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Old 09-07-2010, 11:04 AM   #1
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FSBO Advice

I thought the Airforums crowd was a good bunch to ask about "For Sale By Owner" web sites and services. We need to put our home on the market this month. Before I moved east, I sold my home myself. It was fairly straightforward. The current housing market is much tougher, but my wife would like us to try a "FSBO" for a few months before we break down and hire a realtor.

When we bought this house, we did all of our browsing online. I know it's important to bite the bullet and get an MLS listing, but there are a range of different services at different price points. If anyone has any suggestions or advice, please let me know. The target date for leaving Maryland (and spending several months in our Overlander) is next July. We're trying to get this rolling now because it could take some time to get the darn thing sold.
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:53 AM   #2
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If you want to sell a house yourself and sell it fast and easy look up "the 5 day method". There is a book that explains the whole thing and they have a web site as well.

I used the 5 day method a couple of years ago and it worked OK. I was a little disappointed by the price I got but that was because of the market not because of the way I sold. If I had held out I would either still have the house shelling out $$$$$ dough for taxes, insurance, mortgage etc or have settled for less money. In other words I probably got as much money as I would have if I listed with a RE company, it only took 5 days, and I saved a commission.

I've also tried listing on a popular FSBO web site but it didn't do a thing.

This is after 35 years of dickering in houses. I no longer bother with RE agents if I can help it. They are more trouble than they are worth.

5 day method web site
http://www.howtosellyourhomein5days.com/

Reviews. The good the bad and the ugly. I can assure you it does work and it is legal, you will get market value for your home and you can back out anytime if you like. But there is no guarantee you will get "your" price if "your" price is unrealistic.

http://books.google.ca/books?id=iPGt...itesec=reviews
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:17 PM   #3
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One thing that works strongly against FSBOs these days is that REs have started getting propective purchasers to sign on that they will only buy through them.

I suppose that a RE has to protect him or herself against spending hours of time and gasoline showing homes, so I wasn't really surprised when the agent we used wanted us to sign it.

Sadly for the FSBO crowd, this removes the "cream from the crop", so to speak. A buyer has to know that they will not go through a RE, and if one is moving to a comepltely new area (as we did) that can be a tough decision to make. AFter all, ONE thing the REs know for sure it what the different areas are like, and worht.
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:28 PM   #4
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you know what you are selling is okay, but what about me?

When selling, you trust yourself, and know you are marketing a clear title, sound "thing." But, the buyer does not. So although I agree that FSBO is best, give the buyer the opportunity to purchase it through a realtor/title company/inspector 13, etc-by giving him/her the option of buying said services at their own cost, of course. that gives the opportunity to remove the "unknown" fears of the buyers, while not incurring for you expense. You may wish to have two pricing points-one with such expenses included, in case the purchaser wants to amortize those expenses, and one without for a buyer who wishes to pay cash for such services...
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Aage View Post
One thing that works strongly against FSBOs these days is that REs have started getting propective purchasers to sign on that they will only buy through them.

I suppose that a RE has to protect him or herself against spending hours of time and gasoline showing homes, so I wasn't really surprised when the agent we used wanted us to sign it.

Sadly for the FSBO crowd, this removes the "cream from the crop", so to speak. A buyer has to know that they will not go through a RE, and if one is moving to a comepltely new area (as we did) that can be a tough decision to make. AFter all, ONE thing the REs know for sure it what the different areas are like, and worht.
This is not an impediment to your sale, it just costs you more. As long as you're willing to pay commission to a buyer's agent and are in MLS, a buyer's agent should be as happy to show your house as any other. (There are services that will list you in MLS for a nominal fee in MOST states, though the real estate lobby has blocked those in some states I believe.)
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:43 PM   #6
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For the first time in our 27+ yrs of owning several homes, we opted to go the realtor market for several reasons, the market is not what it used to be, living in FL our contracts went from 4 pages to eleven, we found a realtor that is amazing and on top of everything. We sold our home in 5 wks, below appraised value (our choice, but we have another we're buying) and our realtor really knew our market. She heavily marketed in other locations (out of state,country). I can honestly say that she earned her 5% commission and then some. Having said that, and living in the state of FL, many things are changing especially when it comes to buyers getting mortgages.
Also, anyone that came into our house to take a look, was usually prequalified for the amount we were asking...something you don't know if you are selling by yourself. We also took a 2 wk vacation during our sale, and with our realtor, we didn't have to have any breaks in showing the property. At the advice of our realtor, we did "stage" our home and every prospective buyer that came thru, commented on how nice it was. I believe that is one reason the house sold so quickly. Alot of people refuse to stage homes, but we looked at it as a business deal and packed alot of family "stuff" away for our next home.
We had two other offers from out of state people, so MLS is important.
Good luck in your endeavor!
Andi
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:20 PM   #7
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RE Agents work HARD

I know many who genuinely try to do the best for the seller and the buyer. There are some wolves... but then what trade or profession doesn't have it's share of wolves?

If you're going FSBO and you're approached by an agent with a captive buyer to do a "One Time Showing" you can negotiate the pants off of the agent's commission. First the buyer HAS paid to bind his contract with the agent. You'll have to pay something, but it's gravy, and it can be $1K, not $14-20K. The agent doesn't have to advertise, do open houses, list on MLS, blah-blah-blah. The buyer looks, likes, buys it's $1K for 6-10 hrs work.

Today's market varies from area to area... and it goes from bleak to simply tragic. Our prices have dropped about 1/3 from the peak, but in Florida my partner just bought his retirement home - 3 years old, 4 br, 3 ba, 1800 sq ft, ranch, tile roof, made to adapt for wheelchair in a gated community. The price? No sh** $115K. An 1800 sq ft house for the price of a 34 tri-axle Airstream!!!

bang head here X

Assess your local market. Interview an agent or two. Oh, and yes, according to our mayor, fire chiefs around the nation are aware that house fires are on the rise especially where the owners are upside down and desperate to sell... so don't even let that thought enter your brain.

Good luck and happy trails!

Paula
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:16 PM   #8
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I know many who genuinely try to do the best for the seller and the buyer. There are some wolves... but then what trade or profession doesn't have it's share of wolves?

If you're going FSBO and you're approached by an agent with a captive buyer to do a "One Time Showing" you can negotiate the pants off of the agent's commission. First the buyer HAS paid to bind his contract with the agent. You'll have to pay something, but it's gravy, and it can be $1K, not $14-20K. The agent doesn't have to advertise, do open houses, list on MLS, blah-blah-blah. The buyer looks, likes, buys it's $1K for 6-10 hrs work.

Today's market varies from area to area... and it goes from bleak to simply tragic. Our prices have dropped about 1/3 from the peak, but in Florida my partner just bought his retirement home - 3 years old, 4 br, 3 ba, 1800 sq ft, ranch, tile roof, made to adapt for wheelchair in a gated community. The price? No sh** $115K. An 1800 sq ft house for the price of a 34 tri-axle Airstream!!!

bang head here X

Assess your local market. Interview an agent or two. Oh, and yes, according to our mayor, fire chiefs around the nation are aware that house fires are on the rise especially where the owners are upside down and desperate to sell... so don't even let that thought enter your brain.

Good luck and happy trails!

Paula
This may vary by state, but I know that in Texas, the buyer doesn't pay anything directly for the "buyer's agency" agreement with his/her realtor, they just agree that during the term of the contract they won't buy without going through that agent or paying an equivalent commission, and won't buy a house after the term of the contract that the agent showed them during the term of the contract without paying said agent.

So, if your agent shows you a FSBO where the seller is offering to pay buyer's agent commission, the ONLY money your agent would be making is that commission from the seller.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:37 PM   #9
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I appreciate the thoughts. I don't have any problem if a potential buyer wants to underwrite a buying agent. And I understand that potential buyers might have concerns. Given my profession, however, I know more about zoning law, easements, deed restrictions, covenants, wells, septic systems, mechanical systems, etc., than most real estate brokers. In fact, when shopping for homes, I've been, well, less than impressed with how little some real estate professionals know about the details like setbacks, septic replacement areas, etc.

My main question was about the web service that support FSBO sellers. I can see the advantage of putting the house into the MLS system, which will generate some exposure to potential buyers. I also want to ensure I make it onto places like Yahoo! Real Estate (where we found it originally). I can handle the on-site signage, brochures, showings, etc. I agree with "staging," but I'm willing to sacrifice a bit to keep living a real life while we're trying to sell the house. On the positive side, we have only one daughter left at home which makes keeping the place a bit easier.

I may break down and go with a broker after a few months. I really don't want to delay our departure and ultimate Airstream adventure because the house hasn't sold. That said, if we can sell without giving a large chunk of commission away, we take a less of a hit on the lousy housing market.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aage View Post
One thing that works strongly against FSBOs these days is that REs have started getting propective purchasers to sign on that they will only buy through them.

I suppose that a RE has to protect him or herself against spending hours of time and gasoline showing homes, so I wasn't really surprised when the agent we used wanted us to sign it.

Sadly for the FSBO crowd, this removes the "cream from the crop", so to speak. A buyer has to know that they will not go through a RE, and if one is moving to a comepltely new area (as we did) that can be a tough decision to make. AFter all, ONE thing the REs know for sure it what the different areas are like, and worht.
You can use the 5 day method and sell through the buyer's agent, It's up to them to pay their agent in that case.

I always employ a good lawyer, title company and title searcher. RE agents are more or less useless. Their contracts are usually filled with errors and they specialize in sabotaging deals in their efforts to prove they know more about your business than you do.

I used to know one good RE agent. She was dumb as hell but she was enthusiastic about seeing a deal go through and did not try to talk anybody into doing things her way. She made so much money, she took 3 or 4 expensive vacations a year, a month in Tahiti, 6 weeks in Ireland, trips like that.

Last I heard she quit real estate and was running a tea room, no kidding.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:11 PM   #11
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Here, for sale by owners always have the most showings, sell first, for the most money, and have the fewest problems.
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:45 PM   #12
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You might take a look at zillow Home Sellers, Post Homes for Sale - Zillow. You can list there for about 40 bucks and they are the hottest search engine for listings these days.

There are some others as well. You might also look in to flat fee MLS listings for fsbos (you can list yourself to be included in their data) I think they run about 200 bucks.

I sold my last house at a yard sale in prep for listing. Someone pulled up and asked if we might be moving and ultimately bought the house.

Good luck
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:07 AM   #13
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This should be too obvious but if the buyer employs an agent to look out for their interests it is up to them to pay him.

Don't get suckered into paying someone else's agent. If any agent made me such an offer I would politely decline, knowing the buyers will find my house anyway.

So why do sales people try such absurd tricks? Well if baby holds out candy might as well take it, and if someone is green enough to pay you for nothing why not?
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:43 PM   #14
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Internet

I know MLS is still the heavyweight MLS, but the world is moving quickly around it. We looked for this home via the Internet and that's increasing how the world works. I remember when the classified ads of the local paper were a big deal... before Craigslist.

Our goal from a marketing standpoint is to get the information out to as many potential buyers as possible. The market is terrible, but we're going to ask a fair price and we're throwing in some extras since we're moving (like a John Deere riding mower, Honda tiller, etc.)

With all due respect to any real estate agents reading this, I just don't see the correlation between the commission and the value added to the process. Marketing is much less expensive in the digital age. I know real estate attorneys and title companies. Technically, there's nothing a real estate can tell me about our property that I don't already know. My wife is actually an excellent salesperson. She has all of the charm I lack. We just need to get rolling because I expect it will take more than six months to get the darn thing sold.
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