Home Selling in Santa Cruz>Question Details

odregelid, Home Buyer in Santa Cruz, CA

Why arent there many for sale by owners in Santa Cruz?

Asked by odregelid, Santa Cruz, CA Wed May 30, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:


Thank you for asking that interesting question.

In this current market there are a couple of reasons. The distressed sellers are busy keeping their heads above water, coping with the giant reversal of fortune in their lives, trying to keep kids in private school, food on the table, gas in the car or just figuring out "what's next?" They don't have the bandwidth to tackle buyers looking for a deal. Theh pain is just too much.

The other sellers are clear that they don't have a way to reach the market effectively. The web has taken over and thousands of searches a second are going on , on line, all over the world. The boundaries have been removed and limiting your buyer pool to a couple of FSBO signs is like a billboard in the desert. Foolhardy.

A professional smart Realtor will get you the value the market dictates and comps include the brokerage fees so you are comparing apples with apples.

Are you considering trying this trapeze act on your own? If saving every penny is the goal, you are putting yourself way more at risk of a loss by taking on a professional's job without the context or vision line to really protect yourself. Amateur carpenters lose fingers, amateur electricians get shocked, and FSBO's lose money.

I appreciate that given time and research, anyone an accomplish anything, but what is your time worth to you? I hope that helps with your question!

Thank you!

Terry Ballantyne
Broker Associate
Sereno Group Real Estate
831 515 1101
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 30, 2012
Terry, your image of the billboard in the desert is a striking (and apt) one.
Flag Sun Jun 10, 2012
That's a good question! You'd think in a market like this - with very low inventory - people who wanted to sell by owner would be putting up lawn signs all over town. I've seen a few, but not many. Ultimately, though, I think the reason there are so few For Sale By Owners is that many people have realized it is not a very good way to get your house sold - especially if you are under water on your mortgage, as many people are. But even if you're not underwater, selling by owner is difficult to do, and usually won't end up saving you any money (which, let's admit it - that's the only reason a seller would want to sell by owner). Check out the link to the story about Colby Sambrotto, the founder of ForSaleByOwner Dot Com - who ended up selling his New York condo through a broker, after he himself failed to sell it by owner.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 30, 2012
As a property owner who has bought or sold 5 properties "FSBO," and 4 through an agent, my opinion is that the reason there aren't more FSBO properties is that people operate under the mistaken belief that paperwork is too complicated and that realtors are worth the money they are paid for helping to connect the buyer and seller.
I would use a real estate agent for a short sale, and have done so (although I felt the value added was minimal), but not for another transaction if I cold help it. I look forward to the day when internet savvy buyers and sellers don't need to pay, say, $60,000 to conduct what is actually a relatively straightforward transaction. The Nolo Press books For Sale By Owner and How to Buy a House In California are invaluable.
My pet peeve is when agents say that only the seller pays the commission, as if the price of the house doesn't reflect the commssion.
Tara H.
Santa Cruz, CA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 29, 2012
Maybe they work there and are not home to field calls and show the house 7 days a week. And maybe they want a RE professional to negotiate with buyers who might offer to buy. And maybe they realize that buyers prefer to deal with a third party than the owner who is obviously biased.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 2, 2012
Hello, Typically in any market a FSBO just does not get the kind of quality savvy marketing that can be had these days when hiring a good Realtor/Broker. In Santa Cruz for instance - we are a World Renowned location. Many events have and do take place here along our beautiful coast and movies are made about surfing, etc. here as well. Since so many buyers - locate the place they want to live on the internet - finding just the right Realtor there to support them is of great importance as well. 80% of all FSBO's Nationwide become a listing/sale with a good Realtor who can get the seller the highest and best for the property. I hope this answers your question.

Ellen Carter, REALTOR & Senior Short Sale Negotiator
Mortgage Lien Elimination Specialist - DRE # 01417614
Directions Real Estate "Pointing You in the Right Direction"
Capitola, CA 95010
(831) 345-1381 Cell (866) 446-3142 Fax
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 2, 2012
FSBO's are, compartively speaking, poorly marketed. Even when they are on the market, you often times must stumble upon them. This very thing happened to me the other day while I was walking my dog in Capitola. The sign was no larger than a Garage Sale sign and it was poorly placed on the house. My thought is that these owners may not be serious about selling but that they would entertain an offer that is near their perceived "exit point" for selling. As with every home, even short sales, even standard sales, FSBO's have their own story and I would hesitate to offer a blanket answer for ANY type of transaction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 6, 2012
Why wouldn't placing a flat rate MLS listing for, say, $300 on Realtor dot com and the local MLS and then offering the buyer's broker 6% (or even more!!!) and have him/her represent both buyer and seller, be a good way to get your property sold?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 10, 2012
Hi odregelid,
Everyone has answered with great reasons why there are few FSBOs anymore. The only thing I see as worthy to add is that, as a buyer, you don't pay for our services by the visit or by the hour like you would pay other professionals. Our fee is paid by the seller, even when we strictly represent you and your interests in the transaction. It's clear the vast majority of sellers think our fees are money well spent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 30, 2012
Hi there,

In a buyer's market, sellers need all the help they can get, especially access to the MLS from which the MLS and all the subsidiary sites like Trulia get all their information. It is also a very dangerous thing for a seller to handle his own transaction without legal help. It takes pages and pages of disclosure to ensure a safe transaction. Trying to do a for sale by owner in this market would not be practicable. Also, buyers have free access to representation by seeing a Realtor, who is likely not to show unlisted properties.

Steve Noren
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 30, 2012
Probably for the same reason there aren't a lot of FSBO houses anywhere. I am looking to see any answers to your question. Marketing a home is more than a sign and an ad or even an MLS posting. If 100 buyers see a home the odds are greater that an acceptable offer will happen than if a few happen to drive by, or see an ad. Buying a home is more complicated than ever before. Getting the best price for the home usually means using a realtor with a thorough marketing plan of internet reach to the entire world, a showing strategy that accommodates every buyer, a screening program that prioritizes buyers' offers as to ability and liklihood of completing the transaction. Let's see who answers this one for Santa Cruz.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 30, 2012
Based on your question,
you must think that you either get a better deal from a FSBO, or,
you would trust them more, or both.

Why there aren't many;
I'm sure it's because of the high demand for FSBOs.

you can come back to us, and as Dr, Phil would say;
"Let us know how it works for you."
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 30, 2012
Typically when a home is for sale by owner, it does not get the maximum exposure to the marketplace like you get with a good Realtor, hence you get fewer, lower offers. The few FSBOs that are available typically are overpriced and don't sell. Serious seller's appreciate the protection they get from having a good Realtor that understands and guides them through the disclosure process so they don't wind up in legal hot water later. Serious buyer's also liek to have the protection and advise that comes from having a good Realtor help them make a wise decision on a typically very large investment...


Molly Thompson, Broker Associate, APR
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 30, 2012
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