Profile picture for Rvroket

What determines when or if you are better to go with a Realtor than FSBO?

  • June 07 2011 - US
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Answers (33)

Profile picture for rockinblu
"If you didn't think your opinion was more credible why would you attempt to mislead the posters of questions."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Where did I state anything to discredit the actual responses? I brought up a legitimate challenge of the entity deciphering and reporting them, and you for repeating them. Quit trying to twist my responses.

"why would you attempt to mislead the posters of questions."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Give me an example. I am only questioning stats.You posting figures from an obviously biased source calling them facts seem to be more guilty of that than I am.

Yes, I have a hard time understanding the press release info and how it's tied to the figures in the actual survey. To me, it's intentionally confusing and possibly meant to mislead.

We're going around in circles here, and with you now trying to twist my answers, I do see there might be a creditability issue somewhere.
  • June 12 2011
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The press release is just a few paragraphs and the survey is over a hundred pages.  It can't include all the details.

Over the past few years, it has been confusing with so many different levels of service with real estate agents as far as a pure FSBO, a hybrid and full service agent sales.

Where did I state anywhere that my opinion was more creditable than anyone else's?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
When you tried to discredit the responses of the thousands of sellers and buyers who answered the survey and the other agents.  If you didn't think your opinion was more credible why would you attempt to mislead the posters of questions.

I brought up the stats when you questioned my statement here  "Usually, this is not the case and this probably accounts for the amount of FSBO seller dropping consistently over the last 10 years."  The stats are the thousands of sellers (who came from county records, not the MLS) who answered the survey, claiming to be FSBO's at whatever level of service they used) themselves (not the NAR).  That number has decreased steadily in the last 10 years.

Just because you don't understand something does not make it ambiguous, biased or wrong.  If you were to read the entire survey of over a hundred pages, and not use take the news realeas oyt of context you would likely understand.

As John Adams said ""Facts are stubborn things; and whatever our inclinations, ot the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of the facts and evidence"

I don't hang my reputation on the NAR stats, I hang it on my sales record and satisfied clients.
  • June 12 2011
  • 2Yes

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Profile picture for rockinblu
"This experience leads me to believe that the NAR survey is realistic, what leads you to your beliefs that it isn't?"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`
I don't have to remind you that in the very recent past, the NAR has led the home buying public down the garden path to a cliff. It's obvious that their agenda, as it should be, is seeing the greatest possible number of sales of RE and commissions for their members. With these things in mind, why wouldn't I be skeptical of their FSBO stats.

It seems very clear to me that the NAR  tends to report stats in misleading ways. Stats on how much more agent represented homes sell for than FSBOs, without mentioning the percentage of net relative to the selling prices is one example.  There has been countless references to a NAR report citing that 80% of FSBOs give up and list with an agent. If that didn't come from the NAR, where did it come from? They never bother to state in any of their stats in press releases that MLS entry only sellers are not considered FSBOs. Try to convince MLS entry only sellers that they're not FSBOs.

If I read the excerpt below from the 2009 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers wrong, my mistake. In this case below I interpreted  "Sellers"  as to mean those that have sold, and to me "used" is past tense which gave me that conclusion. Nowhere did it state these were not actual result figures.  Again, the NAR is so clear in their press releases.

"Of sellers working with real estate agents, the study found that 80 percent used full-service brokerage, in which agents provide a range of services that include managing most of the process of selling a home from listing to closing. Nine percent of sellers chose limited services, which may include discount brokerage, and 11 percent used minimal service, such as simply listing a property on a multiple listing service."

While this type of breakdown was included in the press release in 2008 and 2009 and probably some years prior, it was mysteriously absent in the 2010 press release which left me wondering why.

 In comparing the press release info to the actual report as you've recommended me doing, I also find it questionable that 9% of sellers used a discount, or limited service agent which could be interpreted to include a "per task fee", but according to the actual report less than 1% of those sold, which draws the 4% flat-fee figure into question as well.

"If it is questionable, why did you use NAR figures in your posts to attempt to dispute figures in my post from the same survey (when you didn't notice where I found them)?"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What better figures to use than the NAR's own to show a point of how they, in many cases, are just fuzzy math and ambiguous. Which in going over them as I have shown in my previous post on this thread, to me and I'm betting I'm not the only one, they really are.

"I am not sure that the conjecture of someone who sold one home several years ago is more credible than thousands of other home sellers (both realtor and FSBO) year after year or agents who do this everyday and see."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Where did I state anywhere that my opinion was more creditable than anyone else's? I put forth a legitimate challenge to the figures you were posting based on my understanding of the Realtor.org press release.

If you want to hang your reputation on the NAR and their stats, so be it.
 
Until you can actually prove that I'm mistaken about the NAR, it's agenda, and methods of promoting it, I'll hang my hat on being a serious doubter and post my opinion on this board when I want. If you have a problem with that, take it up with Zillow.



  • June 12 2011
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How do we know what zip codes that are known for low FSBO activity aren't targeted for these surveys?
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You are grasping at straws, but you may be right.  Although I would not say "targeted", the surveys were sent to people who actually sold their home, so they probably did go to areas with low FSBO activity.

Jim, I really am not stating in any way shape or form that it's always better to do a FSBO
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I didn't say you were and I didn't state it was never good to do FSBO.

I find it questionable at best for Realtors® to promote the value of their services by using NAR figures.
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Why, it is the most comprehensive and specific survey I am aware of for this info.  If it is questionable, why did you use NAR figures in your posts to attempt to dispute figures in my post from the same survey (when you didn't notice where I found them)?

Mark Twain also said "It is wiser to find out than to suppose"

I am not sure that the conjecture of someone who sold one home several years ago is more credible than thousands of other home sellers (both realtor and FSBO) year after year or agents who do this everyday and see.

When I do a CMA, I use the auditor data as well as MLS data to find ALL comparable sales.  I rarely find sales there that are not in the MLS (FSBO) and I can see in the MLS which are MLS only listings (partial FSBO).  I can also see how many of those MLS only listings are expired and are later sold by full service agents.  This experience leads me to believe that the NAR survey is realistic, what leads you to your beliefs that it isn't?



  • June 11 2011
  • 3Yes

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Profile picture for rockinblu
"NAR surveys buyers and sellers and reports the numbers. The numbers are accurate and not biased,"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jim, if that's your opinion, fine. I've already stated mine. As Mark Twain said, as well as others before him "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

Regarding the 2009 survey and how some of those those figures are ambiguous? One example is that in the survey while it concludes that only 4% of sellers used a flat-fee arrangement, in 24% of transactions real estate agents were compensated other than a percentage of the sale price. We then have 20% that includes "Don't know," "Other," and "Paid by Both Buyer and Seller," which leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Obviously, "Paid By Buyer Only" wouldn't apply.

How do we know what zip codes that are known for low FSBO activity aren't targeted for these surveys?

Jim, I really am not stating in any way shape or form that it's always better to do a FSBO, and I'm not agent bashing either. When there are legitimate reasons to use a Realtor® that I mention in this blog, I find it questionable at best for Realtors® to promote the value of their services by using NAR figures.

Sam pretty much summed it up. No smoke, no mirrors, no fuzzy math, and you bet I gave him a thumbs up for his answer.
  • June 11 2011
  • 3Yes

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To further clarify:

I understand your caveat about someone benefiting from a transaction and the concern that they MAY be biased about the outcome. I also understand that real estate agents are not at the top of list of occupations that are considered trustworthy and why. 

On this forum, few, if any agents are involved, with any situation being asked about and has no benefit or detriment in the outcome.  They are also not licensed real estate agents in most of the states where they answer, they are just very knowlegable and experienced lay people in the states where they are not licensed.

It would be unwise to completely discount the knowledge, skills and experience of the people who are involved in the business everyday because they are earn commissions from the work they do with others.

My lawn care service, auto service mechanic and doctor all make recommendations to me that makes them money from me, but they are very good and I would be foolish to not listen to their advice just because they will profit from MY business. If they were giving advice to people who they did NOT profit from, I most certainly listen to their advice. Finding these people was not easy, but I did not eliminate the use of ALL lawn care, auto service and doctors because all of them were not ideal. I also do not recommend that no else one use them, I just recommend that they choose good ones.

I also agree with you that the reader can determine whose logic and reasoning is sound and whose advice to take under advisement. This may well be one the reasons FSBO and Flat Fee sales are down compared to Realtor sales.

My point is that many of the comments by the nameless/faceless are not intended to help the poster, but to discredit the agents. I have no problem with anyone correcting a misstatement by someone else or sharing a different opinion. It would just be better if there were less unfounded attacks on facts supported by.....well, nothing.  I don't see how that helps the poster or anyone else.

  • June 11 2011
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Profile picture for hpvanc
Readers of the forums are of course free to read and evaluate the answers from both people in the business and "then a nameless/faceless person not in the business tries to discredit the answer."

It is up to the reader to determine whose logic and reasoning are sound, and can keep in mind that in your industry the vast majority of people in the business are just commissioned sales people and there information and advice should be treated same as information from anyone trying to sell you something on commission.
  • June 09 2011
  • 1Yes

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I am not sure what is ambiguous, it says 4% of sales were compensated under a flat fee arrangement and the other page says 11% of sellers used a flat fee arrangement.

If 11% used the service and 4% (3% in 2010) were compensated, what is your conclusion?
 
I am not sure why you are wasting your time either, but at almost 7,000 contributions, you seem to be wasting a lot of it. 

NAR surveys buyers and sellers and reports the numbers.  The numbers are accurate and not biased, it's the conclusions that are open to interpretation.  Not all the survey supports what the NAR would like or what you would like, but they are reported anyway.

Sam is right that these discussions always seem to go the same way.  Someone  tries to answer a question for a poster, then a nameless/faceless person not in the business tries to discredit the answer. 
  • June 09 2011
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These arguments usually head down the same road on Zillow, as this one has. 

Here's the long and short of it:

Are you a good marketer, salesperson, negotiator, organized enough to keep track of and maintain contact with visitors and their agents, and do you have enough time outside of your normal job to really concentrate on these issues?

If so, you may be a good candidate for FSBO.  It's not an easy job, and it's time-consuming, so you have to be devoted to it to do it well.
  • June 09 2011
  • 1Yes

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Profile picture for rockinblu
 Jim , from page 98 of The 2009 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers:

How a Real Estate Agent Was Compensated

Paid by seller 81%
Percent of sales price 76
Flat fee 4
Per task fee *
Other *
Don't Know 1
Paid by buyer and seller 6
Paid by buyer only 4
Other 5
Don't Know 3
* Less than 1 percent
~~~~~
Now that leaves a lot to be desired in actually determining the amount that used flat-fee with those ambiguous figures.


In the excerpt from the Realtor.org article that I posted they referred to 11% of sellers, and didn't make any mention of a conclusion such as yours that only 4% of those listed as flat-fee resulted in sales. If that was accurate, I find it extremely hard to believe that in a Realtor.org press release that they would have missed that kind of opportunity to mention it.

I really don't know why I'm wasting my time here. Everyone knows these figures from the NAR are for the most part biased, and another word that has a "b" and a "s" in it.
  • June 08 2011
  • 1Yes

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I already posted the caveat to Jose's statistic as well as the same actual numbers he used.

"Someone will argue that by using average sales prices, the conclusion will, be that mostly lower priced homes are FSBO. The study did not provide a conclusion, just the facts. While this could be some of the difference, it's like saying house prices have not declined over the last few years, it's just that mostly people with lower priced homes sold over the last few years."
 
And as I said, that could be some of the difference, but I don't think there is any reason to claim "These factors dramatically skew a higher figure towards agent represented homes." since there is no data to prove that.

From a common sense perspective, I don't think it's at all surprising that the more expensive homes (owned by people with better financial understanding) realize that even though their commissions are higher, they are better off using a real estate professional.  They did not get to own that home by making bad financial decisions.

It also should not surprise anyone that a good real estate agent can sell a home for more than a DYI seller.  I also see some agents can sell homes for more than other agents. 

The person with more skills, knowledge and experience can generally do better that those with less skills, knowledge and experience in any profession, and in this case, whether they have a real estate license or not.

  • June 08 2011
  • 2Yes

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"I really don't believe that given the current state of the real estate industry, that this issue is any better if you list with an agent."

hpvanc,
I think the complete opposite is true, in this market, you need the best agent you can get more than ever. You just need to choose wisely.

It goes without saying that whoever you use for any service should be a competent professional. All occupations have good and "less good" people and in our business, we have more than our fair share on the less side. Although an extreme analogy, if someone had a bad experience with a physician, they should still not suggest to someone that they do their own surgery, they should just find a better Doctor.

According to the study I refer to below: Of all FSBO sellers who successfully sold their home to a buyer they already knew, only 15% said they would sell by owner next time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sunnyview,
I agree completely with your reply "Owners that choose an unrealistic agent may not fare any better..."

The key is to find the skilled, realistic and professional agent.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
RockinBlu,
Good question. It may seem unrealistic, but it is true. We actually used the same source, yours was the press release and mine was the full 116 page survey which contains more detail. I did reference the NAR annual report in my post below.

The 2009 Profile of Home buyers and Sellers, page 98 states that sellers actually paid a Flat Fee in 4% of transactions.

Page 96 is where your quote came from and that is the level of service sellers used, not actually those that resulted in sales, which was 11%. That tells me that 11% used a Flat Fee broker, but only 4% resulted in a sale.

The 2010 Profile of Home buyers and Sellers, page 103 states that sellers actually paid a Flat Fee in 3% of transactions.

Page 101 shows the level of service sellers used, not actually those that resulted in sales, which was still 11%, the same as 2009. It's just that less of them sold.
  • June 08 2011
  • 2Yes

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Profile picture for rockinblu
"According to the National Association of Realtors, in 2008 the average home sold by a Realtor went for almost $60,000 more than the average FSBO home."
~~~~~~~~~
Jose, care to post the caveat to that figure that was actually stated in one of the NAR's reports. Something to the effect that most high end homes are sold with agent representation, and that many FSBO homes are sold to family and friends at a discount to the market. These factors dramatically skew a higher figure towards agent represented homes.

Jose, here's something for you to read:
http://rockinblu-rockinblu.blogspot.com/2010/08/what-am-i-missing-here.html

  • June 08 2011
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Profile picture for rockinblu
"The sales of Flat Fee transactions has declined from 4% of sales to 3% of sales between 2009 and 2010."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jim that seems to be an unrealistic figure given that the number of MLS entry only sellers were 11% according to the Realtor.org summary of The 2009 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers in which they stated:

"Of sellers working with real estate agents, the study found that 80 percent used full-service brokerage, in which agents provide a range of services that include managing most of the process of selling a home from listing to closing. Nine percent of sellers chose limited services, which may include discount brokerage, and 11 percent used minimal service, such as simply listing a property on a multiple listing service."

Reference:http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2009/11/survey_record

Now I'm not going to look it up, so I'm relying on my memory, but I do believe that the MLS entry sellers according to the NAR in 2008 were 9% of the market meaning that in 2009 there was a 2% increase and that was exactly the percentage of a decrease in the NAR's definition of a FSBO sales. Now according to your unreferenced figure in 2010, MLS entry only sellers market share dropped to 3%.

I would appreciate a referenced report with that figure. Please do not show me one where the 3% refers to "other" because in that report it groups all Realtor® assisted sales together, and as we all know that includes MLS entry only aka as flat-fee listed sales.  
  • June 08 2011
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Profile picture for Matt Mahoney
In this market it is near impossible to successfully sell without an agent, and most buyer's are using a broker to help them find a house.  If you do make the decision to utilze an agent, it is important that you get a comparative market analysis done by multiple agents.  Make sure that all of the prices are within a similar range.  Then go with the broker that has been successful at listing and selling houses during this down turn. 
  • June 08 2011
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Motivation!
  • June 08 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
You make a good point hpvanc. Owners that choose an unrealistic agent may not fare any better since they will face the same problems as they would with an overpriced FSBO. Overpriced is overpriced. I have seen more than one of those houses either sit forever or like you mentioned get an offer that is ultimately not supported by the appraisal. That is painful for everyone.

Whether you list with an agent or sell yourself, you have to try to get the price right the first time or the market may write you off and never look back no matter how many price reductions you do. The temptation for agents to "buy" a listing is a problem. It appeals to the greed and/or ignorance of owners. That only leads to a lower final sale price or a stale listing that no one wants to buy at all.
  • June 08 2011
  • 0Yes

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Profile picture for hpvanc
Sunny,

Your last point is very valid however, "not all owners are good at handling rejection or at knowing how to remain businesslike when dealing with buyers. They take comments about their house too personally and are unreasonable about the fair market price of their home."  Is an equally valid problem for sellers that list with an agent, since they have no problem finding like minded agents.  I'm dealing with a family member that has successful found and retained 2 such agents now, the 2nd one after they got a professional appraisal that does not support the agents pricing.

I really don't believe that given the current state of the real estate industry, that this issue is any better if you list with an agent.
  • June 08 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
TY Joan...I'm blushing (*^-^*)
  • June 08 2011
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Just wanted to say Sunny, that I think you deserve Best Answer for that.  Presented both sides well, intelligently and succinctly.

Of course, I expect nothing less from you:)
  • June 08 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I think is makes sense to try to sell FSBO if you are willing to put the work in and make sure that you handle it like business. Successful FSBO's do more than just put a "for sale" listing on Zillow and plant a sign in the yard. They understand that their property must be priced well, show well, have all necessary legal disclosures and must be marketed both locally and on multiple internet outlets.

Not all owners are good at handling rejection or at knowing how to remain businesslike when dealing with buyers. They take comments about their house too personally and are unreasonable about the fair market price of their home. Other owners are too busy to handle showings or not interested in doing the marketing. Those owners should not FSBO and should list their house.

Realtors do real estate 24/7 and a good agent will take time to make sure your house is priced right, looks it's best and is marketed to the 9's. They are familiar with the needs of buyers, inspections and required disclosures. Realtors don't do anything that a savvy owner can't do other than list on the MLS, but owners should not underestimate the time that it takes to effectively market a house. Owners should choose the option that best suits their personality, background and situation.
  • June 08 2011
  • 3Yes

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Since buyer's agents are paid from the listing agent's commission and are typically free to the buyer, most smart buyers use one. These agents are knowledgeable about the local market and take the time to qualify their clients and know their needs. An experienced buyer's agent will only take their client to the most suitable, well-priced homes. You need to reach these agents, which takes time and effort, and be willing to pay them a commission for bringing the buyer to the home if it sells. Since agents are in a professional community together, they will often speak to each other behind the scenes about homes they have listed or have seen.

Now if you are the seller you want a professional to assist you with Pricing and Marketing. The hardest part of every listing is pricing. Proper pricing of a home requires knowledge of both the local market and the buyers. A CMA, or Comparative Market Analysis, takes the recent sale prices of homes within a one-mile radius and uses them as a guide for pricing the home, making adjustments for any differences between the homes. This is where the difficulty lies, because though home sale prices are readily available online or in county record, placing unbiased, accurate values on improvements and discovering any details in comparable homes that may have upped the value can be difficult. You must look at your home through the eyes of a buyer when assessing an improvement's value; this task is much easier for a real estate agent. The lime green bathroom tile that you think is worth every penny of the $3,000 you spent to install it may be an eyesore to a potential buyer, not an asset worth more. According to the National Association of Realtors, in 2008 the average home sold by a Realtor went for almost $60,000 more than the average FSBO home.

Selling a home in a timely manner involves solid marketing, and marketing costs money. You need to get the word out to potential buyers. Placing a sign in the yard and putting your home on eBay or Craigslist is not enough. A buyer may drive past your home based on those things, but never come in. For those buyers that do come in, you must know how to keep the home in "ready to show" condition, how to show the home, when to stay quiet and how to follow up. This is in addition to knowing the best places and ways to reach potential buyers and wisely using the money needed to reach them.
  • June 08 2011
  • 0Yes

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Profile picture for Dunes....
It's not a NAR STUDY...

It's a NAR SURVEY and in 2010 it has a less than 8% response rate and in 2009 it had less than a 8% Response rate and in....

The2010 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers is the latest in a series of large national NAR surveys

"NAR mailed an eight-page questionnaire in July 2010 to a national sample of 111,004 home buyers and sellers who purchased their homes between July 2009 and June 2010, according to county records. It generated 8,449 usable responses; the adjusted response rate was 7.9 percent. All information is characteristic of the 12-month period ending in June 2010 with the exception of income data, which are for 2009. Because of rounding and omissions for space, percentage distributions for some findings may not add up to 100 percent."

  • June 08 2011
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Or could it be that the NAR's definition of FSBOs might be dropping...
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The NAR study done every year shows FSBO sales has declined steadily from 14% of sales in 2003 to 9% of sales in 2010 with no change in definition of a FSBO.   Half of those already knew the buyer, so FSBO marketing was not a factor.

The sales of Flat Fee transactions has declined from 4% of sales to 3% of sales between 2009 and 2010.


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A great agent can make things much easier for you but we all know what the market is like for sellers these days and there is no doubt that commission costs is a hardship for so many.
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In 2010 the average sale price was $200,00 for agent assisted sales, $168,000 for FBSO that later went to an agent assisted sale and $140,000 for FSBO only sales. 

So, are the commissions the hardship or is receiving much less for your home because you are trying to save the commission the true hardship?

Someone will argue that by using average sales prices, the conclusion will, be that mostly lower priced homes are FSBO.  The study did not provide a conclusion, just the facts. While this could be some of the difference, it's like saying house prices have not declined over the last few years, it's just that  mostly people with lower priced homes sold over the last few years. 
  • June 08 2011
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Ms.Weber,  you have made so many gross generalizations and assumptions in your post that I don't even know where to start.  So therefore I won't bother.

Rvrocket,
FSBOs aren't for everyone.  Its for people who recognize that they are taking on the serious Job of selling their house and are willing to put in the time and effort.

Reading rockinbu's blog is always the best start.
You will need to take Mr.O'Brien's suggestion and pay a flat fee broker (if its allowed in your state) to post on the mls.  The mls gives you by far the most exposure.  Pictures are SO important.  I see so many pictures taken by agents who don't even seem to understand this.  It can/does make the difference between whether or not people are willing to take the time to come see your house.   You can also use postlets and other free tools that can instantly put you on up to hundreds of websites at the touch of a button.

You will still need to pay the buyer's agent a competitive commission.

Of course pricing (based on current market value, not your needs or wants) is the most essential of all.   

The next important thing is to make your house shine.  Look at it critically, as if you are a buyer coming through for the first time.  When selling your house it is no longer YOUR home but rather a commodity that is a tough sell in a very competitive market. 

A great agent can make things much easier for you but we all know what the market is like for sellers these days and there is no doubt that commission costs is a hardship for so many.
  • June 08 2011
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Profile picture for emtjweber
I don't think FSBO ever makes sense.   Think of it this way... What's the first thing a prospective buyer thinks when he see's a For Sale By Owner sign in front of a house....  He thinks "I can get this house real cheap because they're not paying a realtor commission"   and he's right.   So he offers less the seller thinks well I can accept less because I'm not paying a realtor commission so he does just that.   In the end the only person who saves in a for sale by owner is the buyer... because if the property had been listed with a Realtor there would have been more prospective buyers looking at it... and nobody would have come in with as low a low ball offer as they would have if it had been listed with a realtor in the first place.   My advice... always use a realtor and don't skimp on the commission pay the max...   it works, you'll get more showings with much less head ache than if you did all the work yourself and someone will buy your home (if you price it right) at market value.  FSBOs always sell under market with the added impact of killing the values in the neighborhood. 
  • June 08 2011
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Rvroket,

Why do you have to choose?  Find a local broker who offers a limited relationship listing as I do for those who want to do things on their own.  For $500.00 I put a full listing on the MLS and they do the rest.  That way they get the best of both.  And if, in the future, they need something more, we can change it to another level of service.  Check and see what you can find in your area.  I just saved a client almost $10,000 in commissions with this program.  I know she is happy.  Good Luck!

Capt. Shawn
  • June 08 2011
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Profile picture for rockinblu
"Usually, this is not the case and this probably accounts for the amount of FSBO seller dropping consistantly over the last 10 years."
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Or could it be that the NAR's definition of FSBOs might be dropping, since they don't include MLS entry only sellers as FSBOs, and more and more FSBOs are realizing the importance of being listed in the MLS.

The last NAR survey that I saw that included MLS entry sellers (2009), and the NAR's definition of FSBOs, it totaled about 20% of the sales.
 
I noticed in the 2010 survey they conveniently only listed their definition of FSBOs, and didn't mention the number on MLS entry only sellers. My guess is that the number of MLS entry only sellers were equal to or greater than the drop of the NAR's definition of FSBOs.
  • June 07 2011
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It depends on several factors.  The main benefit of using an agent is proper exposure. 

The better your home is accurately priced, prepared for sale, shown with professional photos and compelling descriptions, exposed to the most buyers and negotiated well, the better price you will get.  Not all agents are equal with doing that, but if you find a really good listing agent, I believe you will net more after commissions.  You only need to fall short on one of these steps to lose the savings you may be expecting.

If you have a well priced, great condition home in an area that is selling and you do all of the above, you may do fine as a FSBO.

Usually, this is not the case and this probably accounts for the amount of FSBO seller dropping consistantly over the last 10 years.  The reasons it usually doesn't work, is that most sellers (even if they are also agents) don't or can't objectively price their own home correctly.  Negotiating is another area that some agents and most sellers just aren't skilled at and is difficult to do on your own behalf.

I have seen some very well presented and marketed homes by FSBO's so if you are willing, you can probably do that, but many do not.

Another advantage of using an agent is their network of other agents to help them sell homes.  Many do not want to work with inexperienced FSBO sellers even if you offer a commission to them.  Also consider that if you offer a commission to agents, you are only saving part of the commission.  You will also be negotiating with someone who does this for a living and you likely will not do as well as another agent who represents you.

If you get a skilled listing agent, they can easily save the commission by getting you a higher price.

Good luck on whatever you decide.
  • June 07 2011
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
A person with time and energy and certain skills can indeed do a FSBO.   It isn't the best for everyone.   Rockinblu's blog is an excellent start to ask if you have what it takes.

I noted an agent chose to leave contact info in a post in this thread.  IMHO, that suggests the agent isn't reading the fine print so that one would immediately would go on my "do not contact" list.    If you are interested in doing an FSBO, can you deal with all the details?
  • June 07 2011
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