about allowing us access to see the property at times that worked for us. And even though we made a very fair, strong offer, the seller is still seeking backup offers just in case they can get a smidge more from someone else. So I expect worse behavior from someone who is being too cheap to hire a professional in the first place.

Edit: also, YOU may have all the time in the world, but your buyer may not. FSBO sends a signal to me that you're not really serious about selling. I want you ready to leave the property.

Sorry. It's been a long process, and maybe I'm just tired of it at this point in time. But if electrical work needs doing in the house are you going to hire someone professional to do it, or are you going to try to mess with it yourself? If you'd hire someone to do that, why not hire a professional to sell your house, which involves many complicated steps and processes? If you'd DIY your own electrical work, there's another reason I don't necessarily want to buy your house.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by unclescrooge »

TRC wrote:Get your house on the MLS. Pretty sure you can do that for a flat fee of several hundred dollars. Offer to give the buyer's agent 2-3% of the sale price.
+1

I sold my home by posting an agent $299 to list it on the MLS and putting "buyers agent to get 3.25% commission" in the description.

My phone rang of the hook with agents wanting to confirm the commission, and I got a full price offer in 48 hours.
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by jimb_fromATL »

unclescrooge wrote:
TRC wrote:Get your house on the MLS. Pretty sure you can do that for a flat fee of several hundred dollars. Offer to give the buyer's agent 2-3% of the sale price.
+1

I sold my home by posting an agent $299 to list it on the MLS and putting "buyers agent to get 3.25% commission" in the description.

My phone rang of the hook with agents wanting to confirm the commission, and I got a full price offer in 48 hours.
As a matter of curiosity, did you ever wonder if all that interest and such a quick sale might have been because you were under-pricing the property?

jimb
Lindrobe
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by Lindrobe »

englishgirl wrote:Second, I already think that you are going to be unrealistic because you're FSBO. I don't have time for that. I want a carefully thought out offer price on a property and I want someone professional to deal with MY realtor so we can get stuff done in a timely manner.
I think that this is an unfair assumption to make. I have sold 3 houses by owner simply due to the fact that I do not want to hand over my hard earned equity if I don't have to. In the area I live, it is terribly difficult to find a realtor that is responsive and knows what they are doing. Most of the realtors I have met are not worth the commission that they would earn for selling my house.
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coachz
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by coachz »

Lindrobe wrote:
seanmerron wrote:Every realtor has approached me to sell the house under market value (I know this because recent houses sold for more) and it seems they just want fast sales vs. trying to get me the best value so I'm going to try FSBO out for a bit and if it doesn't work out get a realtor but keep the asking price at my FSBO price or higher since time is on my side and I'd be losing another 15K. :?
Don't let others on this board try to convince you that you are wasting your time by trying FSBO. Selling your house by owner can be well worth your efforts. I totally agree with you when you say that the realtors just want to sell your house under market value for a quick sale. While the difference in the commissions they receive from a "quick sale" price and a real market price may be very marginal, the difference to you could be tens of thousands of dollars.
My formula for selling a FSBO is to have open house every Sat and Sun from 11 to 3 with cookies, drinks and printouts of house details. Measured floorplans, utility costs, school, community info etc.... Advertise with open house signs within a mile or two of the house and craigslist and local newspaper. I have had great success with this formula and in this sellers market it should be very doable. Also make sure the house has curb appeal and looks ready to move into. Get it looking like a model home with minimal furniture and no personal items.
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by Lindrobe »

coachz wrote:My formula for selling a FSBO is to have open house every Sat and Sun from 11 to 3 with cookies, drinks and printouts of house details. Measured floorplans, utility costs, school, community info etc.... Advertise with open house signs within a mile or two of the house and craigslist and local newspaper. I have had great success with this formula and in this sellers market it should be very doable. Also make sure the house has curb appeal and looks ready to move into. Get it looking like a model home with minimal furniture and no personal items.
I totally agree with coachz. I also want to add that it is free to list the house on Zillow. Have open houses, nice brochures with color pictures and information on all of the improvements you have done to the house.
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jabberwockOG
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by jabberwockOG »

Lindrobe wrote:
englishgirl wrote:Second, I already think that you are going to be unrealistic because you're FSBO. I don't have time for that. I want a carefully thought out offer price on a property and I want someone professional to deal with MY realtor so we can get stuff done in a timely manner.
I think that this is an unfair assumption to make. I have sold 3 houses by owner simply due to the fact that I do not want to hand over my hard earned equity if I don't have to. In the area I live, it is terribly difficult to find a realtor that is responsive and knows what they are doing. Most of the realtors I have met are not worth the commission that they would earn for selling my house.


25 years ago using a listing agent was a good idea because information on real estate listings and sales was very difficult to obtain. Times have drastically changed with the internet and apps like Zillow. Real Estate agents are running scared because their normal cash cow of commissions earned by doing very little by listing houses is starting to dry up. Home sellers who have just paid 3% of the transaction to a listing agent also want to rationalize and justify this huge expense to themselves.

We have had great success using a very low cost flat fee listing agent to post the house to the MLS and also offering the standard 3% (in our area) commission to the buyers agent. Real estate agents are coin operated, if your home is in the MLS and you are offering 3% commission to buyer's agent, and an agent has a buyer interested in your area they will definitely show your home and try to sell it to their buyer. Selling a home using a traditional full cost listing agent is a waste of money unless you are a very inexperienced home seller.
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englishgirl
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by englishgirl »

jabberwock wrote:
Lindrobe wrote:
englishgirl wrote:Second, I already think that you are going to be unrealistic because you're FSBO. I don't have time for that. I want a carefully thought out offer price on a property and I want someone professional to deal with MY realtor so we can get stuff done in a timely manner.
I think that this is an unfair assumption to make. I have sold 3 houses by owner simply due to the fact that I do not want to hand over my hard earned equity if I don't have to. In the area I live, it is terribly difficult to find a realtor that is responsive and knows what they are doing. Most of the realtors I have met are not worth the commission that they would earn for selling my house.


25 years ago using a listing agent was a good idea because information on real estate listings and sales was very difficult to obtain. Times have drastically changed with the internet and apps like Zillow. Real Estate agents are running scared because their normal cash cow of commissions earned by doing very little by listing houses is starting to dry up. Home sellers who have just paid 3% of the transaction to a listing agent also want to rationalize and justify this huge expense to themselves.

We have had great success using a very low cost flat fee listing agent to post the house to the MLS and also offering the standard 3% (in our area) commission to the buyers agent. Real estate agents are coin operated, if your home is in the MLS and you are offering 3% commission to buyer's agent, and an agent has a buyer interested in your area they will definitely show your home and try to sell it to their buyer. Selling a home using a traditional full cost listing agent is a waste of money unless you are a very inexperienced home seller.
Ehhh, I've run my realtor ragged with all she's been doing for me. I mean, see the post above by coachz - that's a lot of work hosting an open house 2 days every weekend with cookies. My realtor did all the open houses. She fielded all the calls, and negotiated on our behalf. She helped and advised on staging. She's been working with the title company. And then on the "buy" side she's seen 10+ houses with us. I think there is space for saying that there is a service here that is more than just sticking something on the MLS. I didn't want to take the time to deal with everything and I'm willing to pay for someone else to do that for me. Just like some people pay for a lawn service, or maid service, or whatever. I don't regard myself as inexperienced, just time crunched.
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jfn111
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by jfn111 »

englishgirl wrote:
jabberwock wrote:
Lindrobe wrote:
englishgirl wrote:Second, I already think that you are going to be unrealistic because you're FSBO. I don't have time for that. I want a carefully thought out offer price on a property and I want someone professional to deal with MY realtor so we can get stuff done in a timely manner.
I think that this is an unfair assumption to make. I have sold 3 houses by owner simply due to the fact that I do not want to hand over my hard earned equity if I don't have to. In the area I live, it is terribly difficult to find a realtor that is responsive and knows what they are doing. Most of the realtors I have met are not worth the commission that they would earn for selling my house.


25 years ago using a listing agent was a good idea because information on real estate listings and sales was very difficult to obtain. Times have drastically changed with the internet and apps like Zillow. Real Estate agents are running scared because their normal cash cow of commissions earned by doing very little by listing houses is starting to dry up. Home sellers who have just paid 3% of the transaction to a listing agent also want to rationalize and justify this huge expense to themselves.

We have had great success using a very low cost flat fee listing agent to post the house to the MLS and also offering the standard 3% (in our area) commission to the buyers agent. Real estate agents are coin operated, if your home is in the MLS and you are offering 3% commission to buyer's agent, and an agent has a buyer interested in your area they will definitely show your home and try to sell it to their buyer. Selling a home using a traditional full cost listing agent is a waste of money unless you are a very inexperienced home seller.
Ehhh, I've run my realtor ragged with all she's been doing for me. I mean, see the post above by coachz - that's a lot of work hosting an open house 2 days every weekend with cookies. My realtor did all the open houses. She fielded all the calls, and negotiated on our behalf. She helped and advised on staging. She's been working with the title company. And then on the "buy" side she's seen 10+ houses with us. I think there is space for saying that there is a service here that is more than just sticking something on the MLS. I didn't want to take the time to deal with everything and I'm willing to pay for someone else to do that for me. Just like some people pay for a lawn service, or maid service, or whatever. I don't regard myself as inexperienced, just time crunched.
+1
soboggled
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by soboggled »

It has been my experience that many realtors talk down FSBOs and even openly bad mouth them. They resent you negotiating fees, as well. They seem to dislike the concept of a homeowner "taking" their commissions which they seem to assume is their natural right. Nor can you predict how hard they will work for you - often the hardest they work hard is at getting the listing.
BTW, they view open houses mainly as a way of signing new sellers and finding new buyers for all their listings, not primarily as a way of selling your house.
Last edited by soboggled on Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by unclescrooge »

jimb_fromATL wrote:
unclescrooge wrote:
TRC wrote:Get your house on the MLS. Pretty sure you can do that for a flat fee of several hundred dollars. Offer to give the buyer's agent 2-3% of the sale price.
+1

I sold my home by posting an agent $299 to list it on the MLS and putting "buyers agent to get 3.25% commission" in the description.

My phone rang of the hook with agents wanting to confirm the commission, and I got a full price offer in 48 hours.
As a matter of curiosity, did you ever wonder if all that interest and such a quick sale might have been because you were under-pricing the property?

jimb
That's a fair question.

I'm going to say no for several reasons.

The property was a condo with several recent comps.
I had already bought and sold a couple of properties by this time so it was my first foray into selling real estate.
My day job is in data and analytics, so I'm comfortable analyzing data and trends.
It was listed higher than other comparable properties, and sold for more too.
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by bubbadog »

I paid a few hundred dollars to have my property listed on the MLS and offered a 3% buyer's agent commission. I had no problems with getting showings and was happy with the final selling price. This was not my first time selling property and past experiences with listing agents made me decide listing agents were simply not worth their 3%.
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by tacster »

bubbadog wrote:I paid a few hundred dollars to have my property listed on the MLS and offered a 3% buyer's agent commission. I had no problems with getting showings and was happy with the final selling price. This was not my first time selling property and past experiences with listing agents made me decide listing agents were simply not worth their 3%.
When you folks sell a house with no listing agent, how does it work with your side of the closing process? Is the paperwork simple enough that you handle it yourself? How do you know what all needs to be done and how to go about doing it? I'm kicking around the idea of selling my house this way and would like to know what I'd need to know. Lawyers are not normally used for real estate transactions here.
INSERT PITHY QUOTE HERE
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by Lindrobe »

tacster wrote:When you folks sell a house with no listing agent, how does it work with your side of the closing process? Is the paperwork simple enough that you handle it yourself? How do you know what all needs to be done and how to go about doing it? I'm kicking around the idea of selling my house this way and would like to know what I'd need to know. Lawyers are not normally used for real estate transactions here.
We have a friend that owns his own smallish real estate business. He has done the paperwork for us for a fee of around $500.
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hand
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by hand »

Yes, Realtors find FSBOs, but mostly just hungry realtors prospecting for listings rather than the realtors who have buyers interested in your house.

If your goal is to attract realtors with buyers, you either need to get the realtors interested themselves (offer a market or market+ commission) or get buyers to bring the listing to the realtors (Zillow, Trulia etc. or for a fee, the MLS with good pricing, clear pictures).

While many FSBO sellers eschew realtors because of the poor perceived cost to value ratio for listing agents, it important to recognize that good listing agents do add value:

1) Advise seller on most market friendly presentation of their home and any corrections needed (avocado & goldenrod no longer trendy, house smells etc.)
2) Available to open / show house during seller's working hours
3) Act as a buffer between buyer and seller

To be a successful FSBO seller, you need to do more than just pocket an extra 3%, you need to have a plan to address all (or most) of the other functions of a listing agent.

As a FSBO seller, you also need to recognize that buyers with realtors have already made their decision regarding the value of a realtor and that the realtor likely has already prepped the buyers that FSBOs can be difficult to deal with. Once you attract a realtor with a buyer, you need to be prepared to actively address these concerns if you want to complete the sale.
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seanmerron
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by seanmerron »

unclescrooge wrote:
TRC wrote:Get your house on the MLS. Pretty sure you can do that for a flat fee of several hundred dollars. Offer to give the buyer's agent 2-3% of the sale price.
+1

I sold my home by posting an agent $299 to list it on the MLS and putting "buyers agent to get 3.25% commission" in the description.

My phone rang of the hook with agents wanting to confirm the commission, and I got a full price offer in 48 hours.
How did you find the flat fee listing agent? I'm having trouble with that.
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seanmerron
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by seanmerron »

bubbadog wrote:I paid a few hundred dollars to have my property listed on the MLS and offered a 3% buyer's agent commission. I had no problems with getting showings and was happy with the final selling price. This was not my first time selling property and past experiences with listing agents made me decide listing agents were simply not worth their 3%.
How/Where did you pay the flat fee to get into MLS?
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coachz
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by coachz »

The last people I knew with listings could not get their realtors to do regular open houses. Their attitude was "Hey we did one !", I'm done.
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seanmerron
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by seanmerron »

Thanks everyone for the tips! I work from home with time to set everything up and we have no time table to move so I'd love to see how this works and continue to do on my own. I've done an open house as well which was easy and already have a title agency in line so I'm not sure where it gets hard to justify for an agent yet but I can say no agents have brought anyone in here even though I am also offering to pay buyers commission. My listing is below for anyone to see with suggestions:

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2412- ... iew=public
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by Mudpuppy »

We're a mostly friendly bunch, but it's still probably not a wise idea to post a link to the listing of where you currently live. I would suggest editing that out. If you want our feedback on the photos, upload them to Imgur, PhotoBucket, or the like and post a link to the album.
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coachz
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by coachz »

seanmerron wrote:Thanks everyone for the tips! I work from home with time to set everything up and we have no time table to move so I'd love to see how this works and continue to do on my own. I've done an open house as well which was easy and already have a title agency in line so I'm not sure where it gets hard to justify for an agent yet but I can say no agents have brought anyone in here even though I am also offering to pay buyers commission. My listing is below for anyone to see with suggestions:

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2412- ... iew=public
I wouldn't pay any commissions. To me FSBO is about leaving out the realtors and if a buyer finds your home (which they will), they have to talk to their realtor about it if they already have one and handle it themselves. You are selling a house. No different than selling a toothbrush. Who wants to buy it.
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hand
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by hand »

Listing looks good, but a couple quick comments:

1) Rather than the open-ended offer to pay "buyer's commission," suggest offering "X% buyer's agent commission". (however this effectively discounts your price by X%; Zillow is used by buyers, not agents, probably no need to address commission in this channel, but be ready to handle crisply when you speak to realtors.

2) A couple pictures could be a bit cleaner:
a) Remove train & tracks from playroom pictures
b) Reshoot closets with fewer clothes to make look more spacious
c) Kitchen could do with a bit less clutter (one towel, no utensils, no sponges etc.)

3) If you want to get this in front of realtors, suggest either listing in MLS for a couple hundred dollars, or specifically reaching out to buyer's agents to let them know of a great deal and offering a preview (be ready for them to try to convert to their listing.)

4) Pictures make this look like an attractive house, and Zillow should be reporting number of views - if you're not getting calls from buyers / realtors looking to list, your pricing is likely too high. I'd suggest an honest valuation based on comps, less 3% to account for commission savings.
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coachz
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Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Post by coachz »

Exactly, make it look like a model home. Go visit a model home nearby to get the vibe if necessary.
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