That being said, I have no way to determine whether your marketing efforts are effective or not. Some basic concepts for FSBOs, in my opinion.
1) Hire a flat fee agency that will put you on the MLS for free or a small fee. MLS exposure is critical to your ability to market to Realtors. Realtors can't bring you a buyer, if they're not aware that your home is on the market, and your FSBO sign doesn't have the range that the MLS does. Realtors don't scour the FSBO websites, looking for listings. A major percentage of buyers come with Realtors, and if you're not listed in the MLS for them to see, you're shooting yourself in the foot.
2) Make certain to make your home readily available for showings. That means answer every phone call promptly, for appointments. And for real estate agents, make sure you equip your home with a lock box.
3) Curb appeal is important, and INTERNET curb appeal is MORE important. Your photos should be fantastic. If you can't take a decent photo, hire someone who can. Your photos on the internet (and the MLS) are your front line. If they don't like the photos, they aren't coming!
4) Declutter! People know that you live there, while you're selling, but they don't want to see it. They won't feel "at home" in your house, and can't see the true "size" of your home with all your stuff there. Take down the family photos on the fridge. Put 50% of your stuff in storage (including the crap in the basement or garage)... your house should look like a showroom.
5) Co-operative fee. Offer a competitive co-op fee to buyer's agencies. If 2% is common in your area, then that's fine. But if 3% is the norm, you may find agents choosing to show other listings over yours. Personally, I don't work that way... I show what suits my clients... but from reading the threads here on Trulia, there are agents who DO pay attention to the co-op fee first... make sure yours is up to par.
6, 7, 8 & 9) Price It Right! Try to be as objective as you can about pricing your home. View it like a buyer, and compare it to other homes in your area and general price range. We know you love your home, and we know that you spent $10,000 on the gold flocked wallpaper in the recreation room. But nobody is going to pay you back for that. Be realistic and price correctly.
I know you think it's all a load of bull... FSBO can sell, but it's not as easy as just popping a sign in the ground... there's a reason that such a large percentage of people opt to pay huge commissions to have someone who does this for a living sell their homes. It's hard work.
Greg, I understand your logic regarding hiring an agent. But if you turned down an offer only $2,000 off your list price, I have to say that both of you (buyer and seller) were foolish. Assuming the rest of the offer was acceptable (closing date, terms, mortgage) neither of you should have allowed $2,000 to stand in the way of that sale.
You could have split that difference easily with virtually no impact to either of you. The carrying costs alone will eat up the $2,000 quickly... and the extra $2,000 would only have represented about $12-$15/month on the buyer's mortgage.
I viewed your site where you claim that you "slashed" the real estate commission by 4%, and went from $148,900, down to $143,900.
A 4% reduction would take you down to $142,944. Most buyers are sharp enough to spot that is NOT a 4% savings.
Also, your photos are dark, a little blurry, and don't show enough of the room. You have photos of furniture... beds, cribs, dressers, and very little view of the home itself. Do yourself a favor and hire a professional photog. (or find a friends who has a better camera with a wide angle lens and good flash) to retake your photos. I think you'll see an improvement in your showings.
You also invest in your health and well being. Don't you? And if for some reason you are in need of a surgery and a doctor, your are going to have the same approach as to the real estate investment ? Are you going to operate on your self, because the doctor is going to charge you (6%) ? Or, you going to look and hire the best specialist that is out there? Or, if you need an attorney to represent you, are you going to represent your self, because they charge $300.00 + on hour ? - And risk of loosing thousands of dollars?
Real Estate Pros work for living too. The procentage they charge is the national avarage. Not what they make up. Just think about this.
I found two ad for your home.
You have conflicting asking prices and the math is off on your main page.
Respectfully I do have a suggestion; Do Not write anything negitive in your ad ; for example " We fired the real estate professionals". OUCH
I don't see any Realtor representing a Buyer even wanting to do business with a person who writes that, I am sorry if this is harsh. Realtors talk to Realtors.
Elv!s is correct, you must declutter, and I cannot see your back yard at all. New photos should be taken again. Your home should be clean, clean, clean and odorless.
I am a FSBO in Florida, and selling ones own home is hard, but keep in mind , Its Not Personal. Visit all the local Buyers Agent Realtors with your flyers, sit down with each agent and see if you could get a committment from them to bring their buyer to a appointment based open house. Look up your sold comps to make sure you are on target with your pricing and if you are on target with your $148,900 or $149,900 then consider offering buyers incentives from there. Look at the competitions AD's and see what they are offering.
The USPS has a link attached to their website for post card mailings.
Selling your home FSBO is your job now. Avoid showing signs of burn out while promoting you home or showing your home.
And finally.............................FSBO's should consult a Real Estate Attorney for iknowledge and nformation about your closing.
My website is http://www.skilakehome.com I went to yahoo for the domain name and web package.
And then you choose to leave you and your beautiful family, essentially, protection-less? No, You should have the Pro at your side, and let the buyers scramble around. Especially in the market we're in, where buyers have the upper hand, the real game begins in the negotiation table and depending on the agent, boy, they can gey UGLY.
See, my clients deserve the peace of mind and confidence I will get the job done for them, with minimum hassles and maximum money in their pockets.
Pick up an agreement of sale and start reading. The amount of details and manipulative tools will blow your mind. When you're done let me know what you think, will ya?
The $2000 turns into roughly $10,000 to 11,000.
The challenges you have are going to be many. Thanks for posting:
First, when you purchased the home you are selling, did you use a Realtor? Probably, 90% of people first see the home they buy with a Realtor.
Why use a Realtor? Because we work for free. People may look online for a home, but they want a Realtor that knows the market and is a good negotiator to get them the best deal and keep them out of legal entanglements.
So, not surprising, owners selling without professional representation sell to someone they know 5% of the time, someone they don't know 5% of the time, and 86% of the time list with a Realtor (NAR).
I think that if you can sell it on your own, go ahead. Know that on average Realtors average 15% more than owners on their own. If unrepresented sellers are dealing wth 10% of the market, then obviously they have a smaller pool of buyers that are very budget conscious. Rather than paying nothing for professional representation, buyers are looking at owners selling direct for a deal. That's why the average sales prices are lower.
I recommend that you interview three Realtors. Ask them for an Estimate of Seller's Net Proceeds. Run the numbers. If it does not work out, then you have a back up plan to list it with a Realtor.
I tried to view your site and nothing came up, that could be part of your problem.
Also, keep in mind that when an agent's client buys from a FSBO that there is even more work involved for that agent and you are asking them to do it at a reduced rate. Typically you have another agent to help with paper work, coordination ect and when you are the only agent invloved dealing directly with a seller there is more work. Overall, there is just as much if not more involved representing a buyer than a seller anyway,...