Home Selling in 10512>Question Details

housesweetho…, Home Seller in 10512

Help entice Buyer's Agents to give my FSBO the time of day?

Asked by housesweethouse, 10512 Tue Dec 4, 2012

As a FSBO who is listed on ForSaleByOwner.com and the local MLS (went through a discount brokerage) what can I do to entice buyer's agents to give me the time of day? I am happy and willing to pay them their 3% (I might even go up from there if it would help get their attention).
Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Suzanne MacDowell’s answer
If you are offering 3% I can't imagine any buyers' agent excluding your home from their list, and if it's on the MLS they are definitely seeing it as are their clients. I wonder if there isn't some other problem. Are you certain it's properly priced? The National Association of Realtors says if you haven't had 10 showings in first 2 weeks it's over priced, and if you've had 10 showings but no offers, it's over priced. I would first look at the price.

Is the home in tip-top condition? It always helps to make sure it's sparkling clean, that any repairs are done, maybe a fresh coat of paint, and even some staging.

Also, it needs to be properly marketed even if on the MLS. Do you have 25 photos? A good virtual tour? Make sure it's on as may other websites as possible. Realtors use services to help them with this, mine go on about 75 real estate related websites. Have you thought about hosting a 'broker open house' during the week and offering a free lunch to anyone who attends? it's a great way to get agents to tour the home and give you their opinion of price.

I honestly don't think, if you are offering 3%, that realtors are ignoring your listing. I would look elsewhere to see if there is some reason you are not getting traffic and offers.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 4, 2012
Oooo sorry about the "doll" -- that's a knee jerk term of endearment I use on my clients! (not in real estate but am in a different business service industry.) no offense intended and I hope none taken. :(
Flag Tue Dec 4, 2012
Hi doll - my listing is all of 0 days old. I just like being proactive! I have no reason to think they ARE ignoring me - but you know what they say - better to have and not need than to need and not have. I figured I'd get answers for bad case scenarios before they happen. Thank you for your input!!
Flag Tue Dec 4, 2012
This past summer I held an Open House for a really nice single family home in an East Lake community of similar homes. Promoted the open house with direct mail to the community and used many on-line resources.
The day of the event, balloons flying, event staff in place, displays and exhibits all in full swing. The neighbor puts out a FSBO sign along with adjacent Open House signage. My assistant remained outside to sign up visitors and assist with parking.
Not a single person..no one...NADA walked the sidewalk to the front door of the FSBO. Could it be that serious, active, home buyers understand something about FSBOs that makes them unappealing?
Three streets from where I live is an address that is a perennial FSBO. For five years...always for sale...Never sold.
Wanting real estate professionals to market your home to their buyers is much like wanting to get into Disney World without buying a ticket. It just doesn't work well to allow free admission. There are benefits to membership and buying a ticket. What is so incredible in real estate is the consumer always has a choice. Each choice can present consequences. But you knew that already.
Your choice to use Craigslist is valid. This choice WILL bring like-minded folks together. Folks just like you. For many FSBOing has proven to be a good process.
There is no shortage of data for a seller to sort through. Trulia, Zillow, even the tax assessor will project numbers for a home buyer or seller to look at to evaluate a home, your home. What a professional is paid to do is apply judgement to the 'right' set of numbers, consult with you regarding the best options with the greatest benefits to you and to oversee the mountain of details involved that protect both you and the buyer.
Too often, when engaging a FSBO they are operating from a position of vapors. They have collected irrelevant data and applied this data to unrealistic expectations. No substance or reality behind their position. Too often, these FSBOer feel they know everything and are in all practicality, UNTEACHABLE.
The FSBO failure, should it occur, will always be blamed on someone else. In your case.."agents wouldn't show my home."
For years I have been a passionate advocate of alternative methods of buying and selling real estate. Beginning with BEP, WalkableHome, PP and to "First Look" I seek out consumer problems and create solutions. From my observations, many professionals and consumer alike, have elected to not have their shadows appear on the FSBOs sidewalk. But, that's just my observation...and what do I know?

Best of success to you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 5, 2012
If you aren't getting attention and it's listed in the local MLS which assures Buyer Brokers that they will get the listed commission, then the reason you're not getting much attention is because you don't have the home priced right.

Real Estate is simple, everything sells for a price. There has never once been a housing crises, people buy homes every single day of the year, there has been a reality crises over the past several years as Sellers refuse (as is their prerogative) to accept market pricing.

Market pricing is and will always be set by the person prepared and able to write a check for the home. In other words by the Buyer. Agents have no impact on market pricing (though many don't seem to know this) The best and most successful agents do understand this and understand as well that their job is to gather ad accurately analyze data so that they can explain it to their clients and so that when they list a house they have it priced right. Sellers do not set marketing pricing though again many don't know or understand this. Only ready willing and able Buyers (we might add the caveat "sane" as well) set market price. Even when it's a sellers market Buyers set the price as they bid one another up in periods of irrationality.

Homes that are priced right get shown and get sold typically in 90 days or less, If your'e not getting showing then the market is screaming at you that you aren't priced right.

If you want to sell and sell within the next few months you need to reevaluate your pricing and perhaps consider using a professional Realtor to guide you.

One last thing, this is typically the worst time of year to try and sell as most people are distracted by the Holidays and homes in NY don't tend to show as well through the winter.

Good Luck and I hope yo enjoy the Holiday season.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 5, 2012
You cannot have it both ways:

You have chosen to be an FSBO; you sent a message that you do not, (for whatever reason) want to use a Realtor:
The #1 reason is that you do not want to pay the price of Marketing.
In fact, your choice screams that.

Realtors are reluctant to approach you; they do not want the fight and headaches that come with a FSBO.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 4, 2012
So even though I'm ready willing and able to pay the buyer's agent, buyer's agents don't want to deal with me because I'm not also ready willing and able to pay a seller's agent. Do I have that right?
Flag Tue Dec 4, 2012
One reason is that because you are selling yourself, the buyer agents know they will not only have to complete their buyer agnet tasks but alot of the tasks a listing agent would take care of which does not make the commission enticing having to do twice the work and stress. In your haste to save money you could have hired a leading listing agent for 1 to 2% more which would have mor ethan paid for itself in a quicker sale at the hioghest price possible given your market conditions. Discount brokers mean discount servies which equal doscount sales prices.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 20, 2013
I received a great offer within 30 days of listing and am now under contract. Closing set for 2/28/13. FBSO works if you put the effort in.
Flag Sun Jan 20, 2013
Have you had a broker's open house so that brokers know what your house looks like, location etc? Is it priced correctly? Brokers won't give it the time of day if it's overpriced. I think the commission you are offering is fair. Keep in mind that it is winter and although there are buyers out looking, it's pretty much the slowest time of the year.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 20, 2013
The issue has most likely nothing to do with "buyer's agents not wanting to show a FSBO". You are paying out 3% - a buyer's agent doesn't care who is paying that to them as long as they are getting it at the end of the day.

The issue is most likely your price. If you didn't use comps that include foreclosures and short sales in the today's market to price your home, and just decided on a price that "you want to get", you are probably overpriced. Is the company you have your home listed with doing any additional advertising, or are you advertising it on your own? What websites are you on? How do buyers know your home is for sale?

The problem with FSBO is that most people pay a small upfront fee, overprice their home, and therefore never sell it. Now they've wasted valuable market time, wasted $500-1000 dollars, and end up listing it with an agent anyways because they didn't have to resources or knowledge to price it correctly from the start. Also, keep in mind that full-service real estate commissions are negotiable.

Yes, they will still probably be more than what it costs to "sell" it FSBO, but if you never sell it, or get anyone in your home - what good is the service doing for you but wasting your time and money?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 6, 2012
I'd love for you to look at my video tour and give me your opinion if I've over-priced my house. I've had two inquiries so far, one represented buyer (Prudential) that resulted in a showing and one unrepresented buyer (Craigslist) who is coming tomorrow. Unrepresented buyer has been verified as real, and is driving from 2 hours away to seriously shop for weekend home near NYC. Not sure if I'm allowed to put links in these comments, but if so, my video can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3bocQYfR5s
I did my own CMA, purchased one, and got the opinion of three other real estate professionals who all had wildly different thoughts. I averaged them all together to get the price I listed at.
Anyway thanks for your input. Appreciate you taking the time.
Flag Fri Dec 7, 2012
Why not list it with a local agent & forget the discount brokerage. There is a reason they are discount agencies & I am sure you are coming to that realization now. Do you want to take the 99c store approach or the Department Store approach?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 6, 2012
Make sure it is clear on the MLS listing information that you are willing to pay commission on the sale to any buyer agents. I can't imagine what the issue might be, unless they are worried about Liability. There is quite a bit of liability in Real Estate Transactions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 5, 2012
Pay close attention to Larry Tollen's response. As usual, he is spot on...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 5, 2012
- Part of the earning of my 3%, as you put it, is to self-educate on how to ingratiate myself to buyer's agents. Suzanne MacDowell offered helpful, specific, actionable guidance, for which I am grateful. You chose to answer the question with a stymying "figure it out". Which I will, because thankfully there are people like Suzanne MacDowell out there.

If you decide to list with a broker, I'm sure you won't be paying them to "figure it out," you'll expect them to already know what to do.

I know that it would be convenient if you knew everything that it took me eighteen years to learn and you could just plug it in and save yourself the three percent . . . with several million real estate transactions a year in this country - if someone could pass on "the wisdom" in just a few paragraphs to a newbie, they would have.

I will tell you that even with eighteen years of experience, if I had a house to sell in upstate NY, I'd hire an expert, and pay them the 3%.

If you don't find my answers helpful, I'm glad to refund the price you paid for them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 5, 2012
I would be happy to refer a really good Realtor to help you.

Contact me to discuss your needs and I will be happy to set you up with someone as anxious to work for you as I would be.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 4, 2012
Big question for YOU, why if you are willing to give 3 percent or even more to a Buyers Agent, why not
list with a local brokerage, get your listing everywhere, the discount brokerage really does not do anything for you except put your home on the MLS, a full service broker will put your listing all over the internet, market it, advertise it, holds open houses and brokers open house and so much more.

Since you had your discount brokerage list your home on the Multiple listing service is the listing not already offering a coop commission to anyone who will bring a buyer? The right buyer has to see
your property or at least see it on the internet wherever they will search for properties or their Buyers Agents will.

Good Luck to you
Sincerely yours,
Edith YourRealtor4Life and Chicago and N. Illinois Connection
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients at @Properties
French German Spanish and more
Local and international Real Estate....
EdithSellsHomes@gmail.com Cell 847 609 3949
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 4, 2012
HSH... be careful... as listing agents we're all too familiar with the Craig's List shopper.

Craig's list has brought me the oddest calls... people who make appointments and don't keep them. People who are casing the joint for thefts at a later time. People who are looking to rent you "for sale" listing. People who are looking to offer you 50% of your list price... Scary people who are looking to meet a single woman at her house... alone.

In the mean time, to answer your original question... If I know about it, and it meets my buyer's needs... I will surely show it. But the problem is that often FSBO's are not "visible" to real estate agents. And sometimes if I know about it, I might not know "enough" about it (room count, taxes, are all the bedrooms on the upper floors, or are they split... room sizes... whether you're cooperating with buyer's agents....you get the idea)... and honestly, if I have enough properties to show my client that I DO have enough information about... I'll show those first.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 4, 2012
no problem... I don't have the ability to view your property, since I'm in the Chicago area, and am not a member of your local MLS>
Flag Thu Dec 6, 2012
Thanks for the safety advice Alan - I have a number set up that goes straight to voicemail, so people who are interested in setting up an appointment have to leave me a message with a number where they can be reached.

And I completely get what you are saying about showing the properties you know vs the ones you have questions about. My MLS# is 3233903. if you happen to have any feedback I would be interested in hearing it. Be well and thanks for taking the time to respond to my question, I really appreciate it.
Flag Wed Dec 5, 2012
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
I wish you the best of luck! If there is anything I can do. Please let me know I'd like to preview for my buyers. 845 232 - 0844
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 4, 2012
Howard, mea culpa, I missed that you said you wanted to preview. Check out the vid tour I made here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3bocQYfR5s
You're welcome to come over and look at the place first hand any time you want - I just want to be clear and not dangle the carrot - the listing isn't up for grabs. I'm getting a lot of satisfaction out of trying this out myself, and if I don't succeed, I already know who I will list with (the woman who sold it to me in the first place, who I love and is wonderful). But I think I am just as good at marketing my house - I'll put my marketing skills up against the pros any day of the week and twice on Sunday! Whether that sells this house or not remains to be seen... but to end where I began, come on over and see it if you like. You're local for sure. :) Be well and happy holidays. -N
Flag Fri Dec 7, 2012
I just comprehended the fact that you're based here in Carmel, so obviously my town is your town!

All the more value to me for you taking your time to answer. Thank you thank you!
Flag Tue Dec 4, 2012
Original Poster here - just got my first call about the house. Set up a showing for this weekend. So excited! Guess where they saw the listing? Not MLS. Not Trulia. Not ForSaleByOwner.


Ay Dios Mio.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 4, 2012
As a FSBO it is hard to get anyone's attention when there is so much real estate inventory on the market in the local multiple listing services. I would highly suggest finding a high quality LISTING agent in your area and putting the property on the market through them. Using a discount broker may get you published in the local multiple but those of us who function as full service listing agents do extensive marketing to get your property noticed and sold. Ask the listing agent to show you local statistics on sale price with and without a listing agent. If their stats are anything like mine you will find that at worst you will realize as much net with an agent (and in many cases more) than without.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 4, 2012
Both Suzanne and Ron have points. As an agent in 10512, if you are willing to pay a buyer agent why not have a listing agent? A buyers agent represents their buyer and negotiates against you. A listing agent negotiates on your behalf as per code of ethics and NYS law. They also save you time so that you can do other things important to you. I'd be happy to help any way I can. Howard Payson
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 4, 2012
That's a very good point - about offering 4 or 5 is like paying a listing agent regardless. In my town, from what I've seen and heard, 6% is pretty standard. I flirted with a listing agent but she stuck to her guns on 6% (more power to her). If there was a listing agent who would take me on for 2% and buyers agent for 2%, I would more quickly take that on... except (and you really nailed it particularly with me) I think the whole sport of trying to market and sell a house is fun and I'm enjoying the ride. For now. We'll see how I feel in 6 months if the house just sits... Thank you Howard for your thoughtful feedback! I appreciate the time you took to write, and the respond to my response.
Flag Tue Dec 4, 2012
I understand that completely. It is definitely a fun and enjoyable thing to do that is why I am in the business. The difference between 3 and 6 yes is correct however there is no set fee in real estate so if you were to offer 4 or 5 it be like paying a listing agent regardless. It just gives you an extra layer of protection because the listing agent takes on liability and you do not for certain things.
Flag Tue Dec 4, 2012
I negotiate for a living - I work from home - I love marketing - there's no reason for me to use a listing agent unless I can't on my own figure out how to create a relationship with buyer's agents, in which case, yes I will have to list. But it's way too soon to make that call. As for your question "if you are willing to pay buyer why not have listing" - am I being overly pedantic to suggest that there's (literally) a 100% different between 3% and 6%?
Flag Tue Dec 4, 2012
Well, hsh, you're illustrating the primary challenge of being a listing broker - marketing the property and generating offers.

- Do I have that right?

I don't think so, hsh.

If we're working actively with a buyer as their agent, and we find out about your property, yes - we'd show it to them. But we probably wouldn't take out our Roladex and start dialing up prospects over a FSBO, unless it looked like the home of their dreams.

We do have reluctance to deal with FSBOs, which we usually overcome, and it has to do with some very human emotions: we'd prefer to not have to do the work of the listing agent to get the sale closed, and most of us would prefer to work with professionals rather than amateurs.

But really, the main issue is the first thing I stated - you are now the Listing Broker, and now it's up to you to earn your 3%.

All the best,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 4, 2012
^^ All of Mack McCoy's answers on these types of questions are arrogant and self aggrandizing. 1 in 40 people in most states have a Real Estate LIcense. What does that tell you? It don't take much to be a "professional". The home selling process is simple and well spelled out in every state. The steps are the same. There are factors that can create complexity but most people won't deal with them.

The big question I have for people like Quack McCoy is this:

Can you please make the case for fees that you get paid in a transaction to be related to the cost of the home?

You can't. There is no correlation. The work is the same every time. Get an approved offer, clear title, get funds, inspections/contingencies, appraisal, close.

There is NOTHING more to the transaction except the details related to the above.

Just parasites looking to steal equity by inserting themselves into your sale.
Flag Sun Jun 2, 2013
Part of the earning of my 3%, as you put it, is to self-educate on how to ingratiate myself to buyer's agents. Suzanne MacDowell offered helpful, specific, actionable guidance, for which I am grateful. You chose to answer the question with a stymying "figure it out". Which I will, because thankfully there are people like Suzanne MacDowell out there.
Flag Tue Dec 4, 2012
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