Home Selling in 85718>Question Details

Investtucson, Both Buyer and Seller in Tucson, AZ

Selling by Owner/Investor vs by agent.

Asked by Investtucson, Tucson, AZ Sat Oct 29, 2011

I've been flipping houses for the last 3 years, i bought and sold all my houses using the same agent. All the houses, and I do mean ALL of them, I found my self. I spent countless hours looking for deals, my agent was not helpful in this area. Still i bought them all through him. Every time we listed a property for sale, he just put his sign infront of it and lists it on the MLS and other sites. My question is : What is the difference between him listing it vs me paying a fee to list it on the MLS, putting a sign infront of the property, and of course paying the buyer's agent his/her 3% ? In regards to the agent's box, I can use a lock box instead and give the agents the code to show the house. I don’t mean by anyway to criticize my agent; I’m stating facts and looking for logical, unbiased opinions from professionals in this domain.

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Mack McCoy’s answer
Well, IT, having a bad broker experience doesn't make FSBO-ing a better choice.

Sincerely, I do not think many of us would stay in the business if we didn't believe that our services provide value. So you're not going to hear a lot of, "Ah, don't use us, we're not worth it."

On the other hand, I might suggest taking a step back and re-evaluating your relationship with your agent, because while it's not our place to adjudicate whether he has been of value or not, you have stated that he has not provided value and I think most of us would agree that the entire point of using an agent is that they add value.

All the best,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
I can relate to everything that you are saying. I tried to sell my home years ago through a listing service and I purchased a FSBO. Both experiences were not pleasant.

I am a mortgage loan officer and I know how to navigate through all the paperwork. I was selling my home years though a listing MLS service. I lowered my home price every 3-4 weeks. I gave up after 3 months and listed the home with one of my Realtor partners. I received 2 offers within 10 days of the new listing. I then learned that many Realtors would not select my home to preview because it was technically a FSBO. The Realtors did want to do both sides of the transaction paperwork for a 3% commission. They know that a FSBO transaction does not go smoothly because the Seller does not do the required things in a timely fashion as stated in the purchase contract.

I purchased a FSBO and that same thing occurred. The Seller did not do allow for the inspections, termite, repairs addendum in a timely fashion. They breached the contract many times. I have to have my Escrow Officer, appraiser, and termite inspector to "read them the riot act". I did not know if the seller was going to sell me the home until 5 days prior to the close of escrow.

Bottom line, your home will sell faster and easier with a professional Realtor representing you.

Let me know if I can help you and market your listing.

Hal Timinsky
Fairway Independent Mortgage
(520) 591-0254
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
Have you discussed your concerns with your agent? Having a consistent source of listings is a great benefit to an agent and I would think if they knew you had second thoughts about the arrangement it might be revised. You apparently know this agent and have had some level of satisfaction and success using them. There are options, but often you never know what you have until it's gone.
Talk to them about your concerns and that you are considering other options. Hopefully they will value your business and come to a new arrangement that will benefit you both.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
All very good points, but look at the glass as half full instead of empty. Was he/she able to negotiate a better price and net you a higher return? There are so many factors that I could list. I would suggest you taking a stab at it yourself and then contacting a Realtor that will do more for you so that you can have a great ROI.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 4, 2013
Good question and I'll tell you something about myself that may help. I am a broker in California and Hawaii as well as Arizona. When we sold property in California recently, I found a trusted agent who handled the transaction for us. He did so many things above and beyond what even I expected from our agent.

This how my wife (business partner) and I conduct ourselves in business. We always try to go above and beyond. And my many years of providing professional advice to clients has always led me to choose an objective advisor over myself when dealing with my affairs.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 4, 2013
This is a great question. Every situation is different, including every purchase or sale. I would suggest finding the RIGHT agent for you, unless you have a duty to continue to use your representative. There is a lot of unspoken value than can not be calculated in dollars when good representation is hired!

With that said, make a list of your requirements, and more importantly desires, and find the right match. Also, try doing one or two on your own and see if it works out better.

Best of luck,
Michael Shiner
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 25, 2013
I am a former broker and will be selling a house with a flat fee listing broker to get it on MLS. It will be $300 plus the buyer broker commission. I feel comfortable enough handling my own transaction. You have to remember there is more to selling a house than the sign in the yard - which one does not even need anymore! Inspection and appraisal issues ca be very tough and a FSBO deal can fall apart when a listing broker can make a difference. That being said, if you feel you can handle a transaction yourself make sure you have areal estate attorney you can call on if you get stuck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 24, 2013
I would not recommend going unrepresented in a real estate transaction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 4, 2012
If you put up a sign and try to sell it flat out you're going to struggle. You will most likely make less than you would on the MLS with a good agent. You may want to consider using the lease option strategy or other alternative.
There are lots of people who cannot buy a home the conventional way due to foreclosure, short-sale, bankruptcy, or other poor credit. This can allow you to sell at a solid fair market price and have cash flow. It also allows the buyer to purchase a home they otherwise couldn't and lock in at today's low prices.
You have to set these deals up properly, but it's well worth it and you're already very knowledgeable. Feel free to contact me via e-mail bearfanmark@yahoo.com or call me at 480-888-6190. I'm always happy to network with other investors.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
This is a tough one to answer. As you have stated, the agent get's the properties bought for you (you don't pay him/her for this) but you are finding the properties. Is your agent providing you with a list? and you go investigate till you find one you like? If so, that is how most investors work. They look at the lists, do some investigation then get their Realtor ot get inside. The Realotor does more investigation and does all the paperwork. There is a lot or work and coordination that goes on that you probably never see. On selling your homes, again your agent is getting it done. Yes you can list it yourself as a FSBO, but from experience FSBO's rarely sell in this market because they just don't get the exposure. You also have to do all the paperwork and documentation to satisfy the Federal and State laws and to protect yourself. If you want to go this route, I like others, say get a license and join an MlS. This will take about 10 weeks and cost about $3000. You will have to join athe MLS and use Supra keys as is required by the MLS. Then you hire on with a Broker and when you sell your home, you will have to pay the Broker a fee and the selling agent at least 3%. I am not sure there is a cost savings to you unless you are going to do a lot of homes this way. What a lot of people don't see is their agents networking to get their listings in front of buyers and other agents, listing on other websites, paper flyers, magazines, etc. It is not all about putting out a sign and putting it on the MLS. Talk to your Realtor. If you are doing multiple homes, then your agent may be willing to give you a discount. That is what I do for repeat customers. If it was all so easy to sell a home everyone would do it that way. Believe me it is NOT that easy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
Sounds like you have a great Agent.Someone once said (The man who is his own attorney has a fool for a client) In a FOSB you may save 3% in a commission and lose a lot more in sales price or potential legal liability.
If this is something you will be continuing why not get the knowledge that a license would offer you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
Hi IT:

I am going to agree with Dawn. You sound like a dream client for both a great realtor and a great loan originator). Dawn cites the fact you have and will be a repeat client; I look at the fact you have been doing deals with this "agent" for three years and you can still feel like you do--"I don't mean by anyway to criticize my agent"--do you have any idea how little it takes for most people to do what you refuse to do, both toward their agents and their originators?!?

And I am going to agree with Mack. Both of these industries have had more than their share of detractors, many of them justified in their feelings. But, I sure know I have stayed at it for 12 1/2 years because I think I am adding a good deal of value and peace of mind to those who ask me to help them through the largest financial transaction of their personal lives. Otherwise, I surely would have escaped during the past 4 years of hell.

My answer is to talk to some of the people on this forum. Find-- (I was going to say "the one", but there are many more than that)--find one who feels right. As to finding a great loan originator, well, just call me... :) :)

To those of you in Arizona, isn't this weather just great!?! I was hiking in the McDowell Mountains (Scottsdale) this morning--beautiful. 7 more months to go!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
Do you think it might be in your best interest to get a license to sell real estate and do this yourself?
Or do you feel it is better to have the Broker for liability and transaction management purposes.
If your agent is making his job look easy, perhaps he/she is doing a good job. I don't think you are better of as a FSBO but you might look into getting your own license.
Best of luck to you,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
Ever consider getting your own license and doing it yourself??
Web Reference: http://www.321property.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
This is a great question and you phrased it well.

Without knowing your agent, from the sounds of it you need to find another agent who rather than simply take orders, is proactive and doing the initial work to locate and bring homes that make sense to your attention. If they don't know how to evaluate properties for you it's simply another sign you need to find the right agent.

Now as to listing it in with a limited service agency to get it into MLS as opposed to giving it to your agent.

You could do this, I don't know how appointments get made in your area, in our area their done through a centralized showing service, so once it's in MLS they handle the appointment end, otherwise you'd have to handle phone calls and appointment setting.

A good agent should be spending money on a listing. They should be having a professional shoot pictures for MLS and online advertising, I would suggest that they should also buy a home warranty to help sell your home as they help give confidence to a buyer.

I spend about $1500 a month on online sites like Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com and others to maintain premium positioning, and to give my listing increased exposure over other listing in the same search, I doubt this is something you would want to do, again if all your agent does is put up a sign and put it into MLS (which automatically lists it for free in Realtor.com) then again I think you need to look around for a more aggressive agent. Online marketing is critical, print advertising is for the most part worthless, it's main purpose to satisfy Sellers. 90% of all buyers start on the web. A good agent know this and has invested in it. A quick check is to simply Google your agent's name if you don't get all sorts of links to them then their not really working the Internet.

The biggest con to not using an agent is that some agents don't like dealing directly with sellers even when the commission is offered, they perceive it as more work. Finally you've got to handle all the negotiations and follow up which can take some time and experience, you certainly can learn these skills, you just need to decide if you want to assume these responsibilities.

It sounds to me as if you don't really have an issue with Realtors, but are questioning whether your agent is doing all that they should be. From what you've written I'd have to say it doesn't sound as if they are.

Good Luck in your future ventures.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
I read that they are a number of services that will place my property on the MLS for a small fee, about $99 or $199 for six month.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
You must be a licensed agent and a member of the MLS to be able to put your listing into the MLS system. The MLS also has a rule requiring that the lockbox on the property must be the Supra Box used by the agents.
Selling as a FSBO one would need to rely on a sign, media advertising, Craigs List, flyers, internet...... to reach the Realtors and the public.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
The MLS requires that SupraKeys be used. In order to place a SupraKey you must be a member. I suggest that you attend real estate school, pass the Arizona State and US estate exams, pay to join the MLS and TAR, license yourself through the State with an inexpensive brokerage who provides reasonable E&O insurance and doesn't skim too much or unreasonably charge, get your own signs and fire your agent. Based upon your remarks it appears that you already have all of the knowledge and experience required to market and sell your home and are performing your agent's job for him/her already.

After your first two/three sales your costs should be covered for school and licensing. Afterwards you can keep the commissions for yourself.
Web Reference: http://www.JohnEverhart.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
You can not put the house in the MLS yourself. A real estate agent who is a member of the Multiple Listing Service needs to do that.

I was not planning to make a career in real estate when I got my real estate license 16 years ago. I just wanted to buy investment properties, and like you, I felt I knew more than most of the agents I met. I have since bought and sold several investment properties, but I have also become a full time real estate agent in the process.

I suggest you consider getting a real estate license. It's rather expensive and time consuming to get the license and keep it active, but if you are buying and selling more than two houses a year, it will definitely pay off for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
I offer a flat fee listing service that may be of interest to you. This is a full service listing, but at a flat fee/ discounted rate. Click the link below to see more information regarding this service.


Sam Zobrest
Wildcat Realty & Property Management
(520) 312-8032
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
I agree with virtually all of the answers already posted regarding how to market, lockboxes, legal issue and such. It is SO unfortunate that your agent did you such a disservice. Most of us work hard and do much, much more than just put your property in MLS a sign in the yard.

You are a dream client - buying and selling multiple properties - and should be treated as such. How sad that your agent doesn't recognize this! You should definitely start interviewing other Brokers/Realtors (like me). :-)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
Statistics show that homes listed with a broker sell in a shorter time, for higher prices, than FSBOs. Never mind the contractual and legal issues you'd have to deal with as your own agent. Also, buyer's agents who end up acting in a dual capacity may want more than 3% for representing both sides and doing all the "work". All commissions are negotiated, there is no set rate, so you could definitely look into a quantity discount. Also, a ecent new rule in the Tucson MLS is that every home listed must have a Tucson Supra lock box. It can also have a "contractor" combo box, but that cannot be the only lock box. Good listing agents should give you a marketing plan and a commitment of what they are going to do to market your home, each and every time. No two homes are alike. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
Wow! If I were you I would start interviewing other agents! While it is true that I do all the things you mention here, put the listing on the MLS, put a sign in the front yard and put on a lockbox, there is so much more that goes into getting a home sold. Certainly you can pay a fee and do the basics yourself, however, most agents have a marketing plan that goes FAR beyond what you cite here. Your listing on realtor.com should have LOTS of photos, a killer virtual tour, the listing should be syndicated to TONS of real estate sites, there should be Broker Open Houses hosted to bring in all the other agents in the area, and public open houses to bring in buyers, and perhaps even in print advertising.

I know many people who have paid a fee to advertise their home on the MLS and they just can't get the same exposure they would through a good agent. Those 'for fee' companies are doing more to promote their own services than to promote your home and many, many times owners who use these companies STILL end up listing with a realtor. Look, we are professionals and we know how to do the job right. Plus, there are so many things that need to be done AFTER you get an offer, negotiations, home inspections, coordinating the closing and such.

If I were you I would interview a few other agents and see if there isn't something missing from your current agent's marketing plan. The tip off for me is that your agent didn't help you find the deals. I don't get that. It is super easy with my MLS to set up an auto email for properties that meet my buyers' criteria. If your agent doesn't at least do THAT for you, well...my advice stands.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
When I work with repeat buyers/sellers I offer a discount. Like any other situation, if you don't feel like there is a value in your agents services, try another one. They are not all "equal", no question about that. Try selling it yourself too, and see how that works out. Personally, I know I could represent myself in court but I never would. I know enough to realize it will cost me a lot more than what I would save by not hiring a professional attorney. Opinions vary.
Best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
Well, in my opinion, in every business there are some people who will work harder than others. That's just life. So, if your agent is only putting a sign in the front yard, you're right, do it yourself. Again, all of this is my opinion. There should be a huge number of high quality photos of the property on the MLS. The company that I work for automatically adds the listing to numerous other websites as well. Most homes are found through the local MLS, but description and photos are what makes a person want to look at the house. An agent should also have some sense of home staging and advise you on this.

Regarding finding the homes, agents should be previewing homes for you. Of course everyone has different personalities and an agent should try and work with the personality type of the client. Some of my clients want me to preview and pretty much hand-pick the house for them, which I am more than happy to do and I've spent hours and hours previewing homes for clients. Others want to have more control of the situation and want to find the home on their own, have me show it to them, and then have me take care of the paperwork.

It's not black and white, so I hope my answers help!

Have a great day!
Web Reference: http://www.jillgrasky.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 29, 2011
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