Home Selling in 92020>Question Details

Parradiddleg…, Home Owner in El Cajon, CA

Is it common that many agents just WILL NOT show a FSBO as a general practice? I DO note in my listing that I am cooperating with buyers' agents.

Asked by Parradiddlegirl, El Cajon, CA Wed Mar 21, 2012

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Birgit Dugan’s answer
This is correct. For many reasons actually. This is just for me. I belong to my MLS and as a Realtor have signed an agreement of co-operation with other agents. My clients are the other agents in my MLS. There are people that call me specifically to see if I have anything new coming on the market. I also pay yearly dues as a professional, to stay up to speed with new required paperwork, laws and other requirements. We Realtors work with each other and I feel a loyalty to my fellow realtors to show properties that are listed in our MLS. If I sell a FSBO I am representing my buyer. The FSBO has no representation therefore; I do all the work for half or less than half the commission. It is my experience, knowledge, and expertise that I don’t give away for free. I have access to paperwork, the connections for escrow, inspectors, repair people etc. I have people I have worked with before that won't kill the deal. Our market is hard enough without added frustrations. I have worked with many FSBO in my 21 years of selling real estate. Statistics show that only about 20% of FSBO actually end up selling their own house without a realtor on one or both sides. It is not in your best interest to FSBO. I know you think you are saving money, but you could be buying a huge head ache with the money you think you might save in paying a full commission. Birgit Anglin – Coldwell Banker
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 22, 2012
This is taken from the Hauseit website (popular FSBO site in NYC) ... read this:

Make sure buyers’ agents will show clients your home

Most people don’t realize that 80% of all home buyers are in fact represented by real estate agents. How is this possible in the age of the internet? The fact is real estate commissions are extremely lucrative, a home purchase or sale is a big enough decision for most people where in-person sales is effective, and there are so many “boots on the ground” in terms of agents advertising everywhere that buyer representation is free. Because of this, many buyers will not hesitate to use an agent to help them with their home search, especially if they are new to an area or would like help organizing a weekend open house tour.

Most buyers do not realize that their agents will typically only show them listings by other agents. The reason they do this is because the tradition of co-broking, or sharing of commissions all paid by the seller which typically range from 5-6%, is so established between agents that buyers’ agents will feel comfortable that they will actually be paid for bringing a buyer. This is the reason so few who sell FSBO in NYC actually succeed. They either say “no brokers please” in which case they’ll remove 80% of potential buyers from the pool, or they’ll write “will work with buyers’ agents” or even “will pay 3% to buyers’ brokers” in their FSBO listing. In the latter case, even when FSBO sellers explicitly offer 3% to buyers’ agents in writing on their FSBO Zillow or StreetEasy listing, it is an uphill battle because the FSBO seller is an unknown individual with no history of co-broking.

A buyers’ agent will instinctively prefer a traditionally co-broked listing by another agent instead of a FSBO listing where they have to worry about the seller going around them or not honoring the commission. For this reason it’s extremely important to engage a company like Hauseit who will list you not only on over 80 popular websites but also on all the relevant inter-broker databases under a local listing agent.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 21, 2016
I do not think it is just a matter of WILL NOT show a FSBO, its more a matter of the finding them. Normally should a represented buyer want to look into a FSBO or the agent knows of the FSBO and feels thier client would be interested they will most likely approach the seller and try to work a deal. As stated above it is not always the highest and best use of time, but many I know usually can and will work it out for thier buyers. Represented buyers normally work with represented sellers and most FSBO I have worked with are not competitive or are not getting the proper exposure.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 22, 2012
A lot of represented sellers aren't getting their homes shown and sold, so it probably isn't just agents boycotting you, PDG.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 22, 2012
Hi Parradiddlegirl,

I don't think you are losing traffic due to listing with a flat fee brokerage. My guess is that it has more to do with the price. if a home is priced just 1% over market value, the amount of traffic dies down to close to zero. Buyer's know exactly what homes are worth these days, and they are ALL looking for a great deal. If you want to e-mail me the address or the MLS number for the home, I will gladly send you a detailed CMA/BPO which should give you a good idea of what your home is worth.

Kevin Sanderlin
Keller Williams Realty
Cell 858-212-4702
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 21, 2012
MLS/ID: 120011104

My flat fee experience has been fine. Not spectacular, but fine. I feel like my home shows well, but I could def look into some professional photos. Luckily, I know some photographers.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 21, 2012
If you are on the MLS, then the sign thing should be less of an issue. Signs are more for agents to generate buyer leads than for that home to sell.

Exposure is wonderful in theory, but all the marketing exposure and plans in the world won't sell a home if it isn't priced correctly for your market. Other considerations are how does it show and how do the pictures on the MLS look? Depending on the property, I have become an advocate for professional photography to showcase a home. The tough part about selling a home you are living in is that you are living in it!! What is written in the MLS listing matters also...I have seen some listing services write up some pretty nice listings and they don't seem to be FSBO even though they are - so maybe there is something in how it is written up.

How long has your home been on the market? I would be genuinely interested in hearing more about your flat fee experience.

CA DRE 01775528
(760) 525-8698
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 21, 2012
I can't speak for "many agents", only for myself - but simply put, as a buyer's agent, if it's not on the MLS, I am not going to see it unless we drive by it. So a key to your success is listing it on the MLS. But if we are driving by and see one, I am more than happy to stop to show a FSBO home. I am also happy to preview FSBO homes.

I can tell you that the home my dad purchased many years ago was a FSBO in Solana Beach and we walked into it with his agent...at our request. He actually wishes he didn't bring the agent!! I do honestly feel she would have just passed it up if we didn't tell her to stop.

If you are feeling frustrated, there is a company in San Diego called ipayOne that charges 1% commission to sell your home. You can find them at IpayOne.com...and no, they don't do the minimum for that 1%, they will go the full distance and do as much if not more as any other brokerage in town.

If you like, I can put them in touch with them as well - just shoot me an email or call. Otherwise, good luck with your sale!

CA DRE 01775528
(760) 525-8698
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 21, 2012
Waste of time to go pure FSBO by yourself and list on Zillow. You're just asking to get hounded by agents with nothing to do and time on their hands.

The agents with real buyers will avoid you. Fact of life. Do an agent assisted FSBO if you're really intent on saving $$. Like some of these other comments have mentioned, go with a company like Hauseit if you're in NYC for example that'll get you on the relevant broker databases and websites. For us it'd be RLS and StreetEasy etc. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 7, 2016
And remember, it is beneficial to have a buffer between you and the general public, home sales can get personal and it is good to have a middle man to help diffuse the emotional aspect of the process.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 30, 2014
Agents may not be aware of your home for sale, as it may not be showing up in the MLS that we all use.
Do you have it listed on Trulia or FOR SALE BY OWNER.com?
If so, Realtors may not see it there.
When I send buyers listings, I send them directly from Paragon. (Our MLS for SD county)

If you want more showings best to list in MLS. Find an agent who will negotiate the commission with you if that is a consideration-I have had to help many clients in my career to get their homes SOLD that were just trying to avoid a short sale.

Remember Realtor commissions are not set by law and are negotiable-you just need to find the right agent who will help you!
AND PLACE ON MLS FOR YOU..If you are already offering a little commission, than it is feasible that you may already be offering 1 or 2 %.
Please contact me if you need help!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 30, 2014
A FSBO has no one representing them. If an agent brings in a buyer that is interested in buying the FSBO property if there is no representation the agent could cross the line and accidentally represent both the seller and the buyer which could result in dual agency. If everything works out fine, however if the parties find out something went wrong with this setup, the agent can can be sued. Most FSBO are not correctly priced and in the long run the homeowner is just hurting themselves.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 30, 2014
I know. Unfortunately, there is some truth to this.

The thinking is that a buyer's agent would rather deal with a listing agent than with a seller. Seller's tend to be more emotionally involved with their homes than a listing agent. This often prevents sellers from pricing a home properly, staging the home, or seeing the home realistically.

In addition, buyer's agent's are concerned about having the listing represneted properly in terms of the the paperwork. Although I do support fsbo sellers, you are not going to know the paperwork, the ins and outs of the laws, and so on. Quite simply, buyer's agents don't want to take it on.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 15, 2012
I have to agree in part with the agents that say it's a matter of finding the For Sale By Owner homes. However, as an (ABR) Accredited Buyer Representative, when I have a buyer looking that has signed a buyer broker agreement I will add FSBO searches to find properties for my buyer and will negotiate compensation with the seller before showing the property. Keep in mind though, as others have pointed out... You are at a disadvantage when selling FSBO, because I represent my buyer and you will be unrepresented. The compensation paid to a quality REALTOR to assist you in pricing, marketing and readying your home for sale as well as guiding you through the disclosures, negotiations and coordination of all parties involved in the transaction is well worth it, and will almost always net you more cash in your pocket and peace of mind as well :o)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 3, 2012
I have to agree with in part with Birgit. However, The pendulum swings both ways. If I or my buyer cannot find the home on the MLS, we may never know about it... I would never not show a home regardless if it was a FSBO because it may be the perfect home for my buyer. Most agents would call the homeowner and negotiate the showing as that is what we are suppose to do... Honestly, the first thing I do think about when coming across a FSBO is that either the homeowner is a controlling Doityouselfer, someone who does not have a lot of respect for our industry or a homeowner who just does not have enough equity to sell the property...

Usually the a FSBO seller is perceived to be one who does not want pay a commission because they do not see the value of a Realtor. I only see opportunity. Either I am going to negotiate a greater commission from the seller to bring a buyer or I am going to negotiate with my buyer to pay my commission and that most likely will be reflected in the offering. Regardless, I will be representing my buyers best interest.

I am not a fan of the discount broker because I believe you get what you pay for. That said, I would say a discount broker is better than no broker at all...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 22, 2012
Well said!
Flag Thu Mar 22, 2012
Most of the agents I know will show a FSBO if the seller signs an agreement with them; however, if it's not in the MLS we might not see it. Additionally Kevin Sanderlin is correct: if it is priced right you will get traffic. You are at a dissadvantage if you do not have an agent. You will not get the exposure you are looking for.
Remeber, the owner of one of the popular FSBO websites couldn't sell his mulit-million dollar condo in NYC. He had to get an agent. The agent decided he was priced to low and his condo received offers and sold quickly after it was listed, marketed and price properly (it sold for well above what he was listing it at on his own famous FSBO site.)
Good luck, contact me if you need any questions answere. I'm happy to help. mark.flint@cbexchange.com. BTW I'm in Chicago and can't list your property, but I can answer questions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 22, 2012
If it's not in the MLS, we won't see it. We're not going to visit multiple sites just in case we're missing one (good) property. And if you're not using an agent, who's handling the paperwork for you? Who's making sure you stay legally compliant? If it's the buyer's agent, then we're doing two jobs and gettign paid for one. Do you do two jobs but accept payment for one?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 22, 2012
I am not afraid to show FSBOs but my first duty is to my client. A FSBO usually wants to do things the inexpensive way & wants to omit quality escrows, pre-lim, and proper disclosures. Not to mention it is left to the selling agent to handle both sides to make sure the proper channels take place and their client is protected.
From a marketing stand point I sell houses all the time at a higher price then their neighbors because of my marketing skills. Just putting the home in the MLS doesn't get you showings or offers.
I would talk to a local agent about selling your home. If you choose the right Realtor you most likely will get a higher price on your house, the commission will pay for itself, AND... (most important) someone will be protecting your ASSets.
Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 22, 2012
Typically I inform Clients that FSBO's are not always listed in MLS that if they find a by owner listing of interest I would be happy to work it for them. However they are aware that they fall outside the qutomated search I send them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 22, 2012

I looked at your listing and it has only been on the market for 22 days. It might help you to study the comparables and market data for your property and pay attention to not just the pricing (#1) , but DOM (Days on the Market). This will give you a reality of how long it might take to sell your home. This current market is a bit more complex. Perhaps for this condo and area, you are going to need to be on the market for a while before selling.

I do show ALL properties that my clients have identified as being interested in regardless of commission type or percentage as my duty is to my client. I use the auto search system, plugging in my clients search criteria, so you are wise to have it in the MLS.

Kind Regards,
Marcie Sands, REALTOR
Simply The Best Real Estate Co., Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 22, 2012
I have personally seent hat it all depends on the practicular agent. I have my home FSBO, and I have had agents calling asking if I would be will ing to comp them 3%. If not, then dont expect them to bring thier client through your home. Again, from experience clients are the ones whom bring the home to the attention of the realtor, which then the realtor is the one whom calls for details. When are buyers going to get it the fact that they can get a much better price without an agent.

The problem with FSBO is the lack of marketing. Listing that your willing to comp the commissions will allow agents to come through, but I dont think they will go out of thier way to show your home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 22, 2012
Most Realtors I know, especially if they are in a buyer broker agreement, will show a FSBO - especially if you are offering to cooperate with them. I think one problem may be exposure - if you are not listed on the MLS, and there are many listings that are, how do they know you are out there? Often, I find that many FSBO's are not properly priced, and that will cut down on the traffic also.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 22, 2012
What I like about Mack is he always sees past the question and gets deeper into the heart of the issue. I would say his counsel is very good, so don't lose your confidence you had going in.

I looked at your listing, and yes, pictures could be improved. They need to be inviting and give people a sense that this is a place they would want to live. The pros use a wide angle camera to really capture the place. They are the first glimpse people have of the house and you don't want it to be their last.

I will call you later to talk about ideas and send you some MLS sheets of other listings in the area so you can see how they are being presented and then you can bring yours up to that level.

Talk soon.

CA DRE 01775528
(760) 525-8698
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 22, 2012
I think the bottom line in everything is you get what you pay for. Would like to talk to you more about short sales.

Elisa Peskin
Real Estate Broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 22, 2012
I think it depends on the agent...As a buyers agent it's my responsibility to find my clients a property that matches their needs. I do search through FSBO's as well and if I find something I contact the seller to set up a showing. I also have to have the compensation talk with the seller and the b uyer in case the seller doesn't want to compensate.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 22, 2012
As someone who was successful at it - are you offering a buyer's agent commission and on the MLS? These two things are essential. Can't put a sign? Wow. That is a big issue.

FSBO's can be successful, but you have to THINK like an agent. I have used them in the past and the two I used did not do anything that I could not do myself. But I had the knowledge and ability to make it happen.

I can tell you that sending out postcards is not a great idea. Most will end up in the trash. Example - when I get junk mail, catalogs and other stuff like that in my mail or inside my newspaper, I dump them in my recycle bin on the way inside.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 22, 2012
I also did not need my "hand held" through the process as an earlier agent states. The other agent was a new agent who did not have a clue and was actually a detriment to the process. Holding the deal together involves getting the inspection (buyer can order that), appraisal (done by the mortgage lender) and getting the buyer approved (between the buyer and the mortgage lender). Last piece is having a real estate attorney review all documents and handle the closing. Should everyone do a FSBO? No. If you lack the experience and knowledge, you need an agent. If you do have the experience, time and knowledge, you can do it and be successful.
Flag Thu Mar 22, 2012
I work with many, many Realtors, most of them would rather have root canal than sell a FSBO. I know that sounds harsh but it is a reality and for good reason. In a typical sale where both sides are represented by a seasoned agent the work load is split between them. With a FSBO the selling agent does all of the work for half the fee, not the best time management strategy. Yeah, I know, FSBO’s represent themselves. NO, the selling Realtor ends up holding hands with the seller as well as the buyer. In case you guys haven’t noticed, over the last three years finding a buyer just begins the process. Holding the deal together after it is under contract is just as hard as finding a buyer, at least that is how it is in my area.

One solution would be to offer a bonus of 2% of the sale price to the selling agent. That may help, good luck, hope it works out for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 22, 2012
@Monica - I will give you a ring to let you know which listing is mine. My marketing plan consists of listing in the MLS through a flat fee broker. I, unfortunately, cannot put a sign outside my property due to community restrictions. I have sent out postcards to local brokerages and plan on mailing to the nearby listed properties as well. I have it on realtor.com as well as many other sites and have blasted out emails to the network of realtors that I have contacts with which is extensive since I work for a large bank managing a short sale team. But trust me, I am interested in any and all tips I can get!

@Beachbroker - it is listed in the MLS... so that is a good start and thanks for the tips and encouragement! I will definitely look into ipayone if I get to a point of total and complete frustration.

@Minnie... seriously, THANK YOU for being honest. I had a feeling that might be the case. I want to scream from the mountain tops that agents really do want to know me. I am in a position to be able to help expedite their short sales. Of couse, I would only do what was legal and legit, but knowing someone in the right places can get your short sales expedited exponentially.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 21, 2012
The question is not, why are agent's not showing your house, the question is, why not get an agent to list your home, put it on the MLS and get the exposure you want! I'm not in San Diego, but my kids are, and I know what a big busy town that is! You have a lot of competiton and you need all the marketing skill you can get! You certainly must realize that anyone making an offer on a FSBO, knows that you're not paying agent's commissions and they are going to adjust their price accordingly. So why not get some expertise and have the job done professionally. They will get you a higher price, give you good advice and lots of exposure. And of course, one of the most important things you should be aware of, is that you will be well advised to avoid legal problems in the future by not disclosing something properly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 21, 2012
Honestly, I do not even know they( FSBO) are out there. I search the MLS for my
clients as do most other agents. It is not that I would not work with you, we do
not know you are out there. I have a program where I will sell a FSBO with
"full service" for a small fee including MLS, in return I represent you on your
new purchase. It saves you about 3% of the selling price.
If you want to find out more about this give me a call or e-mail me.

Phil Snow
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 21, 2012
Where's your listing? If I have the right buyer, I'll show it! How is it being advertised? Are you driving any traffic there? Whats your marketing plan? These are just a few of the challeges that FSBO's have to get thru. Call me, as I have a great booklet for homeowner's who want to sell their property by owner. If offer's wonderful tips, plus I can give you a few of my own.


Monica Greenwood, Realtor
Keller Williams
Team RLW
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 21, 2012
Hi Parradiddlegirl,

I'm answering for Andy here. This is Minnie Rzeslawski. Unfortunately, you are correct. Most agents feel that they are doing the work or 2 agents while doing a FSBO and only getting paid for half of the commission. It is always best to possible increase price to reflect the 6 or 5% commission and have both seller and buyer representation to cover all basis. It also involves extra liability on a buyers agent with this type of transaction. Please visit my website for more information at http://www.24krealty.com. Good luck and please let me know if you have any further questions at Minnie24krealty@gmail.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 21, 2012
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