FSBO and Getting Nervous

maredaJuly 27, 2014

Hi all, my home has been listed since Friday and so far, nothing. No calls. Wait, one call from a local realtor just saying they're available if I'm unable to sell it myself.

Three realtors told me inventory is low and that in my development the houses generally sell rather quickly. Two came back with the same number I should price it out at, the third came back with $10K higher. I went with the lower number.

I let them know I'm happy to work with them at the commission percentage they usually get. Two said that's good to hear and the other one said she never shows her clients FSBO's because she got burned once.

My sign was professionally made and I put together a website using my address and weebly that I included in the listings.

The only thing I can think of is that I have not listed on the mls. Do you think that's the issue? And can anyone recommend a flat fee mls listing company they used and were happy with that doesn't cost $500, but $299 or less? I did a search on GW but many didn't list company names, or said they paid $500, or their post went back to 2007.

Also, I put in my ads that I was willing to work with buyer's agents. Was that enough to say or do I need to state the commission amount I'm willing to pay, which I'm told is the going rate in my area?

Thanks to anyone who can offer assistance.

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Are you on Craigslist and Zillow?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 2:02PM
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Hi lazygardens. Yes, I used postlets and it went on Craigslist, Zillow and Yahoo on Friday. I checked the sites to make sure it was there.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 2:21PM
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flat fee mls listing company

Here is a link that might be useful: netrealtynow

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 2:26PM
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Thanks, Zep. You used them and were happy with them, I'm assuming?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 2:36PM
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Getting in the MLS will definitely help. I'd just google "flat fee mls" and your state and see what pops up. They may or may not cover your area (we weren't able to get listed). Since all they do is list you in the MLS with your photos and descriptions, I wouldn't be too worried about all the reference checking, etc. to pick one (if you've got multiple options). Just pay with a credit card and dispute the charge if they don't actually list you or something.

And FWIW, I wouldn't cheap out over $500 vs $299. You're saving thousands by eliminating a listing agent's commission; don't skip getting in the MLS because it's $200 more than you want to pay.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:52PM
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Thanks, Weedy, I did try that before posting but their reviews are sketchy. I can appreciate what you're saying but job loss means funds are tight right now.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:23PM
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It's my brother, I use to do the listings for him. Not sure if he covers your area though, call him tell him joe sent you, if he can't list you he will provide very good advice for you at least..

Joe Hennerty...

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:27PM
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Got it, thank you.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:29PM
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Your welcome, the main idea is to get into the MLS, it's the first thing we did, then I think pictures on realtor.com

Get him on the phone and get him talking it's free advice from someone who's been at a long time...

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:36PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Try Trulia too. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:39PM
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See if Clickit Realty is available in your area. It's Century 21's flat fee MLS service. Their listing packages start $249. We used them and were very happy with the service.

Here is a link that might be useful: Clickit Realty

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:59PM
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Zep, I'm really hoping that's the problem - that I'm not in the mls yet. I would hate to think everyone around here is unwilling to show their clients fsbo homes.

desertdance, thanks, I forgot to mention it's also on Trulia. If I'm reading the weebly stats correctly, 2 people came through Zillow, 2 people through weebly and 2 through google. I'm surprised nobody has come through Yahoo or Trulia yet. I can't believe people would just leave searching up to their agent, I would think they'd be online looking, too, but what do I know?

persnicketydesign, thanks for the lead. Did you use them and were you happy with them? They're in my state but the rates start at $299. That's okay, I expected they would be as much.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 5:18PM
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We did use Clickit and were very happy with their services. We were in the MLS within 24 hours of giving them our info & photos.

All of our showings came from realtors who had seen it in the MLS, not on Zillow or other websites (although we were on those too). We sold the house in 3 weeks and paid a 2 1/2% commission to the buyer's agent.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 5:26PM
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persnickety, thanks for the additional information. 2.5% is our going rate, too.

So I'm guessing that's what the problem is. I read through so many posts here before getting started I don't know why I put the mls listing on the back burner. Oh well, at least I found out now instead of two weeks from now. ;-)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 5:53PM
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I just did a successful FSBO this spring. Flat fee MLS is not available in my area, so I couldn't do that. I honestly just think it takes a little longer for FSBO, so don't be too discouraged yet!

If you're in a city or town with a university, also poke around and see if they have any unoversity sponsored sites where you can advertise housing. Ours does have a free site like that and I got calls from incoming professors. I listed there at suggestion of a realtor here and was surprised how much action it generated-- though by that point we got an offer just from a person who was an acquaintance of someone who heard we were selling our house.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 6:10PM
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Thanks, threepinktrees. Never having gone through this before, it's a little scary, so I appreciate all the support I'm getting from everyone here.

We don't have any university in town, but we do have some Fortune 500 companies within 20 minutes, so I suppose I could contact them to see if they have anyone relocating to the area who may need housing. I read that as a tip in one of the threads I found while searching.

Patience is not my strength, as everyone can probably already tell!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 7:23PM
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Around here, buyers absolutely expect that a fsbo property be priced to reflect the commission savings. I don't know if that is the case in your area, but if you priced your house at what the agents would have listed it for, you may be viewed as overpriced. Some agents shy away from fsbo properties because they believe it will be more work for them to get the deal closed.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 8:20PM
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The thing people don't get about FSBOs is that we all know you are saving thousands of dollars by not listing through a Realtor. If I see a FSBO that is listed at top dollar, I assume the owner is greedy and probably a pain in the ass to deal with. Not saying that is the case with your listing but if you offer your home at an obvious discount and it is neat clean and relatively free of defects, people should be jumping on your listing. Trust me, there are plenty of savvy buyers out there that scour the Internet sites and neighborhoods looking for deals. We listed on Zillow as well as having all our signage printed with our zillow Internet address, Craig's List, and the newspaper. That's pretty much all most people will need in any area that isn't strictly rural. Price is, ultimately, what motivates people to get them to come to your door.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 9:25PM
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fishymom and Mmmbeeer, thanks for your posts. The two agents who suggested the lower dollar amount each prefaced their statement with, "If you want to pass along some of your savings to the buyer, I would recommend you list it at $________." They both said I could raise it if I didn't want to pass anything on to the buyer but I opted to leave it where it was. I'm not sure anyone will realize that, so I intend on sharing that information so potential buyers and agents are comfortable with the price.

I got some great advice on safety from one of the agents, and tips on how to deal with various issues with potential buyers and I was very grateful they were as gracious as they were with their time.

Thanks again, all!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 11:36PM
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I never understand the rational behind "FSBOs should priced lower to reflect commission savings". I thought a house's market value is determined by its location, design, features, condition, structures, materials, workmanship, history (reputation)...etc. instead of by how many agents are involved.

Agents earn commission for work performed. If owners of FSBOs are capable of marketing, selling, negotiating, closing transaction, handling legal issues and paper work...etc. why they could not earn commission by setting and selling the house at market price? In other words, If there is no gain why people want to FSBO?

FSBO takes lots of work, but definitely is doable. Many on this forum have done that before. In the past, we also had sold our house, at much higher price than other similar houses in the neighborhood sold by agents.

OP, there are smart agents, but a lot more are not. It won't hurt to listen their opinions, but you need to make your own decisions.

Do not share any information with anyone, such as the reason to sell, your bottom line or your finance situation...etc. Words travel. The moment you put house on the market, you are not only a homeowner, you are also a business person who is conducting a very important business transaction.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 1:09AM
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Azmom, thank you for your post. I felt it made sense to take a few thousand dollars off the price only because I want to be competitive and hopefully have this happen as quickly as possible, although I didn't voice that to the agents. I agree keeping a closed mouth is critical, otherwise people could take advantage.

I'm telling everyone the reason I'm leaving is because I'm an empty-nester and the house is too large, which is true.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 9:51AM
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The 'sold' price of houses in a neighborhood don't specify whether or not a commission was paid. You should not lower the price because it is FSBO. If you want to do the work, why not pay yourself.

I feel with the internet today, you don't lose many prospective buyers because you are not on the MLS. Zillow is the biggie, IMHO.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 4:26PM
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Well, four days on Zillow has gotten me zip, so it must be a regional thing.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 5:07PM
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While azmom has some good points regarding market value, the idea is that if you are FSBO, especially, you want a hook to get people to notice your listing over everyone else's. If you've done extensive marketing and hold an all weekend Open House, you have the opportunity to create interest in your home. After holding Open Houses on all our homes while listing our home at a discount, we attracted multiple potential buyers that ended up bidding our homes up. In all three cases, even after offering our homes at a discount, we definitely received what we felt was fair market value, above what we originally listed our home at.

As far as "paying yourself goes", I don't disagree. However, many Realtors share commissions with agents that bring buyers to them. I don't have any problem offering my home at a discount to induce a buyer to come to my Open House.

It's a different perspective that relies on savvy pricing, marketing, and taking advantage of the very short time that your home is a novelty and potential hot commodity in the market in order to sell fast and avoid carrying costs.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 8:38PM
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Sadly, I have yet to see one FSBO property that isn't vastly overpriced. (Actually, one, but here the owner keeps on postponing the showing.)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 4:21PM
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nosoccermom, I did a lot of looking online before proceeding and I saw that same complaint numerous times on various websites. I do think some of that may be a result of areas where homes are all unique making it harder to price. And some of it may be a result of people not getting an appraisal or CMA's from local brokers. I'm in tract housing with five models, so it's a little easier to watch what my model listed and sold for over the past six months. In fact, based on what I had seen, I had a figure in mind that I never expressed and most of the agents came up with that number when they told me what to price it at. Only the one was higher.

That's just the listing price, however, and I'm not stuck on that number knowing a buyer will want to negotiate. Hopefully, I've done due diligence and will be able to post something positive when all is said and done.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:12PM
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"Sadly, I have yet to see one FSBO property that isn't vastly overpriced. (Actually, one, but here the owner keeps on postponing the showing.)"

I think part of the psychology about FSBO pricing from a buyer's perspective is that there is a certain allowance for when a home owner who is listed through a Realtor is overpriced, many of us can relate to the fact that we know the seller is paying thousands of dollars in commission while still trying to make a profit. But when a FSBO is overpriced, we all know they are not only trying to make a profit (as all home sellers want to do), they are trying to keep all the commission for themselves on top of it all. As I mentioned before, FSBOs are doing SOME of the work their Realtor would. Many Realtors split a commission with an agent who brought them a buyer. So the idea that FSBOs should not take that fact into account when pricing certainly doesn't seem conducive to assisting the seller if they want to effect a quick sale.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:33PM
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Are your photos good? That can make a huge difference.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:34PM
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happyladi, yes and there are 25 of them. I ran into one of the brokers who came out to price the house and was telling her I wanted to get on the mls and she referred me to a local guy that I used. So it went on the mls today. Still nothing but I'm hopeful.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:09PM
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