FSBO: Are we crazy to try?

buildinvaFebruary 27, 2009

We've done it before, but of course the market was much better then. We don't *have* to sell but would like to so we can rent small & start building. I'm thinking of trying FSBO for 4 weeks using a flat fee MLS / Word of mouth / networking / internet based strategy to market. Everyone is telling me it's crazy to try, that we'll never sell it ourselves. There are 10+ homes for sale in our neighborhood, but that's not unusual because we have a high military presence.


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We are in the same situation. We don't have to sell but we would like to build a house on some acreage we own. Last night we interviewed two realtors. After speaking with them, I think we might try and sell it on our own for several weeks and see what happens. Being that we are in no hurry, I don't see what it will hurt.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 4:08PM
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Hey guys-I am in the same boat and am doing flat fee mls which includes realtor.com. I think if you have a house that is somehow in demand in any way shape or form in this market (and I just mean different/better than the rest in your neighborhood) to go ahead and do it! It's all about price anyway. I don't think what realtors do is rocket science..the MLS and realtor.com are key and now that we have access to that through flat fee MLS we have almost as many tools as they do. Now, if you house will be a tough sell then you need a realtor. The key is to be very realistic about what your home is worth. If you come out to high on a FSBO you will immediately send the impression that you don't understand the market, are unrealistic, etc and might turn people away permanently.

I am not going to sell my house below market value either to "Split the difference" on the realtor fee. I am doing all the work and my house is worth x amount of dollars whether or not a realtor is getting his/her cut.

I also don't HAVE to sell.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 12:48PM
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I would just list with an agent then put it on militarybyowner.com

I also lived in a military town meant nothing. Took us one year from date of listing to closing. I wouldn't waste time.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 5:23PM
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FWIW we thought we were crazy to try last fall, too. We told ourselves we'd give it a month or two and then get a realtor. But we had a bidding war the second day we started showing it! Sold for more than asking. I gave a detailed description of what we did here, if you wish to read it:

Here is a link that might be useful: another tread on FSBO

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 10:45AM
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Thanks for the input!

Stacey--LOVED your ideas, and what great encouragement your story provides! I am actually planning a very similar path and have already purchased my domain. I'm not a web designer so I'll struggle through it, lol. Would you mind sharing your website you used for your home? I'd love to see it!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 10:27PM
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There are many places where you can set up a web site for the home - for free, with easy-to-use templates.

www dot 0golf dot com is one I had used before and it was great. There are many others too. Also if you have Internet Service, chances are you get a web site or more as part of the monthly fee. You do NOT want your name as part of the web site name.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 10:17AM
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Since you don't have to sell, I'd give it a try, but I'd give it 2 months once you have made the flat fee investment.
I do think that getting the house on MLS is key.
The obvious applies: Price it right for the property and the market, make it available for showings and as marketable as possible.
best of luck!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 1:01PM
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Hi again-

Here's the site. I did remove all of the information and descriptions, so try to picture it with a couple of paragraphs of description. Also on the top right hand it had the price, MLS number, 4BR, 1.5 BA, and it said, "For more informations call....". www dot 35Keswick dot com.

You can see the For Sale sign we made in the first photo.

It is KEY to get it listed on MLS. Although we used our realtor friend, we had another realtor offer to do so for a small fee, too. I felt a lot better about that than using one of those canned FSBO companies with their horrendous graphics on the signs and web pages!

I also want to add that it's a major PITA to do this all. Taking all the calls, scheduling showings, making sure you have the Property Disclosure and everything all set takes a lot of time and focus and organization. In our case, it was totally worth it I'm the right sort of person to do that kind of thing, but I can see it being overwhelming for some people.

Also, I don't have TV so I have never seen those real estate/home shows everyone is always talking about, but I do read on these forums about how people "stage" houses. I did that without realizing it was a "thing to do"! A month before we put the house on the market, I cleaned out closets and packed up about 20 or so large moving boxes of random stuff, books off shelves, etc. We pared down to what I felt we needed for the next 6-8 months we thought it would take to sell the house. I wanted as much opf our personal clutter put away as possible. (Poor DH and DD... I was a maniac about cleaning up for a month there!) Then we repainted many rooms, touched up trim, cleaned the exterior and interior really well, re-mulched the garden, black-topped the driveway, made sure we had nice porch plants, repaired and replaced anything worn or dingy, including the flooring in three rooms. Then I scheduled the showings all for the same weekend, and we super-cleaned the house and put out flowers and stuff. We showed it for about 3 weeks, even though we we were under contract immediately, and I kept it all net as a pin throughout. So... anyway it's a lot of work! But- we saved something like $7500 I think, so it was worth it for us.

I also think its important to do lots of research before you price the house. If you price too high it sits on the market, Too low and well who wants to do that? I do feel like there was quite "buzz" around our house with lots of young couples -who's been looking for a whole- all super-excited the minute we started showing it. I had watched the market listings for a couple of months. I especially watched houses in our immediate neighborhood. I knew ours was in much better shape aesthetically and being totally move-in-ready, so I priced it accordingly, but not as high as it would have been in the better neighborhood 10 minutes away...

The final sale price was $10k over our asking, BTW.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 3:47PM
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buildinva, I tried to email you but you don't have that option on your page here. if you want to email me, please do, I have one other thing to add off-line.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 3:49PM
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