Home Selling in Boston>Question Details

Bill Wendel, Real Estate Pro in Cambridge, MA

Approaching end of listing contract, how do you decide what to do before it expires? Drop your price or drop your agent, sell FSBO to net same profit?

Asked by Bill Wendel, Cambridge, MA Mon Nov 19, 2012

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Annette Lawrence’s answer
Real Estaet Cafe,
Unfortunately, all the options you present are INVALID!
Lacking any data suggesting what may be impeding a sale, your suggested solutions are what one would expect from the Zillite crowd.
Why would you attempt to bait someone into making a choice without data?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 25, 2012
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 19, 2012

One of the "top" reasons why property doesn't sell is PRICE!

If dropping the price is a valid consideration.....why not consider dropping it prior to the listing expiring?

Good luck,

1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 19, 2012
The most important thing to look at when making this decision is how your home is priced. The second most important is your agents marketing and performance. The agent tends to be the whipping post when a home doesn't sell and it's not always there fault. There are many unrealistic sellers out there and they are the cause for the home being over priced despite their agents advice. Only the two of you know the truth so withouth any of us knowing it's hard to give you an accurate answer.

Good luck!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 25, 2012
As an agent/broker you know that very, very few homes sell truly FSBO. Some sell entry only and those end up paying a significant commission with no marketing. The truth is that a home will sell for it's highest and best price when properly marketed by a professional.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 25, 2012
If your listing is in Cambridge and it has not sold then its all boils down to price, increasing marketing efforts and having a sit down with the owner of the property. I have no idea why anyone would go FSBO on a property that already did not sell to the open market. The amount of visibility that an owner can give their property is a fraction of the marketing power a good agent can create. The key to selling a home is getting people to see the home and someone will fall in love with the property just as the original buyers did.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 20, 2012
John, thank you for your perspective but isn't there is an internal inconsistency in your answer? If "it all boils down to price," why shouldn't a homeowner DROP their listing agent at the end of their contract, put the property in Craigslist and other FREE sites at 5 to 6% less than their last asking price, and NET THE SAME PROFIT they would have if the listing agent had been able to get a full-priced offer?

So my response to your comment, "I have no idea why anyone would go FSBO on a property that already did not sell to the open market." is that the homeowner acting on their own CAN follow your advice to DROP the price, precisely by DROPPING their listing agent, and STILL net the same profit!

PS. My question is hypothetical , but there are thousands of listing contracts expiring every WEEK in Massachusetts alone, and I think homeowners would be wise to consider this scenario before reducing the profit (or adding to the loss if they are upsidedown on their mortgage).
Flag Tue Nov 20, 2012
Real Estate Cafe, it says you are a broker so you should know the answer to this question But as already said I'd go with price specially if you have not gotten any offers and if you really want to sell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 19, 2012
Wen and others, this question was directed at HOMEOWNERS, not real estate fellow professionals. So I've shared the same question on Google+ and hope to get some responses from consumers:

Posted this question on Trulia, and so far have only received responses from listing agents. Homeowners, if you're selling your home and your listing contract expires soon, are you being asked or pressured to drop your price? Have you considered dropping your agent instead, and reducing your price by the amount of the commission to net the same profit?
Flag Mon Nov 19, 2012
There are many tools the professional has that you won't as a FSBO.
If you are getting activity and no offers it is something other than price.
If you are not getting activity, make sure you are priced correctly.
Your property may have some "unique issues" that is keeping it on the market.

And there are professionals that are more effective than others.
Is your current professional selling other things?
Are they working with people every day?

(Please note: when you choose an answer as a Best Answer, or at least give a thumbs up, it helps those who answer questions here.)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 19, 2012
You will probably not do as well as a FSBO--and do you want to do all that work? I'm assuming your property is in Cambridge. If it shows well and was priced correctly it should have sold. Cambridge properties are not sitting on the market. Do you feel your agent did a good job of marketing your property? It might be a good idea to talk with other agents--I work in the Cambridge market and would be happy to talk with you.

Ellen G. Friedman, Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 19, 2012
How long was the contract?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 19, 2012
Hire Carey Hansen from Nextgen Realty. 617-548-4032
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 19, 2012
FSBO sales most often are subject to lowball offers by investors and "shoppers".
Actual average price of FSBO sale is by far lower then perceived savings on "commissions",
highly probably because of low exposure (National Association of Realtors statistics on FSBOs).
Plus, who can afford a huge internet marketing campaign when selling themselves? The time, the financial burden, the aggrivation of strangers in your home?

Before making any decision, make sure that you check/tune up your current marketing/exposure/traffic.
Most sales take place on the internet nowadays (37% of people buy directly from the listing agent).
Ask what websites your property is on. MLS alone is not enough, and print ads are no longer working either. You also have to prepare/declutter/stage your home.

Request a Comparable Market Analysis for your area from several different agents.
See, if you can get access to your local MLS to see every sale in the area, not just selected few.

If you have a lot of marketing/showings going on - ask for input from the selling agents.
If you have a lot of marketing but no traffic - then the price or amount of inventory in your area is high.
Either reduce the price or wait for the inventory to get lower...

If still want to try FSBO, then do Yahoo, UTube, Craigslist to increase traffic.
Personally, I feel a good marketer/agent with the most websites showcasing your home is your best bet.
More marketing = more exposure = higher price + quicker sale!

Hope this helps,

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 19, 2012
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