MB, Home Seller in Mount Pleasant, SC

How do you list a FSBO on the MLS?

Asked by MB, Mount Pleasant, SC Thu Jul 24, 2008

I have tried to sell my home with a real estate agent but cannot afford the 6% commission. Have had 3 offers but when the 6% is added in I cannot afford the out of pocket expense. I now have the option to put the property up FSBO but am not sure of the best way to market a FSBO. Paid $420,900 in 2006 and have made $10,000 in upgrades. Willing to sell for $399,000, which is the lowest price home in the neighborhood. (house across street listed at $499,000)

Help the community by answering this question:


Good advice from rockinblu.

I'm sure you've run the numbers--and I have nothing against FSBOs--but you may not come out any better, in your situation, as a FSBO.

First: You'll probably want to offer 3% (or something in that range) to a buyer's agent, if the person who buys has an agent. You don't have to do that, but it somewhat "levels the playing field." And most buyers do have representation. As a result, you'll only be saving 3% by not using an agent, not 6%. That's still real money--$12,000 in your case--but still only half of what you think you might save.

Then you'll have some marketing costs--getting the property listed on some websites, brochures, maybe direct mail, and more. Some money for signs, maybe a few hundred dollars to get it listed in the MLS (you need to do that), possibly newspaper ads, and so on. That's another few thousand dollars. Then some money for your lawyer.

All in all, you may not be saving very much.

On the other hand, it's great that you had 3 offers. You didn't say over what time period, or how low they were, but that does suggest that you're probably in the right ballpark, price-wise. Still, as they say, you don't want to be chasing the market. Ask your Realtor for a new CMA.

One possibility: If you're planning on buying another property, it's possible you can negotiate a reduced commission with your Realtor, if you use the Realtor for both transactions. (And remember: commissions are always negotiable.) So, if you could shave 1% off the sellling commission, and maybe 1/2% off the purchasing commission, you might find, from a purely dollars-and-cents standpoint, that you'd be better off using a Realtor.

Still, if you want to try selling it yourself, give it a shot. Again, rockinblu gave some good pointers. The thing you don't want to happen is to lose time, especially if: (1) you have a deadline by which you have to sell, or (2) the market is continuing to decline, and the house will be worth less in a month or two than it is today.

Hope that helps.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 25, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
MB, There are some good local Flat Fee companies, but can you afford a Buyers agents commission of 3%? It is doubtful that you will sell your house without a buyers agent.

I was going to go with a flat fee company , but a major national Broker chain wanted my business and listed for 1%, and I will pay additonal 3% to buyers agent.

And as previously mentioned, be aware of procuring cause situations---those where someone from your previous listing agent having shown the house to prospective buyer FIRST.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 30, 2008
If you cannot afford to use a Realtor I would recommend that you re-think your plans.
The problem of market shift is affecting many people so in most markets there are homes that are "having" to be sold, forcing down prices.

One option you have is to negotiate with your lender(s) and agree to repay the amount of the short fall in a promissory note. They may not agree, but it is better for them to try to help you. If you absolutely have to move, then I think listing it with a Realtor is the only way you are going to maximize the price. As a matter of fact, if you do opt to negotiate with a lender, then will insist that you hire a professional to do the job for that very reason. If they ARE going to approve a promissory note for the difference, they know that a Realtor is the ONLY person that can preserve their stake in your home.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 30, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
There are several companies that will list for a fee. The problem you will run into though, is that many agents (given the amount of inventory) will not show your home if they can't readily reach you. So you'll need to make sure that you keep your phone on and essentially be willing to be like a full time agent to answer calls questions, and set up showings until your house sells. My advice would be to interview three agents, put a great price on your home and move it in 30 days. The longer you sit, the closer you get to the winter, the less you will get according to the statistics. Call me if you' d like more help or if I can answer any of your questions via the phone: 843-343-4141
Web Reference: http://www.housedog.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 26, 2008
If you don't have to move right now and you have some time, selling your house FSBO might be a good option. If you are moving to another house that is about the same price, I recommend you listing your house and making the next reasonable offer work even if it means you bring money to close. If you are going to be buying a house soon, you should be able to make up for any money lost in the purchase.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 10, 2008
Hi MB,

A month has gone by since your post.

Have you had any success with FSBO?

How are you advertising the property?

If you would like some tips on free marketing or promoting your property then please feel free to contact me.

Alan Langstone
Carolina One Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 26, 2008
You should be able to contact the local MLS and ask that question. They have a public service.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 27, 2008
Much of the commission an agent charges is used in the marketing of your home. You need to advertise, you need to list your home on as many websites as you can find, you need to spread the word to friends, you need to hold open houses, and have property flyers in a front yard box 24/7. Put a combo box on your front door with a key so it's easy for agents to show. Unfortunately, it not uncommon for seller to pay to sell their homes in this market. Renting your home is an option to gain back some equity. If you'd like me to list your home in the MLS as a rental please let me know.

Laura Sargent
Carolina One Real Estate and Mortgage
Web Reference: http://www.laurasargent.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 25, 2008
Sorry to hear of your situation.
Just so you know that you "tried selling" tells me that that you had a pricing issue. Market shift happens and as sympathetic as I me want to be, shift is beyond anyone's control.

I suggest you look into:
a) renting it out
b) negotiating a loan modifcation with the lender
c) trying a short sale.

My point is this: If the market value has declined, youmight be wasting time and energy trying to sell on your own when the BEST strategy would be for you to be looking at these other options. if you do not pursue the now, by the time you do, it may be too late.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 24, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
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