Heather Worl…, Both Buyer and Seller in Burlington, WI

Advertising FSBO

Asked by Heather Worley, Burlington, WI Sat Mar 6, 2010

We're selling our home as For Sale By Owner - AGENTS WELCOME! We've got a blog, local ad, Craigslist, Google adwords, plus we've emailed our flyer and blog site to area agents. Anything else we should do?

Help the community by answering this question:


The goal of a property marketing campaign is to get the property information in front of as many “qualified” eyeballs as possible and the marketing pieces need to be presented in a format, which motivates the potential buyers to take action. A poorly managed marketing campaign by a Realtor can deliver less than optimal results. There are inherent limitations for FSBOs in reaching the active and passive buyer pool. It can be challenging for a FSBO to reach Realtor buyer agents. Your goal, as a FSBO, is to overcome as many of those limitations as you can.

One step is getting your property into the MLS. The MLS is not the end all to your marketing efforts, though. Selling a property for highest and best is not simply a matter of throwing it up in MLS. One might achieve a sale that way, but it may not have garnered the highest price and best terms.

You can seek a flat fee listing Realtor MLS broker (FF Broker) that will submit your property to the MLS. There is generally an upfront charge for this and you will be asked to sign an agreement that specifies the compensation that will be offered to buyer agents. The MLS primary reason for existence is not marketing, but a communication tool for sharing property info and compensation arrangements between brokers. The broker who places your property in the MLS for a flat fee will offer limited services beyond the submission of the listings. Understand what services you will receive from a limited services broker. If they tell you they are the same as listing with a full service broker, be skeptical. If they are candid with you and explain the limitations, and this works for you....by all means, proceed!

Every business is free to establish their own services and offerings, so know that my summary of generalizations is just that......an overview. You will need to conduct your own research to determine and verify what business models and services are offered in your area.

If you flat fee list (or use some other discount service) - who will answer the inquiry calls? With full service, most consumers expect that a trained Realtor be available to answer any inquires on any represented properties. Will consumers be able to get additional info from the FF Broker? Will consumer calls be redirected to you? Will buyer agents be directed to contact you? It is important for you to understand who will receive the inquiry calls and ensure that each inquiry receive prompt courteous attention with accurate information.

FSBOs, even a property appears in MLS via a FF Broker, it runs the risk that it will be shown less, even though there is buyer agent compensation. The buyer agents become concerned about the liability of potential undisclosed dual agency, or sellers who will seek their help. The buyer agent concerns are both with liability and compensation. Each seller poses a different parameter of risk. When your property is a solid match for the Realtor’s client, the Realtor will show it...in most all cases. When your property is a stretch, or there are several alternate competing properties, yours could be left out of the mix. Your best chance at overcoming that obstacle is the strength of your marketing materials and communications that you are proactive and open (friendly) to work with Realtors. Some FSBOs are hostile toward Realtors, and this can cause Realtors to also shy away from FSBOs. Simply read a lot on Trulia and you can find some hostility toward Realtors. Those who are antagonistic toward Realtors are not your ally if the impact of their rants is to dissuade buyer agents from bringing buyers to your property. You want to sell your property......I understand. If you want buyer agents to bring buyers to your property, make sure and highlight that in your materials. It will increase your showings.

You might find some traditional brokerages who will offer limited services for a reduced fee schedule. Although we cannot help you in WI, we do that. We are not a FF Broker. All of our marketing plans include full representation, but we do have some options whereby a seller can substantially reduce their expenses by choosing some options ala carte. You might find some traditional brokerages that have flexible options in your area. On the other hand, you may find that a FF Broker will provide all that you need to support your FSBO marketing efforts.

Follow the other suggestions contained on this thread. Place your fliers at local establishments, send to local Broker offices, hold a Broker Open House and invite the local Realtors, and yes, place your property on CraigsList, etc.

Best of luck,
Deborah Madey - Broker
Peninsula Realty Group - NJ
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 7, 2010
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ

Can you do an open house? You can publish it online too so more people are aware of it. You could make flyers for the open house and walk them to neighbors in the area.

For sale flyers in plaza's close to your house, nail salons, dry cleaners, grocery store boards, gyms, anywhere people will let you hang it.
Are you certain you are priced right? Price will greatly impact your showings and activity
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 7, 2010
Are you doing everything your agent did?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 7, 2010
HI Heather:

Anything you do helps, including open houses, newspaper ads, walking your neighborhood and dropping off flyers. But, the most important thing you can do is read a couple good books on marketing. It is not just where you advertise, but how you use words and pictures to make your case and answer questions that buyers might have.

Ron Rovtar
Prudential Real Estate of the Rockies
Boulder CO
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 6, 2010
Just to clarify...this is not marketing, nor will this well your home. If you need help, than ask....there is no question here.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 6, 2010
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
If you would like to be on MLS try a flat fee company--see link
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 6, 2010
We are advertised on Zillow. I forgot to include that.

Our house was listed with a local agent for 18 months. We decided to give FSBO a shot, so we could lower the price a bit . . .

We are not on MLS at all. How could we control the inquiry calls?

I appreciate more info and advice!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 6, 2010
You can also try advertising on Zillow.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 6, 2010
Are you listed in MLS at all - as in a flat fee listing? If you are in MLS, where do the inquiry calls go? How those are handled can impact your traffic.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 6, 2010
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
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