Just For Laughs

ncrealestateguyAugust 11, 2011

ForSalebyOwner.com Founder Uses Agent to Sell Home

Daily Real Estate News : Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The founder of a popular for-sale by owner Web site used a real estate broker to help sell his 2,000-square-foot, two-bedroom New York apartment after it lingered on the market for six months. Colby Sambrotto, the founder and former chief operating officer of ForSalebyOwner.com, tried to sell the property himself by listing it online and through classified ads, but after six months of it sitting on the market, he sought the help of a real estate broker.

Broker Jesse Buckler told Sambrotto the condo was priced too low and wasn�t attracting the right buyer for the condo.

"At first he wouldn't let me increase the price," Buckler said. "I told him I know what I am doing�the market is picking up."

The condo soon attracted multiple offers and ended up closing recently for $150,000 more than the original asking price.

Source: "DIY Guru Gets Broker Help," The Wall Street Journal (Aug. 3, 2011)

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LuAnn_in_PA

Nice!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 4:49PM
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LoveInTheHouse

That's my problem! It's priced too low!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 11:48PM
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cas66ragtop

And now for the rest of the story........

"The property was sold, complete with a 6% commission, for MORE than Mr. Sambratto had listed the property while trying to FSBO. The final Sales Price? $2.15 million. (It had been listed as a FSBO for $2 million, meaning he actually made $21,000 more by using an agent)"

Making $21k more - not very impressive when you're talking about a $2 mil property. Thats a 1.05% increase over the original asking price. That would be like making $3,150 extra on a $300k house. Woohoo!

Yes it is great that he sold it, and its great he got the help of a good realtor to help him. It sold - thats all that matters. I just hope it makes it to closing.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 11:58PM
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Billl

"It had been listed as a FSBO for $2 million, meaning he actually made $21,000 more by using an agent"

Not really. You are missing the fact that the house wasn't selling as FSBO. A $2 million home has (ballpark) $100,000 just in carrying costs, so the FSBO was in the hole $50k already. Also, there was no guarantee that he would have sold for his asking price as FSBO.

It really isn't that agents are such great sellers. They just have a proprietary set of data - the MLS - that FSBO just don't have access to. About 80% of buyers are using that data, so if you aren't in the MLS, you greatly shrinkg your buyer pool. In a booming market, that is no big deal. In this market, it can be rough.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 8:51AM
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cearbhaill

Sure the buyer is thrilled to see the price increase publicized :).

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 10:00AM
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berniek

I read that a few days ago, but it does prove the power of the MLS.

Here is a link that might be useful: Founder of

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 1:03PM
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cas66ragtop

"It really isn't that agents are such great sellers. They just have a proprietary set of data - the MLS - that FSBO just don't have access to."

You are exactly right. It also proves what I have thought for a long time - most buyers have been brainwashed into believing they need a realtor. This buyer could have purchased for less than $2 mil if they had the confidence to do it without a realtor. As far as FSBOs go, its not as much the sellers fault they are unsuccessful - I really think it has a lot more to do with the buyers.

I am also wondering........what would prevent the buyer from weaseling out of the deal, and then trying to get the price dropped below $2 mil? The story has been publicized enough that the buyer may know that it used to be a FSBO and what the original asking price was - and the seller would still have to pay 6% on the lower price.

When I googled this story to find out more info, I saw a lot of realtors have attached a link to this story on their own personal websites. They are basking in the glory of a realtor defeating a FSBO, and they are having a great time making fun of FSBOs. The stories I have seen also refers to a $48 mil apartment building that sold FSBO - but the realtor websites have mysteriously not mentioned that. Haha!

Because of the publicity, there's a chance the buyer could still demand a lower price and the seller will be the one to suffer. I wonder if the realtors will be so quick to publicize it if things turn out like that? From what I have read, this is only under contract, it has not closed yet, so anything is still possible. Hopefully things will stay on track and it will close without any problems.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 2:25PM
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Billl

"You are exactly right. It also proves what I have thought for a long time - most buyers have been brainwashed into believing they need a realtor. This buyer could have purchased for less than $2 mil if they had the confidence to do it without a realtor. As far as FSBOs go, its not as much the sellers fault they are unsuccessful - I really think it has a lot more to do with the buyers. "

That wasn't what I was saying at all. In the modern era - data counts and it doesn't come free. A significant portion of realtor dues go to maintaining that data. Most of the big consumer driven real estate websites are powered by MLS data. Without a structured way to control all that data, everything would look like craigslist. ie barely usable.

Of course, the MLS is a bit of a relic, but it is still dominant. Eventually, someone will come up with a cheaper and more effective system, but it hasn't happened yet.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 3:12PM
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LoveInTheHouse

I'm wondering why he didn't just do a flat fee listing and put it on the MLS himself, like I did. Doesn't make sense. The owner of ForSaleByOwner would know that. Has anyone checked Snopes? Is the guy sick or something and he couldn't sell it himself? I don't think we're getting the whole story here.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 11:29PM
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ncrealestateguy

Maybe he was getting a bunch of lookie - loos who were wasting his precious time, and he decided to delegate this part of finding a qualified buyer to someone who does it full time. Most people, especially rich people, do not have a lot of free time.
I was going to Snopes the story before I posted, but figured that the source from where I found it was credible... but you never know.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 8:16AM
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berniek

This FSBO guy has a business to run, why should he waste his precious time waiting for a phone call, and if he gets one, run home and no one shows up?
It makes sence to me to list it with an agent.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 8:51PM
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barbcollins

berniek - Yes this is how the wealthy operate. They pay people to do the things that we do ourselves.

Clean our house and do the laundry
Mow our grass
Wash our car
Shop for a car
Do our grocery shopping
Pay our monthly bills
Do our taxes
Book our travel/entertainment

I bet the person who owns Merry Maids doesn't clean there own house :)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 7:07AM
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sweet_tea

He no longer works at the FSBO company. He left them approx 4 years ago.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 2:11PM
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berniek

Colby Sambrotto:
Current:President at Northstar Media Consulting
Past: -President/CEO at BizTrader
-Chief Operating Officer at ForSaleByOwner.com
-Research Editor at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 6:35PM
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jboling_gw

"Broker Jesse Buckler told Sambrotto the condo was priced too low and wasn't attracting the right buyer for the condo."

C'mon. The people who viewed it were saying, "Oh, this condo is worth more than the seller is asking. It's a bargain, so it's not right for me."?

I agree that it's not the advice of the agent, but more likely that the MLS listing attracted the buyer, which can be done by flat fee listing.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 8:30PM
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