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fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

Posted by texasdana (My Page) on
Wed, May 30, 07 at 17:41

We live in a nice Dallas suburb of older homes. We have listed the house FSBO as well as have it on MLS with a flat fee listing, accepting buyer agents.

We've been on the market 3 weeks, and had 4 showings - 3 with agents, one on our own.

We feel the house is fairly priced (we even had an appraisal done to support the number) but we are on the high end in the neighborhood. There are only two other homes in the area even listed for sale and ours beats them hands down with curb appeal, improvements, etc. Prices vary a lot in this subdivision because some homes have had zero upgrades since the 70's and some have had a great deal of work done.

Here is a link to our For Sale by Owner Listing, which is basically the same as our MLS listing:

How long should we wait before dropping the price? We aren't in a MUST sell situation, but would love to have it sold! Thanks!

Here is a link that might be useful: FSBO listing


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

I think you are a little bit too expensive.

The next neighborhood across the street has several houses for sale that are a lot lower-end than yours, which is reflected by the price. For example there is a house on 2662 Via La Paloma that is listed at $89900 or one on 2661 Via Blanca for $109900.
A lot of people are probably wary of paying $249900, if the next neighborhood has homes <$100k...

Also, in your price range, you are competing with 2-story, newer and more stately looking homes across Keller Springs.

There are more than 30 houses for sale in a 1-mile radius according to ebby.com, so I would not say that you have no competition.

The only other house in your subdivision is also cheaper than yours and bigger (2919sf for $234900 vs. 2410sf for $249900) and has one more bathroom. It must have been for sale for a long time too, as the trees on the picture have no leaves.


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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

I love the freestanding tall cabinet in teh master bathroom (next to tub). Or is that an armoir?

Can you tell me the manufacturer, style and color? I love it so much that I want to buy it.

The home is gorgeous. Well done on the remodel.

What does your outside For Sale sign look like? Hopefully you have a custom sign and on it put "Like New Inside". This will make people want to see the inside - and they should.


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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

Is it possible the renos you did outpriced you in a neighbourhood where homes aren't as updated as yours?

I live in a nice, middle class neighbourhood. I thought about updating our kitchen with granite counters and new custom cabinets, but our realtor told us those higher end updates, while nice, would not bring back a large return.

I think your home is absolutely lovely, but I think it's probably a case of the nicest house in the neighbourhood, which ultimately will lead to you not garnering what the house is worth.


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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

I don't live in TX so can't help you with the RE climate there or your price...I have a problem with comps, as most buyers see them, because to me there are NO TRUE comps to your home, unless you live in a development with identical amenities, size, shape & color homes!

It makes me mad to hear some idiotic comment....but the house next street over sold for 50k less than yours. Without being in both homes & comparing apples to apples, buyers should not make stupid comments like that, but I cannot change the world-lol

However, when I was selling my house like you (FSBO w/Flat fee & MLS)I found that a FEW realtors would show my house, but MAJORITY boycotted it because they were angry that I was selling it the non-traditional way, without a full service broker. That may be part of your problem.


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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

jrldh, yes, there is a much lower end neighborhood behind us, but that is very common in this community. We have considered that, but it hasn't affected prices historically. Regarding the other house on the market, it really isn't comparable. It has zero upgrades and some issues with foundation/plumbing I believe. The one thing that has kept prices up in this neighborhood, at least historically, has been the community pool/golf/tennis as part of the homeowner's association. People find that very attractive.

Sweet tea, the cabinets in the master bath are from Kraftmaid. They are actually two cabinets. If you go to their website, you will see them. I believe they are called linen cabinets. Bottom door has a hamper (we used one for trash), then drawers in the middle, and the upper door has two shelves. We LOVED the storage!

We aren't expecting to get all the renovation money back, plus MOST the work was done with sweat equity, doing a great deal ourselves.

We've been wondering if agents were boycotting us due to not listing traditionally. We will wait a week or two and see what happens, and then perhaps lower the price. We have a couple of people interested, so who know!

Thanks for all the input. This is a great resource! I've been reading for months!


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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

texasdana - do you have a lock box on the house? I know in Austin that is how it is generally done and it makes it easy for the realtors to show as well. If you don't it may be part of realtors staying away too.


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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

Do you have an ad in the local paper? If not do it and give the web address in the ad. I'm selling my home FSBO and found my buyers along with 60% of the lookers this way. The other 40% came by way of mouth. Tell everyone you know and everyone you come in contact with that your house is FSBO.

When I went to the grocery store, I'm mention it to the cashier. When I got my haircut, me and the hairdresser would talk about it and everyone in the salon would overhear. I went in for a checkup and my Dr. asked how I was doing. My response was "I was very busy because I'm trying to sell my house myself. Do you know anyone who might be interested?" My Dr. just so happened to know someone who was looking. That person made a serious offer, but then another couple came up with a better one.

I had 8 couples look at my house and none of them were currently working with Realtors. They were all looking "with only one eye opened" waiting for the right house to become available.

Good luck.


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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

"It makes me mad to hear some idiotic comment"

I take this directed at me.

I am sorry, but texasdana asked why there is little interest in the home.
If SEVERAL houses in the immediate vicinity sell for 70% LESS than this house, then this becomes an issue because the overall surrounding area apparently doesn't support the price point.

This house is the MOST expensive _by far_ of all of them in the immediate area south of Keller Springs (a divider). And an FSBO, which for buyers can mean that they also want to profit from the savings that the seller has.

I am sorry, but if there are 30 houses for sale in a 1 mile radius and you are the most expensive - but not _extraordinarily_ different in quality - and you don't get traffic then you have to face the fact that people don't look at your house because of the price.

If you think that this observation is idiotic then I am wondering what planet you live on.


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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

jrldh - do you know this area, or are you just really good at finding information online. You seem to have good information on the area. I appreciate your comments, whether I totally agree or not! I am thick skinned and comments are going to bother me! :-) You're right it is the most expensive right now, but not when using prior comps. We haven't seen much slump in prices in this area, at least not yet!

subuagain, yes, we do have a lock box, as we assumed realtors would definitely not want to have to call us to get in. We are even with a scheduling service which handles all calls for setting appointments.


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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

texasdana,

I am living in Lake Highlands, Dallas and know Carrollton because of family who lived there for several years.

I don't think I said anything offensive but try to give you my perspective as somebody who has no stake in your sale, going by the information I can pull up from the local MLS. I don't think that there is anything wrong with your house and if both the house and the price are ok, I don't think you'll have troubles selling.

But from the information that is available, I do think that your problem is the price compared with what's available in the immediate vicinity.

If I do the map-search on ebby.com, I notice that you are in a difficult situation because your subdivision borders areas that are significantly lower end and significantly cheaper but also areas that are comparable in price but newer yet already established. If somebody was in the $250k market, that person probably would also look across of Keller Springs because the houses are newer and more aligned with current fashion. If somebody is price sensitive, there is a lot of choice for a lot less money in the next subdivision.

If your house is worth more because of improvements, it doesn't really show in your listing and it is always an uphill battle to sell a product that is more expensive than the competition. And apparently you are experiencing this.

I believe that if you are convinced that you have a premium product, you have to put more effort into advertising but you seem to be doing the exact opposite by going FSBO. Listing in the MLS in mandatory but probably not sufficient, especially, if you can't highlight the unique features well enough to convince buyers to consider your premium property.

If you want to sell the highest priced _current_ house, you probably have to hire a professional (which will eat up the premium you want to pocket) or work on your own promotion: Ads, incentives, open houses, buyer's agent commission...

I hope that helps you more than feel-good platitudes like from the poster who called my input idiotic.


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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

Whoa! jrldh- NO I WAS NOT ATTACKING YOU, just stating my opinion, generally speaking. I would love to change the world & have true comparables, not blanket statements, as the realtors devised. I realize that I am going against the 99.9% buyer tide. You're not wrong in your comment. I wish "the comp thing" would be more accurate.

IMO- no 2 homes are alike. Unfortunately, EVERYBODY compares 1 listing to another close by.

When I was selling, I would hear the buyers say...well the one down the street is selling for less & it's a comp...My question was: Why don't you buy IT? Their answer would be, well we don't like it. HA! Thats' because it was no where near what my custom home was. The only thing in common was that it was a colonial.
When I was getting ready to list, a realtor started telling me about a comp down the street. Yeah, "the comp" was on a busy road with no yard, 500 sqft smaller & and a tiny kitchen. When it was built, it sat on the market for 1 year & sold for 90k less than ours.
Somehow he was calling it a comp, which it wasn't.
BTW-my house sold for 95k more ( I had 3 similar offers). His comp was WRONG.
Please, don't take my non-traditional opinion as an attack on your statement.


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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

Hello, I just saw your post today. I hope by now you have already sold your house. My question is which MLS listing did you use? Is that easy process? Did your listing show on all website? How much is the fee? I live in North Dallas and close to Carroll ton area as well. The market is so bad now, not sure if I can sell...Thanks so much.


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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

I highly recommend John Prell @ Creekview Realty. I did a full service listing for $999 and I had 3 offers in 2 days - settled for over asking (yes, in 2008). He is a very good negotiator. Today, price is everything - who you list with means nothing with internet MLS. Read all of the sellers infomation on his website carefully, as it is just about as good as any info I have read here. We prepped the house, vacated, and listed as "go." Very painless (we were planning for a few months of double payments). As a bonus - he'll give you 2% back when you use him to purchase (he won't drive around with you for this - you have to get the lister to open the house for you). Good luck - but you would be better off waiting until spring...


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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

he'll give you 2% back when you use him to purchase (he won't drive around with you for this - you have to get the lister to open the house for you

STinkbone, are you saying that this agent is having you call listing agents to get you in the door, show you the house, etc, then he writes up the offer for you?


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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

Yes, the listing agent unlocks the door for you for her 3%, and this agent writes up an offer for 1%, and you get 2% back. Very helpful if you are pulling 2 mortgages. Now if you want him to drive you around, I think it will cost you another percent.


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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

I don't want to hijack the thread but the thread seems to be done with.

Stinkbone, I dont know how things work in your area, but in my area, this is highly unethical. In fact, Im not sure but I think it might be along the lines of a kick back which is illegal.

I wonder, does the listing agent know you are looking at the house with them, but if you like it, you're putting in an offer with someone else? I suspect not.

Now I can understand why Im starting to see notations on listings where listing agents are charging an additional 1% if they show the house to a buyer whose buyer agent submits an offer. Incredible!


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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

I never said I wanted anything but to see her listing on xxx. She made her 3%, and that's what she expected. So she spent an hour getting her job done - so what? It is what it is.

An agent enters into a contract with a seller in an exclusive agreement for representation. It is in the seller's best interest for their listing agent to show their home (if it is not, please explain to me why). Not doing so is a violation of this contract. When a listing agent refuses to show the home unless they get something "along the lines of a kickback" to show the home, THAT is what I consider unethical.

I am assuming you are an agent, since you see the rebate deal as a bad thing. Of course, you don't have to pay the outrageous listing fees when you sell, or else you might have a different opinion.

I wonder, do you do tell your clients upfront you will not show their house to a possible buyer unless you get a kickback? I suspect not.


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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

So she spent an hour getting her job done - so what? It is what it is

Wrong, She spent an hour of her time, maybe more getting YOUR AGENTS JOB DONE. You make it sound as if its no big deal. This is a business, I dont expect people to waste my time. If you don't buy the house, you also dont turn into a client, so yes, you are wasting her time. I show MY CLIENTS homes (my listings) for two reasons, one because there is a slim chance the caller will actually buy it,(check statistics on how many times a caller actually buys the house they call on, its very low) but more importantly, that person usually becomes a client. In my area, I can show homes that are an hour away from me, I dont want to waste one of my saturdays showing someone a home whose agent is sitting on their a$$ waiting for someone else to do his job while he collects his 1%. Also, since the listing agent shows you the home and you're getting all your information from her, who is liable should something not be what you expected? The agent who showed and gave you the info is not the one that wrote the offer and represented you.

I am assuming you are an agent, since you see the rebate deal as a bad thing. Of course, you don't have to pay the outrageous listing fees when you sell,

I am an agent and I also do pay commissions. I believe in the system and when I sell one of my homes, I list them the same way I list a clients home. In one particular case, where I was selling a home outside my service area, I offered a 2% higher commission than the customary rate to get the job done. (customary at the time was 5, i listed for 7) Check previous posts before you "ASSume" anything.

I wonder, do you do tell your clients upfront you will not show their house to a possible buyer unless you get a kickback? I suspect not

Well two things are wrong here, 1. KICKBACKS ARE ILLEGAL in my state, so I wouldnt do it for fear of loosing my license.

2. I will show any of my clients homes to MY Customers, not someone elses. I have the feeling most sellers would think your agent was lazy for doing what he's doing. THis is the type of agent that gives real estate agents a bad name. Its sleezy!

One more thing, you said you simply call and ask to be shown the house. In my area, one of the first questions agents ask is "are you working with an agent"? If you lie and say no, then you obviously realize how unethical this is. If you say 'yes', few agents out there will show you the home, because it is also unethical to meet with a buyer after they have told you they are working with someone else.

Your post definitely makes me change the way I do business. Agents in my area area starting to collect fees upfront which are returned when they close on a home. Why? Because there are too many people out there wasting our time and gas doing stuff like this.


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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

WOW - easy there linda117. Why are you so worked up about this? She didn't do my agents job - she unlocked her clients door and stood around for about 30 min while we opened doors. You call that "work"?! You like to add "ifs" into this actual event, but that is not the case here - THE AGENT SOLD THE HOUSE BY SHOWING HER LISTING. I got a house and money back that does not come out of seller's pocket (you can only have a certain amout paid for by others when you close - you know that right?). You say he sits on his a$$ for 1%, but you sit on yours for 3% - which is worse?

As for the liability issue - I could have simply termed the contract during the option period after inspection (you know how to put an option in, right? My flat fee agent did).

As for sleezy, you think holding your client's listing hostage so you can EXTORT another 3% for your key twisting skills is somehow NOT sleezy? You say showing another agent's client your listing is unethical (?), yet forcing a buyer into dual agency before showing your property is somehow not? A buyer is always better served by her own representative. A seller should not have to pay 3% to make their home a lead generator for a lazy agent. Only your ilk belive in this system because it serves your interests very well. I prefer the new flat fee model because it serves me better as a buyer or seller.


I am positive now that your clients have no idea how you really operate. For all the lurkers here - THIS is what you get with a full price listing! I got much better service for $995 vs. the extra 12K I could have paid for the likes of linda117 who won't waste her precious time/gas "doing stuff like this" (actually selling your house). Go flat fee, and lower the price. You won't regret it.


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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

WOW - easy there linda117. Why are you so worked up about this? She didn't do my agents job - she unlocked her clients door and stood around for about 30 min while we opened doors. You call that 'work'?!

I call that a waste of the listing agents time because YOUR AGENT could have shown you the house while she was spending her time showing another house to a real buyer. So now they are paying you 2% to buy their house? Since they arent paying an agent for the service of 'selling the house' maybe they should get the money back huh? You sure didnt do anything for it.

STinkbone, if you think there is nothing wrong with the way you do this, why werent you honest with the agent who 'unlocked the door for you'? Its too bad you really don't understand what a listing agent does. You say she stood around for a half hour. Ok, if it takes a half hour to get to the listing, she's already got 1.5 hours invested in YOU!, possibly for nothing, because chances are that most people arent buying that house and she doesnt have a client in the end. If an agent does this 4x a times a day, they are out of business in no time. How would you like to go to work every day and take a chance that you don't get paid?

If your FLAT FEE agent doesnt think there is any work in what the listing agent is doing, why doesnt he take time out of his schedule to show you the house himself, oh wait, 'unlock the door' and give you back the 2% anyway?

BTW, flat fee commissions are great for people if they are done honestly. What this guy is doing IS SLEEZY! Flat fee agents OFFER A COMMISSION TO THE AGENT SHOWING THE HOUSE, (THE BUYERS AGENT) he's found a loop hole to get paid for doing absolultely nothing on the buy side.

I am positive now that your clients have no idea how you really operate.

My clients are happy to pay me for what I do because they feel like they are getting a service.


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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

The sellers paid the same 3% to buyers agent, except I didn't ask for closing costs - which I would have had I used a regular agent. The buyers agent got her commission. She could have not sold and dealt with weeks of convincing the seller to lower her price, or paint this, or phone calls, or MLS changes - but no, she sold with a mere 1/2 hour of work (I don't get paid to drive to/from work either). This "sleezy" agent probably saved the seller 8K, and saved me around the same amount. He also wrote up and followed through with the contract. The only person 'out' is a key-turner wanting $12K. Since we're the ones paying the mortgages, its about time someone catered to what WE want.

Obviously you are in denial about the future of this business. You take advantage of the internet which allows you much more focused showings so you can sit at home on Saturday, but become outraged by the diminished value of your services as a result. Things were different 30 years ago.

I know why you stick to your guns - your current routine depends on it. My concern, however, is not your way of life but my bottom line. Like any business, someone will come in and meet customers demands better, and will profit much more with volume sales.


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RE: fsbo with flat fee mls but not many lookers....

Go flat fee. We are selling 2 houses by flat fee and we sold 1 after about 2 weeks on the market. The other house is unusual and much higher priced so I am not stressed (yet) about our 45 DOM.

I too would be frustrated if my source of income were challenged.

I have been looking at some land in a development - mostly land that is bought by builder who do presales and spec homes. Since I just wanted to buy the land for now, the realtor wants 5% of the average cost of completed home to be paid at closing (usual commision here is 4.8%). So they want $30k for me buying (without an agent) a $150k lot. This listing agent has spent about 1/2 hour with me answering questions about the lot. Now I do realize that they have been marketing the development for awhile but come on. I haven't called them back. Realtors are frustrating - the model will slowly change.


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