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Anybody ever use FSBO, the DIY home-selling site?

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Anybody ever use FSBO, the DIY home-selling site?

Old 05-13-2010, 08:00 AM
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Default Anybody ever use FSBO, the DIY home-selling site?

It's looking like we'll be changing life plans since my Mom fell and broke her back last month. Selling our real estate will give us the opportunity to move if it comes to that.

The FSBO concept would work for us since we live very close to all of our properties and could meet buyers or agents easily....no long-distance commuting.

Has anybody used this service...and how did you find it as far as bringing contacts to you?

Our intention would be to use the MLS listing feature in order to get exposure to real estate agents. That would still have almost 3%, so I think that it's worth it...but looking for experiences.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:14 AM
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I used this type of no-frills RE service when I sold mt mothers house a few years ago, the charge was 2 or 3%, don't remember which. However, this was at a time when a trained monkey could sell RE, everything was selling fast. One day, one open house, 14 viewers, 3 contracts.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:15 AM
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Used it about 4 years ago to sell a rental and for much the same reason, to get on the MLS and save the 6% fee, though it was a much better market at the time. Unless you know of an agent that will place your listing on the MLS at no cost then I think it was worth it.

On a separate note when looking for a house I had an agent and he would not show me houses that were not on the MLS. I saw a few in the area that I wanted to buy but he did not want to deal with them even though I explained that I would pay him for his time. I assume that he is not the only one so that further pushed me to use fsbo when we went to sell.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:41 AM
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It's strange, but FSBO has several websites that show different fee amounts. I was going to go with an $809 fee, then saw the same deal on another one of their websites for $299. Out of the $299 I paid, they pay a real estate broker $250 to list the condo in our local MLS.
I filled out the sheet that any listing agent would bring to you, I sent photos in, and am waiting to see how it looks.

So if I sell the condo, I will have saved between $15-20,000 in commissions; yet still have more control of the listing than if going through a listing agent.

The FSBO website for our area only showed 2 condos for sale in the 4-4 category, so not using MLS would have been a waste of time, I think.

Has anybody used the MLS feature from FSBO...did your ad look exactly the same as the others?

Oh, another feature is that you can choose how much Sales commission you pay (if an agent sells it instead of you, personally). Around here the Sale commission is 3%, so I pegged it at 3.25% in order to generate more interest.
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:11 AM
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There are several different "fsbo" companies all with different levels of service available. So you may check to see who is well represented in your area, has the most sales, the most traffic, etc. Maybe list it with the typical 2-3% and make it known to the agents that you would give them a cash bonus of $X to the selling agent.
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:39 AM
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Thanks, bsmit24. Getting into MLS for $299 made it a real simple decision. Another advantage is that I wrote the ad copy and supplied the photos...and can change anything at any time for the next year.

Your experience with that agent is odd. If I wanted to look at a home and it was for sale, either my agent would get me into the home or I'd get a new agent...or visit the home personally without the agent.

Around here there are so many condos for sale that MLS becomes mandatory to reach buyers' agents. I hope that saving that commission bite has allowed me to reflect my lower costs in the asking price, which is about $200,000 less than a couple of years ago.
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:56 AM
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We (wife and I) sold our last house FSBO through a listing in the MLS book.....but this was in 1997 and we must have been one of the first cause the agents bringing buyers didn't know what to do. We paid $250 for 3-6 months listings. The buyers agent was concerned about doing "all" the work from both sides so I agreed to sell at a 3.5% commission if she handled the entire transaction. Both the buyer and buyers agent were great to deal with and everything well fine.

(but 1997 was a long time ago and the market is completely different now)
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:46 AM
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I think you should list it with a Realtor, an actual Realtor. They can honestly help you get the condo looking right for showing, and price it right according to your market.

The buyer's agents don't want to deal with trying to close a sell where you (the seller) are your own agent. It's more work for them, and it presents a greater possibility that they may do alot of work, and yet never close the sale because of some emotional seller being offended about something late in the deal. This means less people will be shown your property because the buyers agent's will pass you by.

Realtors successfully close sales because they handle it like business (they aren't emotionally involved). So they are able to work with each other when there is a problem and get their clients "over it" and to the closing table. It's all about getting to the closing table.

Doctors don't operate on their family because they are emotionally involved.
Lawyers don't represent their kid because they aren't objective enough to see the case clearly.

And you will offended by offers, and demands after inspections.... which doesn't help YOU.

Realtor's will generally earn their commissions by handling issues and often cover their commissions in the final price. They WILL get more money for your house (at the end of the day) than you will.

My .02

And I am not a realtor... but I've bought alot of stuff. And NEVER have I closed a deal where the seller was representing himself.

I don't even try anymore.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:32 AM
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Your points are well-described and sage advice, Ken. thanks for the thought you put into the message.

What's neat about buying and selling real estate (or boats, for that matter) is that every deal is different and every agent has their own demons. The condo, to me, is like several thousand shares of stock; when it's gone, I'll invest in something else with the funds I receive.

We're in a resort area, so while there're several thousand people that call themselves agents, there are maybe 50 that work the trade professionally, and many of them have their own quirks. Interestingly, I think back and realize that I've bought from owners and sold to buyers before. If somebody get's cold feet, that happens...and the flip side is that a buyer's agent knows that if he's talking to me, then there isn't any mis-interpretation of the message that might occur with a part-time agent just wanting to do (or say) anything to earn a dollar.

Please explain why it's more work for a buyers' agent to work with the owner? Let's assume that the seller knows a lot about selling, about local real estate, and about business. The condo has been part of my portfolio of investments; nothing more, nothing less. It's sticks and bricks to me, and my access to MLS allows me to see what selling prices are; that's why my condo is among the lowest-priced 4BR condos on the market. Saving 3% allows the condo to be priced thousands lower...

Bottom feeders will ask about the lowest priced condos first, and the extra commission I'm offering to agents isn't going to hurt the deal...so do you think an agent would pan the property if it had the criteria that his client was looking for? Maybe so, maybe not.

Your statement about the final price has merit as a valid argument. There's no way to know what I might have got for a property (or a stock) after I've hit the Sell button. All good agents have their comps in front of them, so for the most part it's a numbers game of $/SF, and within a tight range.

Our big comp problem is the plethora of foreclosures and short sales. Luckily, that's mostly in the 1 and 2 BR condos, though.

Anyway, I'm on for the ride, so I'll see what happens. Oh, it's also possible that a buyer would be searching the MLS from their home computer and find my listing, in which case it would be a private sale and the first $35K he low-balls me with would have been spent on agents, so there's that.
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:13 PM
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The only thing is to make sure you know the market. We purchased a home from a doctor who was a know it all but I guess he knew everything but Real Estate. He was well below market value in 2005 and we purchased the home for around $100,000 less then what it was worth. On top of that we also got them to pay up to $5,000 of cost associated with closing which is not the same as closing cost its better. We are one of the people who purchased a home back in that crazy market and will actually make money off our home. So make sure you don't give the property away.
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by fishingfun View Post
make sure you don't give the property away.

I luv you, man...thanks for such an upbeat warning . getting More than the property is worth would be outstanding, considering that the price seems to have averaged about a $10K/month decline. Now that the market is sitting around $200/SF, I think it's bottomed out. Cost of construction is close to $250/SF around here.
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:00 PM
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Bamaboy,
My apologies for assuming more (or less) than I should have. When I wrote my post, I made some presumptions / assumptions that I really shouldn't have. After reading your post following mine, I can see that you are approaching BY OWNER with your eyes wide open.

Namely, you seem not to possess the same emotion about the property that alot of seller's do, and those emotions sometimes kill a deal all by themselves. The same thing happens from buyers too. Honestly, I have seen so many deals (good deals that everybody wanted) go bad over something trivial... ego is often the cause, where one person simply won't budge because he doesnt want to "lose" or whatever.

You are looking at it like a business deal (you say it's just "bricks and sticks" and also comparing to stocks in a portfolio), instead of "our beautiful home" LOL

I have no doubt that you will be able to avoid the ego pitfalls that spoil deals. Alot of people just miss the point of the deal, and get all caught up in winning (or not losing) that they totally forget what they most wanted to begin with,,,, to buy/sell the place!!

WIll buyers agent's avoid you? I hope not, especially if you are priced right. And when I said it was more work... it can appear to them to be more difficult, thus cause them to stay away. It isn't actually more work for them, but different is all. I hope they are willing to show your home like any other.

It's worth a try anyway right? Again, my apologies for jumping to conclusions.

So, while I still contend that for most people BY OWNER is not a good idea....I think you are an exception and I wish you the very best of luck!!
Tightlines,
-Ken
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:12 PM
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dam, Ken you are one HECK of a salesman!!

I took no offense to prior posts, either. They very often hold true and your thoughts (then, as now) were well represented.

tight lines!
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:36 PM
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Spend the $350 for an appraisal so that you know the market value.
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Old 05-15-2010, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by JRS@OBX View Post
Spend the $350 for an appraisal so that you know the market value.
An appraisal is produced with what's known as comps (comparable properties that have recently sold). That's something that any real estate agent can produce as well and it isn't really valid until an offer is on the table, due to fluctuations in the market.

My condo is priced at the lowest price of all 4BR condos on this beach. It is also the only condo with view of the ocean and the Pass, so that's a plus that adds value to the package.

Your suggestion is well-taken if this were in central Florida in a subdivision, because the combination of differing construction and land values combines with a limited number of like properties...and each neighborhood has it's own relative value.

Beachfront condos are, for the most part, sold on a $/SF basis since most other factors are pretty much equal.
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Old 05-15-2010, 05:50 AM
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Have you ever considered an auction?
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Old 05-15-2010, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 240 LTS View Post
Have you ever considered an auction?
Interesting question! While they have them around here, I've not given thought to an auction because auctions are primarily used by developers that need to unload inventory at huge discounts.

Have you known of auctions that were successful?
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Old 05-15-2010, 08:11 AM
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There is an investment company in Baltimore and I believe they do a lot of auctions.
Get the "staging" done, have an open house on a nice day, have some fresh baked cookies, coffee and drinks, get the bidders fired up and let the bidding begin.
You can have a reserve, you do not have to sell.
Contact a few local auction company and ask how they do it.
Not sure what their cut is.
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:52 AM
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Around here it's 10%, which is a ton. Not sure what the cost is if it doesn't meet reserve.

I'm going to see how the MLS does for a couple of months and gauge what interest we're getting during the peak season summer months.
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Old 05-15-2010, 10:55 AM
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FSBO didn't work out for us when we sold our other home in Maine. All they wanted to do was sell us more stuff.

RE commissions around here range from 6% and it changes to 3.5 or 4 I think for stuff over 1M. There are no up front costs whatsoever.
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