Realtors not interested?

Asked by W, Midwest, WY Fri Mar 7, 2008

I contacted several Realtors with offer of commission plus bonus to bring buyer to our FSBO. Not only have I not gotten any inquiries, but I have not even been approached fo a possible listing. I'm putting it out there for them and they don't seem interested. It is priced below market value. What is going on? I would have thought in this market that I would have gotten some kind of contact.

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Cheryl Fuss, Agent, Lancaster, PA
Fri Mar 7, 2008
I'm a fulltime Realtor in Lancaster County, PA and I am also surprised you have not heard from any Realtors regarding your home. If I lived in your area and had a buyer who was looking for a home like yours, I would certainly be sure to show it to the buyer as my ethical job as a Realtor is to show all homes that match what my clients are looking for, FSBO or not. I would have contacted you about Staging your home to help it sell quicker and for more money as I am an Accredited Staging Professional, and Staged Homes do sell :) How long has your home been on the market and how did you contact the Realtors about your home and how long ago did you conact them? I wish you the best and sorry I'm not in your area. Consider having your home Staged if you have not already done so--visit to learn more about the wonderful world of Staging!
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Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Fri Mar 7, 2008
I am sorry. I think you need a totally honest answer.
Let me understand you. You want a Realtor to work BOTH sides of a transaction for ONE side of the commission, plus a bonus. Am I reading your post correctly?

W. , you may be unware that you have a BUYER's market. That means that there are many sellers, but few buyers. So if a buyer can "hire" the services of a Realtor for "free", then why would look at sellers selling without professional representation.

Meaning IF your property was priced SO attractively that a buyer HAD to see it...but wait, you said that you have no showings. Is it in the MLS?

Let me suggest this as a quick fix...actually you have two options:
1. Sell it without professional representation. You work for a living. Imagine somebody asking YOU to do YOUR JOB without any compensation....sort of like hiring a Realtor and paying them to do the work of TWO, but paying them for ONE. If there are a lot of listings, WHY would YOU work for less than standard rate?
2. You say your home is priced below market value. Why on earth would you do that? If I was selling my home, I'd want every dime out of it. Maybe you are rich?
3. Let me guess. You want to sell your home for the most money (profit ) in the least amount of time. So, IMHO you need to know that in most cases (90%) the buyer that sees the home they buy sees it with a REALTOR> Also, In a buyer's market, there are many homes to sell. So why would I sell YOUR home for X% when I can sell any other home and be paid my "normal rate" for the "normal work".

Talk with some Realtors, ask for an "Estimate of Seller's Net", and figure out what makes sense. Personally, I think you are hurting your chances to make the most profit by selling on your own. Ask the REaltors to PROVE to you that they can do the best job. Do not take my word for it.
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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri Mar 7, 2008
My guess on what's going on: First, you're a FSBO. Nothing wrong with that. But to many agents, that sends the following message: "Selling a property isn't all that difficult. It certainly isn't worth a 6% commission [note: commissions are negotiable; 6% is just an example] to pay to someone else for something that I can do myself. Heck, selling a property means putting it on some web sites, maybe paying a few hundred dollars or less to get it in the MLS. As for pricing, I know what some houses around here sold for, and I can check Zillow. I'll do a little work and save a lot of money."

I'm not saying that's what you thought. What I am saying is that this is the reputation that FSBOs have among some Realtors. So there's no real eagerness for them to help you out.

However, as noted below, if an agent has a client interested in houses similar to yours, they would be serving their client's interests by showing them your property. But if they don't have clients interested in your sort of property, they won't show it. Even if, as you say, it's priced below market value. Or if their clients are interested, but your property is overpriced, they will provide that information to their clients who probably will choose to see the lower priced properties.

I'm somewhat surprised you haven't had some agents approach you for a possible listing. However--here's this reputation thing again--FSBOs have a reputation not only for overpricing but for being stubborn "know-it-alls." THEY know how to price a property. THEY know how to market the property. THEY know how to do all the paperwork. That is, until their house doesn't sell and they decide they need a Realtor after all. That's the perception. And some Realtors don't want to deal with that. They'd rather work with clients who value their knowledge and expertise, and view them as working together to sell the property.

Again, I'm not saying that's you. I'm just saying that that's the perception that some Realtors have of FSBOs.

That may be part of the explanation for your experience.
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Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Fri Mar 7, 2008
Agents working in capacity as a buyer agent will only respond when they have a potential buyer who may be interested in your property.

Agents working in capacity as a potential seller agent will be have a greater interest in listings that are perceived as realistically priced and having a reasonable demand. Stronger and better agents tend to be more selective about which lisitngs they will pursue. Taking on the responsibility of a listing is a commitment of both monetary resources and time. If the addiition of a listing to an agent or broker's inventory is perceived as an expense with little possibility for return, there will be less interest.

If your solicitation of buyer agents to bring buyers communicated that you were not interested in listing your property, that might have disuaded any potential listing agents, even if they might have had interest.
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Bill Gillhes…, , Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fri Mar 7, 2008
In this market there are typically many excellent listings available thru normal channels. How was your price determined ? Are there additional conditions along with your listing ? Is your comm offering comparable to other listings? It seems like your comm + bonus may be close to a traditional listing agreement. That said, if your home/condo is competitive in your market , the comm is competitive and the home agressively priced I don't understand why you have had no takers. Anything else you can tell us ?
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Bill Gillhes…, , Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fri Mar 7, 2008
Good evening ! In this market there is typically an abundance of excellent listings which come thru normal channels. Agents in your area may not feel a need to venture into the FSBO market. You indicate that it is priced below market - how was this figure determined ? Are you including additional conditions on the sale? Considering the comm plus bonus - are you close to the seller costs associated with a traditional listing ? You may need to consider some sort of gaurantee to an agent for all the work/expense they incur in the event you sell it yourself. All that said, if this is a desirable listing and aggressively priced I don't understand why you have had no takers.
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