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Selling House FSBO?
Old 12-01-2015, 08:00 AM   #1
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Selling House FSBO?

We purchased a beautiful grand old Victorian in the summer. It is a showplace now, we have put a ton of work into it since we purchased it, but we really are not happy here for various reasons. We have decided to sell in a few months when we finish up the last of the projects like adding another much needed full bath.

After you figure all the money we spent on repairs and updates... we will probably not make too much of a profit if any, and hate the thought of losing so much to a selling agent when we figure we can do most everything ouraelves. We are considering trying to sell on our own by paying a flat fee to have it on MLS and offering buyers agent 2? 2.5? or 3% commission?

Finally, this is a very small town and we were VERY unhappy with the realtor who sold us the house, but this agent is by far the biggest agent in town and would be bringing in the majority of buyers. We have to handle this carefully as there is several similar houses in town that the agent could steer buyers to.

Any advice on selling a house by owner?
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:09 AM   #2
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If you were the realtor where would you take prospective buyers to earn the most money? Having said that, a sign on your home may be the area where a buyer feels most comfortable.....near friends, family, ......and you may get lucky. There is no single answer....Sorry you're unhappy with your home and realtor....good luck!
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:18 AM   #3
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There are many flat rate realtors that will put the home on the MLS for a small sum, like $500. You handle all showings and selling agent commissions.

It is a great time to sell, try that first.
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:20 AM   #4
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If you were the realtor where would you take prospective buyers to earn the most money? Having said that, a sign on your home may be the area where a buyer feels most comfortable.....near friends, family, ......and you may get lucky. There is no single answer....Sorry you're unhappy with your home and realtor....good luck!

We do plan on offering buyers agents a commission. Just not sure what percentage we can get away with and still have them show and promote the house. At our price range we will be the best house in town so buyers will want to see it if listed on MLS but if the commission is set too low the agents may steer the clients elsewhere.

I definitely do want the house to be on MLS and will also put up a sign in the yard.

Our agent was NOT looking out for our interests when buying the house. It's a very complicated situation but lots of shenanigans went on with the agent and the sellers we learned after the sell. Another story for another time....
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:23 AM   #5
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Finally, this is a very small town and we were VERY unhappy with the realtor who sold us the house, but this agent is by far the biggest agent in town and would be bringing in the majority of buyers. We have to handle this carefully as there is several similar houses in town that the agent could steer buyers to.
Sounds like a very touchy situation with this realtor, especially since he/she could be bringing most of the buyers. If it was me, I'd want an agent of my own to work on my behalf, and to provide a buffer between me and this awful realtor.

Bear in mind that I tend to be in favor of using an agent, because mine saved me at least $68K this year even after subtracting the 6% realtor's fees from the total of what he saved me. But he is unusually good IMO.
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:29 AM   #6
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Our agent was NOT looking out for our interests when buying the house. It's a very complicated situation but lots of shenanigans went on with the agent and the sellers we learned after the sell. Another story for another time....


Unless you signed a contract with the agent that specified he was acting as a buyer's agent, he is not supposed to look after your interests. AFAIK, in the absence of such a contract the agents are always working for the seller.
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Old 12-01-2015, 11:16 AM   #7
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Not sure if most buyers are like my wife and I, but we pretty much found all the homes we wanted to see (including the one we purchased) on the Internet and told our broker the houses we wanted to see. There might have been a few she recommended, but not many. That having been said, there were some homes we identified and she told us (for stated reasons) why it wasn't worth our time to visit.

So your former agent may be able to steer some clients away, but in a small town, unless there is a lot of inventory, I would suspect you wouldn't have a real problem. YMMV, however...

That having been said, personally I wouldn't want the hassle of FSBO: not to mention there is an advantage to having someone between you and the eventual buyer.
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Old 12-01-2015, 01:07 PM   #8
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I sold a house FSBO, easy if you price it right. You definitely want it on the MLS as you said.

The realtors set up automatic emailings of new listings and unless they are able to exclude listings with lower commissions, the prospective buyers would see the listing.

The realtors we've used for our two home purchases have not done much in terms of recommending to see a house or not, so I would take a chance on it.

I will do FSBO again when I sell my home.
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:01 PM   #9
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The realtors set up automatic emailings of new listings and unless they are able to exclude listings with lower commissions, the prospective buyers would see the listing.
That's exactly how DH and I found ours. It was a traditional listing with realtors on both sides. We made our preliminary selections by looking on-line and it saved everyone's time. The house we eventually bought had been shown only 4 times; our realtor said she didn't think the seller's realtor did a very good job of marketing it. It was the presence of the house on MLS that sold it.
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:25 PM   #10
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We sold our home this year and closed in April. My wife and I both had worked in real estate in years past and had bought and sold many homes ourselves without the aid of an agency. We also knew that times had changed since our days in the business and knew the problems that can come up and the legalities one may have to face. We're glad we used an agent this time. Maybe it depends on the state (we're in Florida) but the paperwork was unbelievable. I could never work in that business again. Don't forget, if you decide to go it alone, you can hire a realtor, for a fee, to write up the contract. It would be nice to know the legal issues you may face (disclosures??) compared to the money you save in real estate fees. Good luck.
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:35 PM   #11
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I'm sure this varies regionally but as a buyer I've always been wary of FSBO. In my experience too many of them had unrealistic opinions as to the value of their home. I learned to avoid them. Fortunately they are pretty rare in these parts.
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:49 PM   #12
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I have purchased a couple of houses without using a realtor. Even though the seller pays all the realtor fees, the way I look at it is that if I save the seller 3% (if I do not have a buyer's agent) or 6% if neither have agents then that will lower my buying price. In one case, neither the seller nor me/buyer used a realtor and we hired an attorney to draw up the paperwork. The lawyer only charged a few hundred dollars (as opposed to 6%).

We also tried to sell a house FSBO. You can find lots of websites where you can list on the MLS for a few hundred bucks. That is what we did. We never had luck however selling a house this way since I believe realtors are keen on showing houses that are listed with an agent. Since you said that your realtor sells most houses in your area, that may make it difficult. But if you really have the best house in town and you happen to find a savvy buyer then you may get lucky.
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Old 12-02-2015, 06:22 PM   #13
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We sold our house on Zillow, first people to see it bought it. No MLS and no selling agent, though the buyers had a realtor and we raised the agreed sell price to let the buyers cover her commission.
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Old 12-03-2015, 10:17 AM   #14
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We have only sold one house and it was close to 30 years ago. Brought the buyer (friend of a friend) to the Agent (also a friend). Honestly the agent only handled paperwork. As a result we sort of hoped he would give us a break on the commission. Nope, he did not. We will put our current home on the market next Spring and still plan to use an agent. We are just hoping for a quick and painless sale.


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Old 12-12-2015, 02:14 PM   #15
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unless you have a buyer's agent, the agent works for the seller. I understand you position: I'm just above water on the mortgage, and will probably take a loss if I hand 6% of the sale price to a realtor.
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Old 12-12-2015, 02:54 PM   #16
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I recently sold my condo, and it was worth it to have a realtor. There were many things that had to be done, and she had the contacts to take care of retrofits, termite inspections,escrows. etc.
Plus the buyer was prequalified. There are few things worse than going down the road on the sale, and finding that the buyer cannot get a loan.
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Old 12-12-2015, 04:36 PM   #17
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We did FSBO selling in a small town and it worked fine. Look at your purchase paperwork to see all the required forms and disclosures.

We offered 3% to entice the buyers' agents. The difference between 2% and 3% was not material to us so why give the agent a reason to take buyers elsewhere.
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Old 12-12-2015, 05:49 PM   #18
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I've FSBO'd successfully once, but found almost all the buyers were unrepresented by realtors. The realtors steered clear of my listing since they probably figured I'd use the commission I offered them as leverage with an unrepresented buyer. I was successful, but that was during the housing boom. Today I'd likely hire a realtor.


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Old 12-12-2015, 05:59 PM   #19
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If you want to go the FSBO route offer 3% to the buyer's agent. You can request proof of pre qualification before you let anyone into your house. As long as you're listed in MLS I would bring my clients to see the house.
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Old 12-12-2015, 06:54 PM   #20
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Since you live there (i'm assuming) you have more flexibility. I sold in 2005 at the literal peak of the market for my area, and had already moved in with now-husband so not there full-time. I used an agent (family friend) and it was the best money ever spent. Dealing with the buyer, inspectors, negotiations, closing - I spent 30 mins giving her my input and responses, she did the rest.

If your appetite for stress and haggling is good, go for FSBO. If not, find someone to do it for you and you'll be very happy to write that check.
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