Question Details

Audrey, Both Buyer and Seller in Sacramento area

What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing FSBO vs. using a Realtor?

Asked by Audrey, Sacramento area Sat Sep 8, 2007

I am debating going FSBO or getting a Realtor.

Help the community by answering this question:


The biggest difference in doing an FSBO as opposed to finding a good Realtor is that according to the Nat'l Assoc of Realtors. FSBOs sell for 11% under market value. Yes, you can save on Realor fees, but how much are you losing in the long run. Oh...don't forget to add on attorney fees for helping you with all of the papewrwork and disclosures before and during the sell. Oh....and potential attorney fees after the sale if you have an unhappy buyer thinking they were ripped off....because they found out after the fact that a form was missing or filled out incorrectly.'ll be negotiating your own newspaper advertising too, right? You'll most likely not get a volume discount with just one home. Your Realtor usually handles that. You'll also have to coordinate with a printer and possibly a graphic artist for your flyers, postcards, and print ads.

Don't forget to order signage for your home either. Make sure you have lots of open house signs...and check with your local governent for community regulations. You'll want to make sure you have copies of the comparable properties in your neighborhood in case folks ask at your open house. (Be sure to warn your family and friends that you wil be unavailable most weekends either doing an open house or showing your home) sure to tour all of the other homes for sale in your neighborhhod so that you'll be able to talk intelligently about them to potential buyers coming through your home. You should probably also brush up on the latest interest rates and loan products available for buyers.

And if you have an offer, be prepared to negotiate the salespersons commission. Explain to him in detail why you want him to work for just a few percent even though his license is on the line for both sides of the transaction. Then negotiate the price of your home with theis experienced agent negotiator.

Once you get an offer, you'll most likely want to determime how solid your buyer is. Maybe your personal lender wil work for free to analyze the offer, the down payment, the FICO scores, and how likely the buyer is to get the loan to go through - most likely from a lender other than him/her.

Think of it as a part time job. Hmmmm....if I were selling my home, the last thing I would want is a part-time agent. Remember, you get what you pay for!
Web Reference:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2007
The Hagley G…, Real Estate Pro in Pleasanton, CA
Hmmm, $20,000 less than the competition on an average priced home in this area doesn't matter? I want your buyers Ed! And you call me a joke...

That 3% commission can give buyers a nicer home for the $$ and many different ways. A home priced 3% lower than value certainly provides instant equity, which would make the deal alot more attractive to a lender. Or you can throw that 3% at closing costs and incentives. Or upgrades that will make the home more appealing and easier to sell. Or put the money in your pocket. When you don't pay that money to someone else, it's yours to decide how to spend it!

Yes, you need to have a handle on the market.
Yes, you need to be knowledgable, creative and effective.
And yes, Ed, normal everyday people can be effective at this without a magic realtor wand.

Price your house right, market it right, do your work, and it will sell.

The rest of what Ed says is smoke and mirrors. Ha, I've heard so many of these scare tactics already and I haven't even started. I can say this - if they indeed do scare you, then you don't have the stomach for FSBO. If you recognize that Ed is trying to create uncertainty and doubt, you might have a chance.

Again, don't underestimate the work that realtors do ... but don't overestimate it either!
8 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 8, 2007
Audrey..... did you realize that by asking such a profound question you would be basically opening "Pandora's Box"?

After reading all the responses and quite honestly getting a good chuckle by reading some... I figured I'd list the FACTS about realtors vs. FSBO, weigh in on what it seems most agents here have left off or not simplified and state my final opinion and leave it up to you or anyone else previewing this forum to bombard me w/ rebuttles.

1. When selling under a "Seller's Market" - most FSBOs can sell successfully (possibly not getting FULL price by not consulting a professional, but that's always going to be debated til HE returns)
When selling under a "Buyer's Market" - most FSBOs (almost 89%) end up either listing w/ a REALTOR or changing their plans to sell.

2. REALTORS have marketing leverage! In San Antonio, we have around 7,400 agents and without bothering to look up and quote any NAR stats, I'm pretty sure each agent has ATLEAST 2 ready and willing buyers in their database. If you take that on a national scale (because you never know where your buyer will be coming from) the comparison of how many potential buyers you can possibly contact is BLOWN AWAY by the numbers of buyers a REALTOR can connect with!

3. Buyer's receive a REALTOR's service for "FREE" (This includes: home searching, full transportation, filling out contracts, scheduling inspections, appraisals and closings, negotiation for lowest price, handling mortgage questions and concerns, pointing out market concerns and benefits for the specific area, consult on "future salability" to acheive desired goal... and the list can go on and on) FOR ALL THIS FREE SERVICE.... WHY WOULD A BUYER SHOP A FSBO and FOREGO 90% of the active listings on the market? PERHAPS TO GET A STEAL FROM YOU MR. or MRS. FSBO? If you're not listed, then you are obviously not paying the typical 6% listing commission! The question really is.... HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO LOOSE YOUR MONEY? Would you rather pay a REALTOR or mostly Co-brokering REALTORS to work extensively to sell your home or would you rather put in all the time and work yourself just so the buyer can take the 6%?

4. 3RD PARTY NEGOTIATING KILLS FSBO's! Now, unless you Mr. or Mrs. FSBO are an expert negotiator and trained very well to remain an iced veins, deal making machine; you can't really argue w/ this fact. I'll give an example of a FSBO horror story I heard just recently. A FSBO couple was in final negotiation stages w/ their buyer. They already felt that they went too far down on their price to accomodate this "errogant buyer" and were allowing him and his wife to preview the home for their "buyer walk-through" one last time before closing. Mrs. FSBO had left her son's room painted a very unusual color and with some very odd decorations. She had left it this way as a way to remember their 2nd born son that was killed a year ago by a drunk driver. Well, little did the buyers know and so they were particularly disgusted with that room and making this quite know vocally between their comments back and forth. Needless to say, Mrs. FSBO caught wind of their verbal bashing of their son's decorative tastes and to quickly end the story.... emotions took over and Mr. and Mrs. FSBO refused to sell to Mr. and Mrs. Buyer which then resulted in drawn out specif performance suits that resulted in a lost of several more thousands of dollars Mr. and Mrs. FSBO could have avoided. In my opinion, 3RD PARTY NEGOTIATIONS ARE ALMOST ALWAYS BEST!

There are other facts that I could list to promote the reason for my message and if you would love to see our FSBO vs. REALTOR guide, please feel free to e-mail us at

Finally Audrey, almost all SUPER REALTORS will have ways to PROVE their worth to you, so ask them how their service will benefit you to get to your specific goals. By the way, typically most terms of a listing agreement can be negotiated with you and the REALTOR, so don't be afraid to ask about commission programs (however... be cautious on this one.. if the REALTOR is quick to throw away their commission; how hard will they be willing to work on your listing once it's signed and possibly how fast will they be willing to throw away YOUR money?) and listing agreement terms!
6 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 11, 2007
Sorry, I just have to chime in. I posted way earler...but somebody had some new info.

Let's be realistic. I think that not knowing your situation (Audrey, you say "I'm not in a hurry". Fine, let's take that remark a face value.
Does that mean that if you KNEW that by listing your property NOW you'd net more, you'd still wait because you are not in a hurry?
My experience is that "Money Talks". The challenge that most home owners selling without representation is that the don't know the market trends. That's way over 85% of the time, an unrepresented seller lists with a REALTOR. And, that when they do sell, they sell for approximately 16% less.

So I am not going to fight you to list your home. I am not going to ask you to list with me. I am not even going to try to "persuade you".

Try it on your own. However, I would LOVE to have an Trulia post when you complete your transaction with all the details.
Best of luck to you!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 12, 2007
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
We've been on for 7 months in Annapolis, Maryland (Does anyone remember real estate’s mantra…'Location, Location, Location'? baloney!) and we've dropped $125,000, so far and we are offering many months of mortgages back to the buyer that wants to live life now, not wait forever….

We also continue to sink more time, money and sweat for upgrades/renovations AND pay the high carrying costs of our new mortgage for each month we do not sell! The Horribly simple fact is the ONLY tool an agent has in this market is PRICE REDUCTION so be certain you know and trust your agent completely! As a seller today you must COMPLETELY understand your home is ONLY worth what someone will pay for it right now. It is NOT worth what the tax assessor says its worth and it’s not worth what the banks say its worth (appraisals and FMV). I'm willing to bet many sellers have a lowest sale price number based on what they paid, what they’ve taken in equity loans and what they need to move elsewhere and NONE of these factors means squat to your agent/broker; Only A sale, at any price prices a commission! Maybe your list price was based on the remaining total equity you have leaving you in a negative value situation or slightly higher in order to have something towards a down payment on the next place but here's the bad news, it doesn't matter to your agent (they are empathetic, not sympathetic)! Whatever the market, real estate office managers, brokers and the agents locally are advising you and your competition is ALL that matters. And now they are all advocating- DROP YOUR PRICE! Here's more wake up call information; when you drop $25,000, you see a $25,000 loss, PERIOD. When the real estate professional suggests a $25,000 drop, he or she loses a total of $375 in commission... whoopity friggin dooo! ONLY YOU CAN PASSIONATELY SELL YOUR HOME as ONLY YOU HAVE ALL THE VALUE INFORMATION! Best advice now is focus on your immediate location and immediate market as real estate is a LOCAL thing eventhough its influenced by National news (Thank you major media entities for bursting a bubble that wasn't ever a bubble...). Find all the value in your HOUSE, LOT & PROPERTY combined- that includes local historic, museums, parks or other facilities that are very convenient to your location. They include shopping, restaurants, major road access, business proximity, job market proximity, sports facilities, etc., communities, churches, etc. THEN force this on your agent to sell as features and benefits and don’t stop bothering them! Be certain your agent acts as if they see what you do in terms of the total value proposition of your home, if not change agents. Be certain your agent has in the pocket responses to EVERY Possible objection and buyer feedback (IE- If buyer or buyers agent says their client doesn’t like the blue carpet is your agent saying my seller is more than willing to work with a ‘buyer’ for any and all flooring changes of course that reasonably requires an offer of real interest… cash back at the table, upgrades with a ratified contract, etc. but show me the money)! If they do not, change agents. Good luck... and please someone, buy our ‘steal of the century’ in Annapolis (MLS #AA6389196)!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 11, 2007
The house is in Granite Bay. The house is about 3500 square feet 5 beds/3.5ba. I built the house in 1994 and only have a few years on my 15-yr mortgage left. I just want to get this house sold and get into a nicer area. Nothing urgent about my situation.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2007
In response to Perkasiesell's response...

First of all I believe I was addressing Audrey's question.

I didn't call you a joke. I do not know you from Adam. I suggested the FSBO route was a joke in this market... and it is. Over 80% of seller's trying to sell FSBO in this market end up listing with a Realtor. The statistics speak for themselves. Actually, I do know you as you are not unlike the many sellers I work with each year the first try to sell on their own.

How many homes have you sold, by the way? When you get up over the 2,000 mark let me know and we can discuss smoke and mirrors.

This is a tough market even for Realtors. And yes, normal people are even successful at winning the lottery. It happens every Wednesday and every Saturday in California... and sometimes there are winners.

I put my money on the hard working Realtor who exposes their listing to thousands of other Realtors working "qualified buyers" and exposing the property to millions of people via dedicated websites (because a Realtor knows where the buyers are) before counting on an iffy come maybe bottom feeding buyer that might come to a FSBO via Craigslist.

But then... life is all about choices... kind of like opinions... everybody has one of those.

I hope this helps.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2007
There are a lot of successful FSBO's. There are also a lot that have tried it and say it is not for them. You will have to make this decision on your own. You don't have to buy into the scare tactics that if you don't use a realtor you will have a bad outcome, nor do you need to believe that we are not worth the pay. The fact is you will never know if it is for you unless you try. I agree with Kaye, try it for a period of time. If you don't get the results you were looking for, find a good realtor. Chances are several will have contacted you once you put the home on the market FSBO! Good Luck.
Web Reference:
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2007
I'm surprised to see that the realtors suggest usinga realtor. Well actually, not really. I would recommend paying a buyers agent, which is also negotiable. But regarding sellers agent (assuming they won't negotiate their rates) 3% is $3,000 on a $100,000, $15,000 on $500,000, and $30,000 on $1,000,000. Is their really much difference in effort in selling a $250,000 home versus $750,000 home?

As seller you need to decide if the cost of the realtor justifies the value they bring to the process. Realtors do bring knowledge and experience, but if you're not in a hurry, conducting your own internet reasearch can be just as effective. An agent can only bring in more potential buyers but they can't make them buy. In the end, you know what you are willing to make from the transaction and you can do the math determine if the goal is achievable and how to get it. There are also real estate laws that apply, but as I said before, personal research can go along way.

As a matter of habit, I try not to pay people to perform work that I can do myself, unless their is upside or value to their service. I wash my own car and do my own landscaping. But I'm no doctor or electrician, and would never try to perform those services myself.

Whatever you decide, best of luck to you in selling your home.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 8, 2007
You can certainly sell your home yourself but if you are doing it to save the agent fee you should be aware that you probably won't save much if any money. This concept of "saving the agent fee" has always intrigued me as Buyers know exactly what you are doing and will simply discount your price to cover what they perceive the fee to be. Buyers aren't stupid.. they also want to save the fee. Most FSBO's rarely "save the fee" they just don't realize it.

In a hot market it is easier to sell yourself but in today's market you will probably cost yourself more money then you will save. In most markets there is a large inventory of homes and unless you get listed on the MLS and have extensive internet marketing you will be a disadvantage. Also in this market you must be priced at market value.. this is not the time to test the waters. Most FSBOs have a hard time with this aspect of marketing and wind up being overpriced.

You really need to be able to make a good choices when trying to determine if a buyer is really qualified. This is critical and most home sellers don't have the experience needed to weed through an offer to determine if it is one the should accept.

However.. having said all of this ... Why not give yourself a trial period to see how it goes. If you sell great but if it doesn't work then find a good local REALTOR® to help you get your home sold.
Good Luck..
Web Reference:
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 8, 2007
Kaye Thomas, Real Estate Pro in Manhattan Beach, CA
In this market your lower asking price really doesn't matter. What are you $10,000... $20,000 less than the competition?

Buyerw are eating with their eyes.

They want the most home, the best home, the nicest home for that lowest price they can get.

You going to go FSBO and try to compete with the banks that are giving homes away?

Banks are in the business to loan and turn money not to be in the real estate business owning homes.

What are you going to do to make your home stand apart from the other 350 homes for sale in your neighborhood?

You better get a good Realtor that understands the market and most importantly... you better listen to that person. You will not save a dime in this market going by owner.

To compete and sell in this market you have to have an edge. Marketing, terms.

Right now with the way mortgages are going... think terms. Loans are tough. Doesn't matter if you get someone who wants your home, if they can't get financing the deal is dead.

ANyone thinking FSBO in this market is a total joke.

Get a Realtor.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 8, 2007
The only advantage I can think of is the remote chance at saving money. The reason why I say "remote" is because I think that buyers who are willing to buy from FSBOs want a good deal and they take into account that the seller does not have to pay commission. The adantages of using an agent are numerous. Aside from getting the benefit of an agent's experience and knowledge, you also benefit from the agent's marketing skills. If you had to learn what agents do on a daily basis, you'd spend many hours and in the end the likelihood of saving money by selling your money is very slim. I am not saying that home owners cannot sell their own houses, but it's not nearly as easy as people might think. The problem is that you won't know how much is really involved until you have tried it. If someone sues you in court, you can represent yourself and learn the law as you go along. You don't have to hire a lawyer, but you'd probably be better off handing it over to someone who knows the law already. The same is true for real estate.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 8, 2007
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in New Castle, DE
This question comes up a lot on this forum. Some of the other debates can be found at the following threads:……………

whoops, I got distracted reading them all and lost track of adding the links here. Just search FSBO.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 12, 2007
Ruthless, Other/Just Looking in 60558
I differ slightly with you on that definition of spam JR, the 3 identical posts were all to threads that were on exactly this subject: FSBO vs. Realtor, They were relevant to the question posed by each poster.

I might accuse Baldurr of being a "blog troll" which is an accusation that a poster engaged in name calling. but if I did that I, myself, could be accused of "trolling"

De-constructing his rant, I infer that he objects to the role that Realtors engage in to bring sellers and buyers to an agreement.

Baldurr holds forth that if agents REALLY had their clients best interests in mind we would encourage the sellers to stand firm on their asking price, regardless of how inflated it is. And we would encourage our buyers to stand firm on their low ball offers, regardless of how far below market value the offer is.

Baldurr " looks forward to the day when half
of all RE transactions will be handled by FSBO companies, with buyer
and seller each being represented by their own attorney who is being
paid a flat fee and has no vested interest interest in the transaction
other than looking after their client's interests."

Perhaps I should join Baldurr in looking forward to the day when half of sellers list with FSBO companies.,
because that will also be the day when the available inventory of correctly priced or negotiable homes is cut in half.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 15, 2007
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
Mr. Baldurr, you know posting the same thing on different threads is considered spamming the boards. I suggest you find something else to do with your free time. :)
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 14, 2007
The endless FSBO debate...are agents worth the commission, and can I do a better job selling my home myself?

I'm in a small market (Tarboro, NC) where we've only had about 75 homes sell in this town in 2007. I'm aware of 5 FSBO homes in town. Two I'm aware of only because they have a yard sign in my subdivision. Two others I've driven by while out and about in town. Of the top-5 FSBO websites, only one home is listed on the web, and that home is only on ONE website. None of the homes are in the local newspapers, none are on the MLS, none have websites, and none are on Craigslist. When your sole advertising is throwing a sign in your yard, you're not going to be successful. Open houses don't draw traffic (except during town festival weekends) in my town, but it's not like I've seen any FSBO signs advertising an open house anyway. If nothing changes, these FSBO's will still have a sign in the yard in 2009 because they're not even trying to sell.

We currently have an inventory of 109 available homes in town, and homebuyers are at a premium. The agents in town have their own inventory (in every price range and style) to show the limited buyers who are shopping around. We aren't showing FSBO's because buyers aren't asking about FSBO's (most likely unaware of their existence in town), and going back to the advertising like I said...maybe some agents aren't even aware of them being on the market. If I'm out of town and looking for real estate in Tarboro, I don't know these FSBO's exist.

If you're going to sell your own home...regardless of the size of the market you live in...if you don't put in the time and effort to market your home and understand what you're doing, you are fighting a losing battle. Even so, are you really saving much money on the commission fee when all is said and done? You have to spend a good deal of money to market your home on the web, and the VERY REAL potential of your home selling at much less than a Realtor-listed home. The figures vary as to how much on average a FSBO home sells for less than a Realtor-listed home, but even if I'm generous and say your home is a "peach" and only fetches about 5% less than if you had listed with a Realtor, after advertising costs, have you really saved anything? That's not including the time invested by missing work to show your home, filling out paperwork, and fielding all those calls from "tire kickers" and "bargain basement" investors who do no more than waste your time. Contrary to what some conspiracy theorists lead you to believe, these are not scare tactics, just simple facts.

If you list your home with a Realtor, you get much more exposure and FREE advertising, and don't pay a cent until you close on the sale of your home. You have access to a knowledgeable Realtor, have someone to deal with the attorneys and all the paperwork, and you have a shield against bogus calls on your home.

One last thing...if you don't believe that your Realtor is doing what he/she can to sell your home, or you don't feel that they're treating the sale of your home as if they were selling their own personal property, than you're with the wrong agent. The right Realtor should make you feel like they're making every effort to earn your commission. Have a good afternoon.
Web Reference:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 11, 2007
hmmm... this has been an interesting topic. Realtors and consumers all debating the topic of the original question, which was someone whom is debating going FSBO or getting a Realtor.

Now, I am a REALTOR, I'm also an Accredited Real Estate Consultant and I'm the perfect 'devils Advocate' because I've been on both sides of this fence.

What we don't know is enough information to give any advice to the original poster.
Where is your house located?
What is the market like there?
Do you need to move fast?
Are you in financial trouble, or are you just toying around?

I've enjoyed reading the posts, but I don't think anyone can give an unbiased answer to the question without knowing the facts above.

As a real estate consultant, and not knowing any of the facts that are pertinent to the original question, I would suggest finding out the answers to the above, and perhaps consider hiring a real estate consultant to discuss your options. Yes - I'm biased in that area, because I believe that many times people act on impulse without enough knowledge.

Knowledge is Power.

If I were thinking of selling the biggest asset I owned, I'd definitely want an unbiased opinion. For more information on how to learn more, check the following sites: (mostly for investors and consumers) and (mostly for agents to learn the concept).

Life is all about options and education. People just don't wake up one day and say 'honey, I'm bored, let's sell the house'. There is a reason, a time frame, a motivational factor. Our job as a consultant is to give unbiased advice - based on your personal situation.

A refreshing change from each of us being on opposite sides of the fence arguing about who can do a better job than the other.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2007
Mark has covered well the benifits of using a Realtor. Stats show that you need a 12 week marketing plan and a 100 hours.Time for most FSBO's is not a premium. Marketing, free sites such as Craig's list are helping but again time is the enemy. I specialize in following the market trends and evaluating the market, as a full time Realtor this takes 4 hours out of my day including weekends. Again Time. Cost to apply a good marketing campaign has physical costs. You need to reach the internet, getting your page out ther is the easy part optimizing and tracking it is the key, again time. Ask My lead buyers agent who is now handling the 1-800 # enquiries and web site questions for me, this is a full time job in its self. The days of local markets selling to local people is over. FSBO can work 20% of the time, 80% of FSBO's list with a realtor within 6-8 weeks of trying. The reason its hard work. What i your time worth? the cost could be more than Money.
Web Reference:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2007
Looking at the FSBO game myself. I suggest at the very least paying a "flat fee" service to get listed on the MLS/ - statistics show that around 85% of home sales originate from the MLS. For around $500 it's worth the investment.

The advantages - well, you can save typical up to 6% commission. This means you can put that money in your pocket ... or have other flexibility. I will be offering buyers brokers a "full" 3% commission and saving the 3% on the "sellers brokers side. Some of the money I save will need to be spent on additional marketing ... and time for brokers opens, open houses, etc. Will need to budget for a real estate attorney (not overly expensive but an expense nonetheless.) Don't think your house will just sell - you do need to do some legwork. I'm just betting that the time and $ I put in will be less than what the sellers commission would be. And, as a last resort, I can drop my home price up to that 3% in lieu of hiring an agent (which represents a "break-even") - and there is no more effective way to sell a home than drop the price!

Disadvantages are that you need to spend time to educate yourself on the process - ALOT of time. And you will need to manage the legal and negotiation issues - if you mess up here it can cost you well more than that 3% - 6% you saved. Honestly, the game isn't that complicated but you need some knowledge to succeed! Don't underestimate the work that realtors do ... but if you're smart about selling it yourself I think you can be very effective!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 8, 2007
You really never know until you experience both sides.
We are in a very tough market, I think it pays to use a full service Realtor.
Below is a link to a very long conversation on this subject
What ever you choose
Good Luck
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 8, 2007
Mr.P, Other/Just Looking in Arizona
Audrey if you have the time to invest on doing it yourself, and your comfortable with all the contracts, and you have a marketing plan then I wish you the best ...... if your main motivation for doing it yourself is to save the commission....... trust me a realtor is worth every penny...... interview atleast 3 and see what they have to offer you ...keeping in mind that not all broker services are the same and that you want someone that you can relate to , it always helps the process go by so much easier .... :)
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 8, 2007

The NAR has been shot down more times than a turkey on Thanksgiving Day .. they have no creditability anymore...

You mean this NAR:

Court Refuses to Dismiss Division’s Suit against National Association of Realtors…

How to restore competition,including a proposal for a national MLS

Bad news for real estate innovation

MLSI settlement with FTC final, despite NAR objections…

No one takes the NAR seriously, including yourself .l.o.l...

: ^)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
Hi Audrey,

I am not sure if you have made your decision about selling your property yet. I know the market has changed a lot since your original posting.

Let me let you in on a secret to selling your property quickly in today's market. Its called the real estate auction method of selling property. This is one of the oldest methods of selling property and is also one of the quickest ways to sell real estate.

Here's the benefits of selling by auction:
AUCTIONS generate excitement and intensify interest in YOUR property.
Attract QUALIFIED BUYERS, who are ready, willing and able to BUY your property today (NO more look-e-lous)
Close Escrow in as little as 30 days

Sounds too good to be true??

I invite you to check out my profile and contact me for more information about how you can benefit from selling your house by real estate auction.

Good Luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 13, 2008
This thread has been going on for quite some time...I'd love to know what you did, or didn't do, what your thoughts are and how it all worked out, or didn't?

I was in San Francisco last year for the Inman Connect Conference, wow, what a great town, terrific weather and such NICE people! I'd move there in a heartbeat ;-)

Alas, I live in Florida, the lightening capital of the World, wicked humidity and too hot for my taste, but I would dearly love some feedback on what you ended up doing and what was the best advice you got (or not) from asking this question on Trulia?

Hopefully you are all settled in a new home and smiling happily ;-)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 19, 2008
Find a flat fee realtor like Duffy Realty of Atlanta. They franchise their business model elsewhere in the country or their are probably similar implementations of this concept: They list your property on two MLSs, one FSBO site for $500 + .33% sales price at closing if you sell it FSBO; they provide links/listing in AND it's an "open" listing so that you can aggressively FSBO (they encourage you to do so on as many FSBO sites as possible) as opposed to the passive single yard sign, ad in paper.

They negotiate contracts, provide other service for fee activities. Since it's a traditional listing in a sense that buyers' brokers have a protected commission their model seems to offer the best of both sales routes.

Attracting the buyers is just numbers game....get on the internet, 85% of buyers see the homes they want on the internet anyway. Buyers are becoming very savy and the knowledge available on the internet also upgrades the savy of sellers too.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 19, 2008
Wow, Mr. Baldurr...thanks for enlightening me. I was worried that just maybe I wasn't just like everyone else, but you have proven otherwise. Have a wonderful day.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 15, 2007

Everyone has good advice.

I do not know why you want to sell your home on your own, however if it is because of money, for example you wan to make more, or you want save on the Agents commission. Then you are probably not going to realize that much more money in return for selling as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO).

In addition, you wont know what homes are selling for in your area, regardless of what a neighbor said. An Agent will get you the facts, all the recent sales are available via His/Her MLS (Multiple Listing Service). And he can show you what the value of your home is. You could pay for an appraisal and it will probably be more precise, since as agents all we can offer you a free opinion of value, in comparison appraisal will cost you a good amount of money.

Advertising/Marketing your home; how do plan to do this? In the paper? Studies and statistics show that about 85% of buyers first look online to buy. Can you afford to advertise online? Craiglist is great, BackPage, Zillow, etc.... are all good and free. But, is still the most recognizable name and site for people who are buying and selling. 6 million people visits this site a month, and only REALTORS® can place listings there. Our MLS is the best place to advertise your home locally. All Agents in you area probably look their for homes they are taking their buyers to. You may be able to advertise your listing here but I believe only some MLS's allow this and its really expensive.

I wont ramble on and on, but the last and foremost reason to work with an agent, is the contract. I think a good agent will protect you from fake or flaky buyers. He will make sure you get an Earnest Deposit (good faith estimate) to protect your from someone who really doesn't want to buy or someone who will tie up your home in Escrow and then not be able to close.

The pros and cons are many, and in the end it is up to you, I know I am selling REALTORS® but it is only because I have heard so many stories about how bad it went for Agents, and we do this every day and find new things that go wrong. This is why I think you should use an experienced agent. You may even find one who will cut his commission. If your upside down or can not make the payments, an agent can help you with that too. I hope you reconsider your options and speak to a few REALTORS® and see what they have to offer before your go FSBO. Hey you might event find out what your range for selling your home for free. For what its worth this was my opinion.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 11, 2007
Steve wrote:
And now they are all advocating- DROP YOUR PRICE! Here's more wake up call information; when you drop $25,000, you see a $25,000 loss, PERIOD.
The thing is, if you aren't selling, assuming your house is accessible and staged correctly, it IS your price that's the problem. As for seeing a 25,000 loss. Unless you paid 25,000 more than you sell it for, it isn't a cash loss. It's a loss of EQUITY. I'm very sorry the market stole your equity, but it went down along with everyone else's.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 11, 2007
Audrey: Below is the summary of 16 homes that would be closely competing with your house in Granite Bay.

The search criteria: GB, 3350 to 3700 square feet. (average 3520 square feet) 4 to 6 bedrooms (mostly 5)

Actively for sale Listing Count 16 Averages 3529 square feet $274.54 price per square foot
average days on market (so far) 75
Average Original list price: 1,020,869
Average Current list price: $968,863
Current List prices: High $1,399,000 Low $750,000 Median $899,000

Sold Listing Count 13 in the past 6 months.
Averages 3510 square feet $280.55 price per square foot
55 average days on market til sold. Average Original list price: $1,071,838
Average Final list price $1,050,531
Average sale price: $984,723 93.74% (Average Ratio of sale price to final list price)
Final Selling prices: High $1,250,000 Low $780,000 Median $999,000

One pending sale: 2030 Kilpatrick Way Granite Bay Map coordinate: 240, F4 5-6 bedrooms 4 baths 3522 0.210ac built in 1998 pending on 08/30/07 | $253.98per square foot 94 days on market $ 1,000,000 - original list price $894,500 list price at time of contract. Contract price not disclosed to public unitl close of escrow.

A sample of 30 houses in Granite Bay of similar size. It is interesting to note that the median price for current listings is $100,000 lower than the median price of sold homes in this small sample.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 10, 2007
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
I thank you for your question.
Why would 85% of sellers who start selling their home on their own, eventually select a Realtor?

What is your goal in selling?
Are you a philtanthropist, and want to underwrite others into owning their own home?
Are you wealthy, and need a tax deduction?

I am serious. What is your goal?

The average home buyer first sees their home on the WWW. however they first physically see the propety they buy via a Realtor.
Why is that?
Let me ask you...when you sell your home, are you buying another?
If you are buying another, are you planning to use a Realtor?
Why? Because we "work for free"? Because we "Help you negotiate the best deal"?
So, if 90% of buyers use a Realtor, why would you exclude 90% of the buyers by selling your home "without representation"?
If you are "selling without representation" I assume you are cooperating with brokers. So you are paying market commission (Let's say 3%).
So if you sell "without representation" then you are:
Asking the buyer's Realtor to represent BOTH parties for 3%....meaning he/she does TWICE the work, with HALF the pay, with TWICE the chance of being sued!
Or, if not, if the Buyer's Realtor represents the buyer, then who represents YOUR interests?

Audrey...If you KNEW, that by using a Realtor, you would NET MORE, would you not at least consider it?
Interview three top Realtors...let us know what happens.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2007
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
When you attempt to sell yourself, there is no professional to represent your interests. Your exposure to the pool of buyers is reduced, including the pool most likely to be the best and motivated buyers--the transferee. The FSBO home seeker is after one thing--a deal! It takes experience to bring these transactions to contract and closure. Buying a home is a highly emotional process and there are many doubts along the way. Many times the buyers are doubting if the home is the right one, every little worry
every little bump in the road is potentially a dealbreaker standing in the way of a successful closing.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 8, 2007
The hardest part of being a FSBO is setting the price and getting the proper paperwork together. Make sure you consult an appraiser to determine your house’s worth and what you should set the price at, and perhaps hire a real estate lawyer to draw up the paperwork for you. You just must determine whether the commission is worth the time and money that you would be spending to do it yourself and do you have the proper know how to be a FSBO. If you don’t feel like it is up your alley, you should perhaps be shopping for an agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 22, 2010
Utilizing a real estate agent to sell property does cost more in selling the home but the process is much faster and trustworthy than selling it on your own... Consumers tend to trust the professional who is licensed as opposed to someone word.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 5, 2009
Has Trulia become nothing more than a trolling ground for Agents??

All of the answers from agents are nothing more than desperate pleas
for business for their grossly overpriced services that continually dupe
the RE Buyer into paying grossly inflated prices that can no longer be
supported by easy credit.

If an agent can get a seller so much more money than a FSBO there
can only be one reason. The BUYER is Getting BAMBOOZLED into
PAYING Far too HIGH a PRICE for the Property.

Buyers are finally wising up to the fact that the so called free service
an RE agent offers to a buyer is most likely the most expensive
service that the RE buyer could ever stumble into. What today's
RE buyer needs is a public MLS that would be free from agent
manipulation of the RE buying process.

As for the processing of the transaction, agents have been dependent
on buyers paying $15,000 or more for a service that a top of the line
closing agent would charge no more than $400 for.

Like it or not, the RE market is moving towards the FSBO, fee for
service model.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 27, 2009
There are certainly advantages to both. The biggest advantage to FSBO is that it's cheaper.

The biggest advantage to going with a Realtor is having a helping hand throughout the process -- and also having someone who is statutorily liable in case something goes wrong.

The biggest disadvantage of a Realtor is the 6% you have to pay, but you can avoid some of this by having Realtors compete for your business. Check out for details.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 29, 2008
Hi Leslie -

As I said in a previous post, this thread is OLD! Is therer a shelf life to these?
Also, MANY other emails with advertising for services as well - is
this something we'll see an end to soon?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 29, 2008
Hi Mark Palace,

I'm afraid that such an advertisement for your services is not permitted on Trulia Voices. Please review our Community Guidelines located at and check out our Agent Best Practices blog post at the link below for more helpful information.
Best Wishes,

Leslie Taylor
Trulia Voices Moderator
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 29, 2008
this thread started in Sept of 2007.... it is now April of 2008. Is there a way to shorten the time frame of these emails?

I think this is a good topic, but over a year of this is beating a dead horse to death and we don't know whatever happened with Audrey.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 24, 2008
All real estate licensees are NOT the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the
Properties International, we are all REALTORS®. We proudly display our REALTOR "®" logo on
our business cards and other marketing and sales literature. We are committed to treating all
parties to a transaction honestly. Our REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are
expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate.
An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again.
Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience
in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax
problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal
question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside
cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the
professional assistance of a REALTOR®.
But if you're still not convinced of the value of a REALTOR®, here are a dozen more reasons to
use one:
1. Your Palace Properties REALTOR® can help you determine your buying power -- that
is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a REALTOR® some
basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you
to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders -- banks and mortgage companies -- offer
limited choices.
2. Your Palace Properties REALTOR® has many resources to assist you in your home
search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the
market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.
3. Your Palace Properties REALTOR® can assist you in the selection process by
providing objective information about each property. Palace Properties REALTORS® have
access to a variety of informational resources. We provide local community information on
utilities, zoning, schools, etc. There are two things you'll want to know: First, will the property
provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale
value when I am ready to sell?
4. Your Palace Properties REALTOR® can help you negotiate. There are myriad
negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and
often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement
should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of
the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to
which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
5. Your Palace Properties REALTOR® provides due diligence during the evaluation of
the property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry
rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. We
will assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and
provide you with written reports. You will also want to see a preliminary report on the title of the
property. Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired in confusing status of past
owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example,
easements (access rights) for utilities. Your REALTOR®, Title Company or attorney can help you
resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.
6. Your Palace Properties REALTOR® can help you in understanding different financing
options and in identifying qualified lenders.
7. Your Palace Properties REALTOR® can guide you through the closing process and
make sure everything flows together smoothly.
8. When selling your home, your Palace Properties REALTOR® can give you up-to-date
information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and
condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the
best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.
9. Your Palace Properties REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents
and the public. Often, your REALTOR® can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will
significantly enhance the salability of your property. Your REALTOR® markets your property to
other real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, over 50% of real
estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
Relators are professionals, trained to help buyers and sellers with their real estate needs and transactions. When you hire a realtor you are putting yourself in the hands of someone who has, thru education and association, earned the right to be called a Realtor. There are thousands of details that come together to make a real estate transaction happen and having a professional Realtor is the best insurance that it happens correctly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
Exposure - Exposure - Exposure
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
Dear Audrey,

It's never a good idea to negotiate for yourself on your own property. Most FSBO's end up with less net cash after a sale than they would have had using a professional Realtor. Buyers are aware that the seller is trying to avoid paying a commission, and reduce their offer price accordingly.

It's my experience that when selling a property, the more the sellers talk, the more motivated they seem to the buyers. I always instruct my sellers to take a walk outside when their property is being shown. Buyers prefer to view the property without the seller present.

A good Realtor not only protects the seller against costly mistakes in legal issues, but presents the property to prospective buyers in a positive light without the seller appearing too eager to sell at any price.

Christine Kinzer
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
Hi Audrey,
The question is: "How quickly do you wish to sell?"
If the answer is "Not in any hurry" then do a FSBO.... if you want REAL exposure to your house, then you should list, not just with any Realtor, but one with a proven track record of sales and get your home out there on every appropriate web site as quickly as possible.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
Hello Audrey,

Wow, you have received a lot of advice. Only you know if you are up for this task. I think a lot of people have covered the highs and lows of marketing your house. One thing I would really like to address is the statement that real estate agents just want to reduce the price of your home. The market determines the value of your home, not a realtor. Your home is worth what someone is willing to pay for it and what you are willing to sell it for. You or your realtor's job is going to be setting that price, and that may change as time goes by. Some markets are crashing and you will have to make several price corrections as the market corrects itself. Your home is a commodity on the open market and it is a changing market! You are actually purchasing you realtor’s knowledge of the market. Ignoring the statistics they are showing about your market will cost you money!

If you are going to pay a flat fee broker to offer your home in the MLS with a buyer agent commission of 3%, you need to look at the dollar amount that 3% Seller agent fee you are "saving." Determine how long you are going to try this on your own. How much money for website placement, ads in local papers, mailings to people and time are you going to spend before you are going to hire a professional? Even at $25 an hour, open houses, showings, time on the computer and placing ads really adds up quickly. And you don’t even talk to the 100’s of people a week that a realtor does. They realize that someone calling in about property “X” really should be looking at property “Y” because it is exactly what they are looking for. Maybe you are property “Y.”

I have sold homes to my Buyer clients from FSBO’s. I have a FIDUCIARY OBLIGATION to represent my buyer. This means that my years of experience in negotiating and filling out contracts, that you are paying me to do, I am using against you TO BENEFIT MY BUYER. A Seller with no representation often looses far more than they realize by not having someone on their side of the table. Your attorney reviewing the contract is looking for legal clarification and errors, not to determine if you are getting a good deal. They haven’t even seen your house before! Just food for thought.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 23, 2007
Not to argue with you Jim, but everywhere else I post, when you put the identical 1000 word post up on 3 different threads, it is spamming. :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 15, 2007
You don't fully realize how many desperate, and for all practical purposes
unemployed RE agents there are until you sign up on some RE message
boards and start reading one RE agent "snow job" after another.

Just to Refute the most common lies RE agents tell;

1) A seller needs an RE agent to get to the real buyers !!
Statistics on this subject clearly show that a majority of buyers
find the home they eventually buy and then must endure the
boorish behavior of RE agents in order to get in to see the
home that they found without any help of a parasitic RE agent.
With the advent of FSBO, buyers can negotiate directly with a
seller without being extorted for an outrageous commission
from what might best be referred to as excess baggage.

2) Buyer Pays Nothing The Seller Pays all the RE Commissions !!

This may be one of the most outrageous lies in the history of
modern commerce. If buyers were not just brainless sheep,
they would realize that the commissions are being paid by
the party bringing the cash to the closing, that's right buyers,
you're the chumps paying for the bozos otherwise known as
RE agents. For whoever might doubt this perspective, think
back to what the RE agent told you when you were a seller
and one RE agent after another was trying to con you into
giving them your listing. One phrase you heard from every
single one of them was that they would be committed to
getting you the most for your property. Well just how can
they possibly do that when they are supposed to be getting
the best possible deal for the buyer??

The industry response to this question is to point out the
need for both buyer and seller to each be represented by
different agents, two clowns, a buyers agent and a sellers
agent. The clowns then turn into a tag team, with the buyers
agent clown advising their chump to bid higher if not paying
the full offer price, while the sellers agent clown continually
badgers their chump, the seller, to continually reduce the price.
Most people are so unfamiliar with the RE transaction that they
don't realize that their agent did not really represent their best
interests until it was too late, they have signed the papers and
are trapped.

Trapping the unwary is a skill RE agents have perfected to a
fine art. One of their most fail safe methods is to maneuver a
seller into going out and buying a new home, on a contingency
of course. Now that the seller has found the home to buy that
they were looking for and hoping to find, the agent has the seller
in the palm of their hand. They know exactly how much equity a
seller has and how much the seller can really lower their price,
even if they really had no intention of selling out a such a low
price. Since the seller has committed to their dream home, at this
point they really have no leverage at all and must accept the lowball
bids the agent brings to them. Since the sellers agent will never
have to deal with these people again, they really don't give a damm
if the seller is unhappy with them. They've trapped their victims, and
now it is their right to suck some money out of both the buyer & seller.

It is time for people to realize that RE agents are no more trustworthy
than stockbrokers, and they certainly can never truly represent the
best interests of either buyer or seller. It is well past time to realize that
RE agents are vipers who believe it is their right to suck money out of
every RE transaction in the country. I look forward to the day when half
of all RE transactions will be handled by FSBO companies, with buyer
and seller each being represented by their own attorney who is being
paid a flat fee and has no vested interest interest in the transaction
other than looking after their client's interests.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 11, 2007
Go to the website of CBA Properties at Select the SELLERS page. If you find a company that will do the them immediately. Understand the TIME CONCEPT OF MONEY. Basically... a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow. You can take the dollar today and invest it.
Over 75% of buyers go to the internet before picking up a telephone to call an agent or a FSBO. YOU NEED A STRONG INTERNET showing. You are limited as a FSBO.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 11, 2007
Don't Try This at Home.
Sellers who use a real estate professional make 16 percent more on the sale of their home than do sellers who go it alone. Unrepresented sellers often do not understand the complexity, range and timing of tasks they will have to perform if they don’t use a professional.

REALTORS® are real estate professionals who are experts in marketing and negotiation. REALTORS® can help a seller set a realistic price and ensure the proper paperwork and various disclosures and inspections are handled correctly. REALTORS® know best how to prepare a home and maximize value, provide broader exposure to the market and are more likely to generate multiple bids than a seller on their own.

In addition, REALTORS® are experts in attracting qualified buyers. A professional can show a home more objectively than can a seller who may be emotionally attached to the home, and who might become unnerved by prospective buyers’ critical comments. The real estate pro also checks the financial capability and bona fides of buyers before allowing them onto a seller’s property.

Use these materials to convince would-be for-sale-by-owners (FSBOs) of the value of hiring a REALTOR®
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 11, 2007
Audrey, seems like you are receiving many answers. Hopefully this helps you.

If you choose not to hire a Realtor, then you are the Realtor. The real question is do you want to put the time, energy and learn what you need to learn to sell your house. If yes, then you don't need a real estate agent, because you do the time,work, expense, and learn the ropes(educating yourself) so you get the compensation. Also remember there may be legal requirements you will have to abide by even if you don't use a real estate agent.

When I have my oil change, I use a person who does that as their job, otherwise I am the car mechanic. Does it cost me more to pay someone else to do it? Yes. That is my decision.

It is the same for other services, I need to make the decision who is going to do it (is it me or someone else).

If you want more info on how to sell and buy a home ask a friend of yours who has bought and sold a home by themselves in your area. Ask plenty of probing questions and then decide. If you need a list of questions feel free to email me for the question list.

I just recently helped a seller sell their house who has bought and sold without using a realtor in the past. This time he decided to use a realtor and he chose me to help him sell. He had already bought his own house. (he was building it) The price we sold it for was $295,000 and he paid my commission and felt it was worth it. In fact I just received a testimonial from him today he said "As far as we're concerned, you are a 10+... Great Job Bill !!"

Audrey if you need or want to ask some other questions just go to my website below and feel free to contact me. I am in Colorado and more than willing to give you a balanced answer on any questions you may have.

Have a great day and wish you the best

Bill Fung
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 11, 2007
Ann-Marie wrote;
I can't think of many other professions where people are paid a percentage of what they sell.
Let's hope you never have a negligence case.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 11, 2007
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