Home Selling in Ardenwood>Question Details

Gupta, Home Seller in Fremont, CA

Hi Agents - A Myth or a Fact

Asked by Gupta, Fremont, CA Fri Apr 4, 2008

,If a seller wants to go FSBO but offers reasonalble, market rate commission to Buyer's , still his house will be shunned by agents over others.

Help the community by answering this question:


One of the reasons a FSBO may be avoided by agents (until there is no other house left to show the buyer) is that, despite the creation of single agency, the agent is put in a quasi dual agency position. In order to protect the buyer client and thus, the integrity of the transaction, agents are then put in the position of having to educate the seller and manage the seller side of the transaction too. Disclosures required by law, from the seller, end up being generated and delivered to the seller from the buyer's agent in order for the seller to comply. Agent ends up managing the seller as well as the buyer...a situation that creates liability for the agent. Its a complex subject , but the bottom line is that consumer protection laws have become so complicated, it is not just the "half fee for double the work" that scares agents away, its the exposure to risk.
7 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 5, 2008
Being a non real estate agent and from a layman's point of view...i believe what the agents are tell you is that agents are like lawyers, they represent you and want you to do good (i dare to say mainly motivated by profit). You can represent yourself in this case, but unless you are also a real estate agent, you better be damn well prepared when you do sell your home yourself.

Is it impossible? HELL NO. Do you research! The internet is vast with huge amounts of data. But like all things, BE AWARE of what you are doing. DO YOUR HOMEWORK DO YOUR HOMEWORK DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!!!!

Research on local, state laws, national laws that might make your road more bumpy.

Do I advocate it? If you do all your homework and mentally prepared to face the challenge. Sure.

If you have an ounce of trepidation, i suggest you hire an agent. And in the meantime, take a real estate class and learn all the paper work and what not. This way, when you sell your house next time, you can be that much more prepared.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 17, 2008
The truth is that is paying a commission was all it took so sell a home, everyone would be selling without professional representation and there would be no Realtors. Yet Realtors have been around for years.

The question I would ask is this: What is the difference between having professional representation and selling by yourself?
The California Association of Realtors performs an annual survey, and last year the buyer that purchases a home first sees that home with a Realtor 90% of the time. So that has some very important implications for sellers: First, it means that Realtors need to think your home has value and is worth showing. So although we are paid for performing a task, as opposed to by the hour, we all try to make our time as productive as possible.

So you say that you will offer "reasonable market rate commission". does that mean you expect us, as a buyer's agent to perform BOTH sides of the transaction duties for the fee for ONE? Or does it mean that YOU will perform the listing agent's duties and we will perform the buyer's agent duties?
Either way, from the buyer's agent perspective we will end up doing a lot more work for less money.

The funny thing is that the National Association of Realtors surveys people that sell without professional representation also. 85% of the time, they eventually list with a Realtor. The survey also shows that homes sold be Realtors sell for 14% more. How can that be?

Looking at these statistics carefully, if you sell on your own, one of the main reasons is because the seller personally knows the buyer (family transaction, something like that) 5% of the time. So if you take the 90% seen by a Realtor, and 5% sold to someone you know, that means the average owner selling without professional representation is dealing with 5% of the buyers.

Why would 90% of the buyers work with a Realtor? Because we work for free. When you buy your next home, you're going to use a Realtor, right? You'd be crazy not to. You get someone to do all the work, negotiate the best price, and help keep the process manageable.

I know that selling a home is expensive. Let's say you have a home that you think is worth $400,000. For the sake of arguement, let's say that the selling office commission is 6%, or $24,000. Closing costs are another 2%, so, $8,000. You are worried about controlling 8% of the costs. A Realtor is worried about protecting 92% of the profit. Which is more important?

In most transactions I can prove that I more than early my commission by the money I saved my clients. We are not paid for selling homes. Homes sell homes. We are paid for producing results, protecting a family from legal entanglements, and getting them moved from the current home to their new home with the least amount of stress and cost.

So at least TALK with a Realtor, as for an Estimate of Seller's Net Proceeds, and do the math. Then you make the call. On one condition. We want you to repost after and tell us what happened.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 5, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
Hi Guapta,
Both truth and myth. There are some agents who don't want the 'hassle' in dealing directly with a seller. They feel that they'll have to walk not only their buyer through the process, but also the seller who typically doesn't know what they're doing.

However, I believe that the majority of real estate agents don't have a problem showing a FSBO if a commission is offered. Finding the right home for our buyers is ultimately the #1 goal, and if it happens to be a FSBO then so be it.
Web Reference: http://www.myhome.tc
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 4, 2008
Gupta, it's mostly myth. Yes, there are a few bad apples, who don't want to show FSBO houses... but if you're offering a reasonable co-op commission, the buyer's agent will be paid, just as though you had an agent.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 5, 2008
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
If I can access to a property that my clients want to view I have no problem showing it. The problem is a do-it -yourselfer get lost in the shuffel. I just set up a search for some clients that I am working with and they have a list of 382 homes to preview in the area and price range that thay want. We have over 20,000 properties available on the local MLS so 1 do-it-yourselfer gets lost.
I did try to show a property that was listed on a do-it-self web site to one of my clients last week but they had leased the property 2 months ago, it was still showing as available on the For Sale By Owner web site and I was the first call she had since it was leased.
Web Reference: http://www.Find1Home.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 5, 2008
Gupta-Not always. The main problem with a FSBO is that it is not really marketed. Most agents find homes through the multiple listing service (MLS) which does not include FSBO listings. However, if an agent is aware of a FSBO that fits the buyer client's criteria, the agent will typically contact the FSBO to find out if they will do a cooperative arrangement. In the case you describe, you are offering a competitive commission, so an agent should show the property. Truthfully, it is sometimes very difficult to deal with FSBOs and for that reason, some agents may avoid the house.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008

**..keep in mind that you will have to keep your house neat and showable -- no dirty underwear or diapers strewn throughout the bedrooms or bathroom floors -- gosh, the stuff I've seen! ..**

Whether a consumer goes FSBO or has 9 agents working for them, they need to keep the home in "showroom" condition ...

I've seen quite a few homes that look like a meteorite has hit the interior and the listing agent has never recommended much of anything, except putting it on the market .... so that doors swings both ways ...

1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
Hello Gupta,

I guess you want to do FSBO? Good luck. I know other agents who would for the same reason a consumer would, but keep in mind that you will have to keep your house neat and showable -- no dirty underwear or diapers strewn throughout the bedrooms or bathroom floors -- gosh, the stuff I've seen!

Anyway, I am not against FSBOs -- in fact, I've cooperated with a bunch of them -- most of them are quite entrepreneurial and brilliant and think they can do a better job than any agent can, but then after a few months of "enjoying hosting open houses" and keeping their homes in a showable condition, they sort of stop hosting those open houses and then show by appointment only and then lower their prices because that sign has been sitting too long in front of the house or street corner, the family situation changed or they just need to have a buyer now. Yep, I've seen those situations and it is not pleasant to have to desperately sell by hiring an agent and immediately expect an offer in astronomical figures, after so much marketing time has been wasted. And because the market is cyclical, it could already be a different season and the same qualified buyers are no longer interested or available.

When you do FSBO, I know some places charge a flat fee and you get your home on the MLS and that's it--I've been too busy to keep track if those places are still around, but I think it's a disservice that clients get their properties on the MLS but the agents who put them up there don't show the homes, return calls or take messages. How is that fair? No wonder some people think agents are lazy.

I was offering my radio transmitters for rent to people who wanted to try selling on their own. I don't make money that way. I mostly make money selling real estate and working with people who have confidence in me.

We are in the "people business" -- we must love people and it makes sense to work with people we get along with. It's not always about money even though it is only fair that people, especially licensed professionals get paid for their time, shouldn't they?

Well, anyway, I wish you the best of luck. Thanks very much for sharing your insight.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 22, 2008

Let's be reasonable....if the home has curb appeal, superb location, is priced right, meets a buyers criteria, and the customer likes it....wouldn't I be stupid not to show it to them?

It's also our experience that many buyers DO NOT want to deal with owners directly because they have an unrealistic view of their property.

The "Eckler Team"
Century 21 Almar & Associates
Venice, Fl 34285
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 6, 2008

You just gotta loves all these claims, right...?

**..Besides homes listed with Realtors. sell for an average of 12% more then by owner, it pays for itself!..**

**..National Association of Realtors surveys people that sell without professional representation also. 85% of the time, they eventually list with a Realtor..**

**..that means the average owner selling without professional representation is dealing with 5% of the buyers..**

**..The survey also shows that homes sold be Realtors sell for 14% more. How can that be?..**

-- OMG ... where do I sign up for this glorious pathway to heaven.?

I guess we'll just go back to that same old question Keith: ... "How can that be.?.." ... and where do these figures actually come from.??

Well .. Do NAR Statistics of “For Sale by Owner” Sales Mislead People? .. hmm, lets see:

Of course, this must not be true:


Yesterday we had June Lizotte posting this -

**.."Are you aware that 80% of all real estate litagation involves For Sale By Owner transactions?.. Let me know if you'd like that referral..**

June, the agent in Oregon couldn't even support the NAR figure .. but then asks for a referral.? .l.o.l..

Look, buying and selling homes is not easy ... you have comps that don't make sense .. sellers that need a brain scan and buyers that should be next in line and lenders that haven't hired a person with an IQ over 100 in 8 years ... but that's the flea's that come with the dog.

That said, consumers today are smarter and brighter than just 4 years ago .. they're not afraid to spend 2 months and a 100 hours on the computer to do research and trace back property for the last 5 or 6 years..

And if needed .. they'll shop the market for a quality agent at a reduced commission ... if you won't do it, then the next quality agent next to you will.

You as agents certainly know that 25% of you won't be here next year at this time ... so patting yourself on the backs and saying consumers can't do this or do that, just alienates your industry more...

So .. instead of trying to sink the ship, I'd be looking for ways to right the ship ...

: ^)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 6, 2008
There are still a number of reasons that would make agents compelled to work with another agent instead of fsbo, that don't involve statistics from NAR.

Namely, most people go fsbo to save money, how likely are they to lower their price in negotiations or agree to do repairs etc?
As an agent, you are very likely to end up doing more works than you would if the seller had an agent (what forms to sign etc. Also, unless the sellers don't work, you have availability problems)
Last but not least, liability for your buyers. If somethign goes wrong who do you sue? the sellers? who probably don't have much, if sellers were represented you could sue the broker who is covered by insurence with lots of money to make all your dreams come true.

From an agents stand point it's just easier to work with another agent. Doesn't mean that fsbo houses won't be shown if a buyer wants to see them, but I doubt there are any agents who would prefer to work with fsbo instead of a listing agent. (well, maybe some who feel they can negotiate a better deal out of fsbo because of the owner's inexperience in negotiating, but that's about it)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 5, 2008
Typically, a FSBO thinks he knows every thing about the real estate industry and he can handle all situation. While that may be true, I had a seller who got into stalemate in the middle of the transaction and did not know how to handle the situation. The seller at that point seeked my advise as I was involved in a transaction handling his neighbors house. The only thing I could do was to refer him to an attorney to clear the mess,. The buyer in this case was again a smart guy who was just looking around for FSBO and to hook up the seller in the middle and take advantage of the seller on price. In this particular scenario, the seller did not know the market rate and ended up signing a contract which was 80K lower. Now to answer your question, Upon this experience, I always interview the FSBO seller to see how far he is knowledgeable and if the transaction will close smooth. If he exhibits lack of knowledge, I advise my buyes ahead of potential issues that could arise because of the sellers ignorance to handle varied scenarios. As Debbie Bernard rightly pointed out, I will not get involved doing the listing agent job or advising the sellers. This will lead to misunderstandings and complicate matters. As an agent, I will never stay away from showing a FSBO and I will advise my clients accordingly before entering in to a contract
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 5, 2008
I think may agent don't show FSBO because it can be labor intensive. A buyers agent will end up doing the job a listing agent would normally do to prepare a house for sale, and not be compensated for their time and effort. Working with a listing pro is more than just putting a sign in the yard. Besides homes listed with Realtors. sell for an average of 12% more then by owner, it pays for itself! Sorry, I'm sure thats not the answer you wanted to hear.
Debbie Barnard
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 5, 2008
There are several situations that contribute to lack of showings by a FSBO. The largest factor is that an agent has to actually drive by the listing to even know it is on the market. Even if that happens, the agent has spent a large amount of time scanning the MLS system for the most appropriate homes for the client; has scheduled their time to tour and set appointments. Now they drive by and see your sign: it requires another phone call to learn the price and amenities and whether it even is of interest to the buyer. Lets say that it fits the criteria in space and price. Now, can they see it on this tour, do they have time? Or do they have to come back? Are you home to let them in? Chances are its put on the bottom of the list to see, unless you happen to be there and they have time to see it. Then the agent has to have a commission agreement signed by the seller which they may not have on them. There are a huge number of obstacles here. My question to you is this: If you are willling to pay the buyer's side of the commission, no one is representing you. So, you need an attorney to look at the contract. By the time you miss most buyers, pay the buyer's agent commission and an attorney, what have you gained?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 16, 2008
Of course we always recommend and advise that you put the listing in the MLS and pay the buyers agent 2.5% - 3 % especially in this market.
And then you pay the discount broker one percent, why not just hire a full service realtor?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
RUNNNN!!!! Help u sell are ripoff hacks.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
Usually. This is because that information (agents welcome) isn't getting out the agents unless the buyer is out on their own looking and brings the flyer their agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
By all means, go ahead and try it. Offer that commission. Most agents will not shun it at all if it is the best home for their buyer. The problem is, they are not going to find it. We are too busy with the vast number of homes properly marketed in the MLS. There is no need to glean through the FSBO ads in the paper, begging a FSBO to let us in. Your property could possibly be losing value while you are taking this route; who knows? It certainly is not the way to get the higest and best offer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
Depending on what state you live in will depend on my answer. In NY all agent work for the seller unless they are a buyers agent. The sellers agent are under contract to sell that house and we must show there house. But if they are a buyers agent then they are under contract to find them the best home even if it is for sale by owner.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
You should try the FSBO route first and then hire an agent if you fail to find a buyer. What do you have to lose in today's market where price is king in this competitive marketplace.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
So Rex, what are you saying.....?

Are you saying ..DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!!!!

good advice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 17, 2008
Gupta, some sellers don't want agents to contact them and can be somewhat nasty about that. I would have no problem with showing an FSBO but if I had to do the work of both agents I would want to be compensated for that.

If you need any helpful hints or advice feel free to ask - just email me.
Web Reference: http://www.DotChance.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2008
Hi Gupta,

Agents are somewhat afraid to show FSBOS properties because they sometimes feel that after showing the home to the buyers, the seller and buyer may work out a deal between themselves so that they can both save money and not have to pay any commission.

You hopefully have access to all the disclosures needed in a transaction and understand the 10 page contract completely to udergo the task of selling your home on your own. What about marketing and advertising? This is not a market where you put a sign in your front yard and you can get multiple offers like two+ years ago.

In my 22 years of experience, I have seen that FSBOS do not come out ahead in the bottom line price and savings.The buyers who are buying a FSBO home discount the 6% commission right off the top and then negotiate a better price for themselves since they feel that the seller is not paying a commission and they can use that to get a better price.

You need an agent who has a great marketing plan and can agressively market your home on a vast array of websites. You need to have all the paperwork handeled correctly so you have peace of mind.

There are real estate companies like my company at Help-U-Sell Achievers Realty that can give you options to have you save on commission and still get help with paperwork, contract negotiating and marketing.

If you have any questions or need more information on that, please call me at 510-279-9580. I am also located in Fremont and know Ardenwood very well.

Meena Gujral
Help-U-Sell Achievers Realty
40083 Mission Blvd.
Fremont, Ca. 94539
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 5, 2008
Great question! I have been asked this same question many times in the past 15 years! The answer is yes, I personally would show and sell your property if, it were priced right and fit my clients needs. The bigger question right now for you is.... why would you go FSBO? I do not sell in your area but I do know that you have 1,000's of agents in your market place that need to sell something! They are motivated and ready to to sell, if you go FSBO you are really cutting yourself short, how will all these agents know about your property? just by placing an ad in the local paper, putting up a sign? PIcture this in your MLS you will have over 1,000 agents working for you!!! working to put their potentail buyers in your home!!
You are competing against reo's and distressed sale properties... how will you compete?
If you need an agressive agent in your area, drop me a line and I can refer someone over to you that is experienced, agressive and knows your market!
hope this helps!!
Leanne Smith
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 5, 2008
Keith, Just wanted to thank you for the excellent response to Mr. Gupta's q re: FSBOs and agent buyer incentives. However, the greater value of your discussion was in nailing the true role/value of a Realtor. Very nicely done. GerryV (vazquezgerry@yahoo.com)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 5, 2008
I will show a FSBO for a commission but the question is, will I or my buyers find it?
Web Reference: http://www.wnyhomevoice.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 5, 2008
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer