Selling House By Owner

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:51 pm

Selling House By Owner

Post by bert1 » Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:43 pm

I am trying to sell my house by owner. I have to sell it by owner because the terrible housing market has put me in a position where I would lose money after paying Realtor fees. I have the option of paying $700 on forsalebyowner/com to put my house on their website, realtor/com and get my house listed in the MLS (all with one picture). I would like to sell by January if possible (I know its crunch time!). I am moving out of state and would not like to rent the house from a distance to unknown renters. So I guess there are a few questions I would like answered:

1. Is it worth paying the money to get on the MLS and those websites?

2. Does anyone have suggestions for selling a house by owner?

3. Is anyone looking for a house in Summerville, SC?

Thanks, Rob.

User avatar
Vig Oren
Posts: 818
Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 8:38 am
Location: NC (near Raleigh)

House Sale

Post by Vig Oren » Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:05 pm

Get a Realtor and ask to pay below 5% commission. Get one who been selling houses in your area and give a time limit. It does not pay to fool around yourself. Too much involved! :P

User avatar
Posts: 1544
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:02 pm

Post by gunn_show » Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:39 pm

I don't have direct experience with your situation.

But I would tend to agree with Vig, in that there is a lot involved with selling that you may want a broker/Realtor on your side.

You may want to look at Ipayone or Help u Sell or some similar companies that charge 1% or less.
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

User avatar
Posts: 2278
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:53 pm

Post by JMacDonald » Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:45 pm

I agree with the time limit. When I sold my house, I only allowed the contract to last 60 days instead of the standard 120 days. The house sold on the 59th day. Best Wishes.


User avatar
White Coat Investor
Posts: 14346
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Greatest Snow On Earth

Post by White Coat Investor » Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:46 pm

I put realtors in the same category as most financial planners in that they cost too much for what they do. I will only use one in the future only if I absolutely do not have the ability to buy/sell on my own. I find the time I spend on the process generally pays better than time spent seeing patients (which pays pretty well.) I.E. Time spent buying/selling my house has a greater per hour pay-off than time at work. For example, if you have a half million dollar house, and it takes you a grand total of 40 hours to sell it (time in addition to what you would have spent if you had hired a realtor), but saves you a 6% commission, you just made $750 an hour. I could have spent 5 solid weeks of work selling that house instead of working and still come out ahead.

On the other hand, you need to educate yourself about the process, accurately price the house, and hire professionals to do that which must be done. But a good real estate lawyer can do the whole thing for $500. Even if he charges $2K that's probably still a good deal compared to a realtor.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

User avatar
Posts: 11083
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 5:05 pm
Location: Puget Sound

Post by stratton » Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:54 pm

Here's a blog by a realter on selling houses in an ugly market.

In this case the market is San Diego.

The problem is you're trying to sell a house just like everyone else when there is a glut. If you price it like everyone else odds on its going to sit... And they you have to keep lowering the price as the market goes down which leads to... Selling 5 to 10% below the current market to actually get a sale. All this is assuming your house looks as good or better than everyone elses.

The second problem you've mentioned is you can't afford to pay a realter. If you can't afford paying the realter you may not be able to afford selling your house at all by your stated requirements.


Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 12:47 am
Location: Katy, TX

Re: Selling House By Owner

Post by Cookiekaikai » Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:21 pm

>1. Is it worth paying the money to get on the MLS and those websites?

Yes. I have sold 3 properties with flat fee MLS. This is the only way you should sell by owner in this kind of market.

(I sold my last house in NJ in August 2006 in 30 day. Market had slow already)
Thanks All, Edmond

Michael Weiss
Posts: 275
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 4:29 pm

Post by Michael Weiss » Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:44 pm

I sold by owner with the help of a MLS listing on several years ago in NJ. My view is also that realtor efforts do not justify their commissions. After all, it is the buying agent that does most of the work. I paid a little over $300 back then and paid the buying agent 2%. Even with a very unusual contract, we had competing offers and contracted within a few months. I think the fees may be higher now. In NJ, they are closer to $400.

Posts: 378
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:45 pm
Location: New England

Post by barefootjan » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:41 am

Rob have you tried craigslist yet?

Years ago my husband & I sold our own home without a real estate agent. A 6 month exclusive contract (big mistake) with an agent failed to net even one offer, but on our own we had a buyer in just one month. The thing that hurt us with the agent is the same thing that helped us sell without one: our house was at the low end of the market. There are people out there looking for exactly these kinds of deals, some of them with cash in hand.

We used an attorney to handle the closing, but the fee was very low and the protection worth every dime.

If you haven't already, go to the most reputable realtors in your town and ask for a free market analysis that includes recent sales of similar homes in the area. You should have no problem getting at least three. Remember the names of any agents who seem truly interested in selling your house. You never know, you may want to contact them later!

Be sure not to overprice your home with the idea that you can lower the price later. When a home sits on the market too long, prospective buyers assume that there's a problem with the house, and they won't even come to look.

If things in SC are anything like where we were, be prepared for calls from realtors looking to get the listing, and visits from con artists trying to scare you into thinking your home won't sell. We had a couple of guys try to pull off a section of our siding to "prove" that we had termite damage (we didn't). It was an interesting venture, to say the least.

One big advantage of using a real estate agent is that they do their darnedest to pre-approve buyers before they even arrange a showing. Without an agent you'll have to do some kind of pre-screening yourself, or risk wasting valuable time showing your home to someone who can't get a credit card, let alone a mortgage.

Good luck with your decision,

User avatar
Ted Valentine
Posts: 1561
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:28 am
Location: Music City USA

Post by Ted Valentine » Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:08 am

People buying a house FSBO know that you're saving up to 6%. They can do the math. Plan on knocking a piece of that 6% off the list price of your house.

Sounds like you're in a tight squeeze if 6% is going to make/break you.

Best wishes.
Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating.

Posts: 9416
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

I paid the 6%

Post by tibbitts » Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:13 am

There is no magic requirement that you make money or break even on a house. It can go either way, so I'd get over that. Also there's nothing that says it has to sell in two months like what you're suggesting (unless you drop the price well below market, obviously.) My inclination is that when you see fsbo, you're going to expect somewhere around a 4+% discount. That's why people advertise fsbo, it's like putting up a discount sign.

I had to sell my house from several hundred miles away and paid the 6% and got an excellent realtor. She even held a garage sale for me , and then got rid of the extra junk that didn't sell, which make the house a lot more presentable. It would have been a huge hassle and expense for me to do that. I had several agents look at the house; this agent really liked the house and suggested a price 8% higher than anybody - and got 5% over what any of the other realtors would have even asked. She also recommended a very low cost attorney, and that saved me more money.


User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 3239
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:14 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Post by tashina » Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:41 am

Try this board for excellent advice:

If you show these guys your listing or web site, they will generally tell you in great detail what is wrong - down to pillows not being fluffed enough.

They are a great source of info on FSBO if you do a search on the board (at the bottom of the page) for that term.

Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 3:22 pm

Post by cdelena » Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:14 pm

In my experience For Sale by Owner only works really well for very desirable properties. Marginal properties often take many showings over a long period and sometimes some hard bargaining that most owners can not handle well.

Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 11:58 am

Post by InheritedAnArsenal » Sat Oct 13, 2007 2:28 pm

I did FSBO and sold in 6 days. Heck, I even got more than my backup realtor wanted to do. Of course, it was a hot market and time and I got really lucky.

I didn't list in the MLS, but I probably should have. Again, I got really lucky. I would say to do the MLS thing at least.

Post Reply