Will realtors show a for sale by owner property if a commission is offered and the property is listed on MLS?

Asked by Jenna, West Chester, PA Thu Jun 5, 2008

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18
J R, , New York, NY
Thu Jun 5, 2008
Sure. Hopefully you will take your FSBO sign down when I show it, though. I will ask you to.
2 votes
Nancy, , New Paltz, NY
Thu Jun 5, 2008
Reluctantly. And here's why:
1. Many sellers go FSBO because they think their house is worth more than the local realtors are telling them it's worth.
-2. Negotiating directly with sellers is more, not less, difficult. See #1 above.
3. Agents do twice as much work once an offer is accepted because sellers have no representation.
4. FSBO sellers tend to offer below average commissions, when they should actually offer above average commissions
2 votes
That's a lie, bigtime, Nancy. A FSBO will have a real estate attorney doing all the titles and legal paperwork needed. Why, do you all feel that no one can purchase a home without you? Its ridiculous. Buyers will still have inspections on the property, They are given all disclosures. Everything is handled through the attorneys,, You have to stop this craziness that you are Gods. Why should someone pay you 10 grand for walking a prospective buyer through the door of the sellers house? You have done nothing! Give it up, in this day and age, you are becoming mere figure heads,
Flag Tue May 9, 2017
Actually, I disagree that agents do twice as much work. I worked as an agent through 2010. Transactions vary with the person on the other side, sure--but difficult people are difficult people. And, some of them are agents. Many people I know swear by their experiences in direct sales (no agents) -- saying that the process was smoother and less confusing. Many FSBO sellers have transacted lots of real estate, and know the ropes. Some are prior agents. The transaction itself is not hard to do, the contracts are easy (esp. if the FSBO service uses boilerplate forms), and so on. Agents really do have a difficult job--mostly it is hard to get new clients and expensive to be paying fees to all the vendors and the broker--and I like agents, but I think agents need to please be realistic and honest. I do not believe that real estate markets should be as locked down by brokers as they are. I believe that if agents have value to add, they should not be threatened by FSBOs.
Flag Tue Jul 2, 2013
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Thu Jun 5, 2008
JR,
Tks for a good reminder.

Jenna,

There are, unfortunately, some unscrupulous people out there who will attempt to use Realtors, lie to them, and cheat them. L I am not at all suggesting that this is your intent. Today, on another Trulia thread, I read dialog exchanges between posters discussing capturing buyers that came with their Realtor and then waiting until later to execute a contract and avoid paying the Realtor.

There are buyers who may find out about your property through a Realtor, but then try to “go around” their Realtor. There are some FSBOs out there who will try to encourage the buyer to write a contract w/o their Realtor.

Again, I am not suggesting that any of these ill-contrived agendas represent your plan. Realtors, are sometimes guarded with FSBOs when they don’t know you. If you can be aware of this, and extend an effort to communicate and stand by your integrity, it can be beneficial to your sales efforts.

Recently I previewed a FSBO, and the seller told me she was holding a public open that Sunday. During the preview, she suggested that I send any buyers to her open house on Sunday, if I could think of anyone. She said that she would sign an agreement that acknowledged me as the buyer agent. She made this as an unsolicited offer.

Deborah
1 vote
x, , 30650
Thu Jun 5, 2008
I will! My business splits about 50/50 between sellers and buyers. When working with buyers, I am always their agent (except when they are buying one of my listed properties - no dual agency for me). As a buyer's agent, I am totally focused on what is best for my client.

Having said that, it often is more difficult to work with FSBO sellers.
reason 1 - With no lock box, coordinating showing schedules is the first difficulty I often encounter. My buyers are busy people, and there are lots of good choices to look at - so we are often seeing 6-8 homes in one session. We need flexibility in scheduling.
reason 2 - in my experience, FSBO sellers are not focused on current market data to determine a fair selling price; they are more often focused on what they need or deserve. What a seller needs or deserves is really irrelevant in a market with more inventory than buyers. Its what the competition offers that should most influence pricing.
reason 3 - negotiations. Its harder to conduct successful negotiations when one of the parties is unrepresented. See point 2.
reason 4 - pictures and details. Sellers expect to preview properties from the comfort of their personal computer before committing to an on-site visit. Many FSBO MLS listings show only a few badly lit photos. Also, its the rare FSBO seller who takes the time to create a property disclosure in advance - and these contain information important to buyers.

So FSBO sellers - if you are prepared to do the advance legwork that a listing Realtor will provide (market research, full blown marketing including wide-angle well lit photos, disclosure), then you are no less attractive to do business with than any other sellers property.

Jeanne
Web Reference:  http://www.horseandhome.com
1 vote
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Thu Jun 5, 2008
Yes, if the property comes to mind and is a good match. Limited marketing may limit your buyer pool......not because the agent consciously weeds you out.....but because other properties jump up to the forefront.

There are some agents who favor this type of sale, believing that they can get a better deal for their buyer because the seller is not represented. That does not mean that buyer agent is participating in unethical conduct; it simply means that FSBO‘s are generally not on the same page as an experienced seller agent.

There are other buyer agents that will show your property only if it is a great match, and if not, would prefer to engage in a FSBO type sale because it will be increased liability and work for the agent.

I don’t make an effort to seek out FSBOs or avoid them, unless or until I am working w/ a buyer under exclusive buyer agency and have committed to seek out FSBOs, expireds, or never listeds. When I am a buyer agent, my search is based upon the buyer, not your property. The more I know about a property, the more likely I am to think about it or show it.

Deborah
1 vote
Jim Olive, Agent, Key West, FL
Mon Feb 11, 2013
This answer is for Gary: Though I understand you're frustrated by the inappropriate actions of a single agent, you have to be careful not to paint us all with the same brush. What your agent did is reprehensible. SHE should be casitgated, not all agents. I will join you in denouncing the behavior you describe, but I feel comfortable saying that MOST agents would not do that. You are absolutely correct to point out that it would not have gone that way if the shoe was on the other foot! But, again, not EVERY agent would "fight tooth and nail and go to court to get her full commission". Some would likely let it go, unwilling to engage in a long, expensive, painful court battle.

I just wish we could all live by the Golden Rule and just do the right thing to start with! But then what would all the courts and lawyers do with the extra time on their hands?
0 votes
Tony Bienes, Other Pro, Tallahassee, FL
Mon Feb 11, 2013
Realtors in Thomasville, GA will NOT show any Properties that is listed by for sale by owner.


This is by experience
0 votes
Gary, Both Buyer And Seller, New York
Mon Nov 29, 2010
I just wanted to ask Deborah Madey a question. We had previously listed our home as an FSBO for 3 months and had one very interested buyer make us an offer that was too low. We told her that if she could come closer to our asking price we would talk. She decided to list her condo to see how much she could get before making us another offer. Two months later we decided to list our house with an agent with the agreement that if our personal efforts yielded a buyer then it would be our sale and she would get no commission. About a month after signing on with the agent our original buyer made us another offer through the agent she was using to sell her condo. Neither her agent or ours told us who the buyer was or that she was actually our original buyer. My wife asked our agent several times, "Who is this buyer? She lives in the same condo complex as our buyer, could they be the same person?" Our agent just avoided the questions. We eventually got her name and realized she indeed was our original buyer!! Now our agent is claiming that because we turned down the buyer's original offer, then she is fair game to any agent that happens to come across her path. Really???? So, if our agent had brought a buyer to us and we turned down their offer, then that buyer is now free to make a different deal with us and we wouldn't have to pay the agent any fees??!!! Wonderful!!!! Ya right!!! That wouldn't happen in a million years, we all know that the agent would fight tooth and nail and go to court to get her full commission!!

So, my question is this: Why do realtors feel that they should be paid in both scenarios?? It's either one or the other, you can't have it both ways. Please explain your thoughts on this.

Gary
0 votes
James Graham, Agent, Midvale, UT
Thu Jun 5, 2008
Jenna,

Your property is listed and you are offering a commission.

It depends on how much commissions you are offering the buyers agent. Is it a full 3%? Or do you know? In Utah the commissions on the MLS vary from 0-5% for the Buyers agent. How inclined is a realtor to show your property if it is only offered at 0%, 1%, 2% commission, or even 3% (if you use a company realtors dont like to deal with, because they don't represent thier clients). "Yes it's fun" to beat up a seller on a price when they are a for sale by owner, but its not fun as an agent when you are trying to get the deal to close and the seller doesn't know what's going on. What's title? What's the payoff? What's a disclosure?

I've had a transaction recently with a company, I will not name (full service). I had to deal with the sellers directly because they didn't want to pay for the listing services, such as reviewing offers, faxing, showing, addendums, disclosures etc... The deal closed because I had to deal with both parties, however it was a nightmare for me and every other agent that shows thier listings @ the standard 3% BAC, however I really felt I should have got 6% for doing the other agents job. In the long run my client got a better deal because we got the seller down $30,000.

Companies like this where sellers ultimately think they are getting a better deal for having a home listed for a flat fee. When you are really just limiting your potential buyers because agents don't want to show them. Some agents out there (believe me or not) won't show these listings because the company that is offering such services is getting a bad reputation.
0 votes
Judi Rutland, Agent, Destin, FL
Thu Jun 5, 2008
That is a good question. In Florida our real estate law only allow us to contact by phone a for sale by owner if we have a true buyer interested in that property. Realtors, by our code of ethics are to put the customer first and commissions second. Depending on local custom, if a property is listed in the MLS then compensation is offered.
0 votes
Robert B. He…, , 67206
Thu Jun 5, 2008
Most realtors would be glad to show a house. When you put it on MLS you need to show the amount of comission as either a % of the sales price or the dollar amount.
0 votes
Jeffrey Schn…, Agent, Austin, TX
Thu Jun 5, 2008
Jenna,

From my perspective, yes, ALWAYS. However, if you are using a FSBO service that provides you the opportunity to have your home on the MLS, often times I find that these services don't do a very good job of putting your best foot forward.

Since everything changes based on locale, consider using whatever online search tool you have available to look at the listings for other homes in your area. Then be sure that your listing looks at least as good, if not better. The most common issue I find are poor quality, and limited quantity of pictures. The next most common issue, and most serious, is incorrect data about your home.

Check your listing for every little detail. Make sure it has the right square footage, correct number of bedrooms, bathrooms, garage spaces, # of stories. Make sure that if the online tools allow you to map your property, that it actually maps correctly. Make sure the "area" designation is correct, since this is one of the key search criteria that agents use to know where a property is.

Get creative with your description. Don't put things in it that are important to you, put things in it that are important to buyers.

One last thing, make sure the primary picture is "perfect". You would be amazed at how many buyers doing their own searches, or looking at searches that agents create for them, will decide not to look at a home simply because the first picture they see is less than perfect.

You can also Google resources in your area, or maybe your FSBO service will provide it, that can create the exact same in-home/front-of-home brochures that the industry uses to market their homes. Even to the point of creating flyers that you can mail out yourself. These are cheap and effective marketing tools, use them!

Good luck,

Jeffrey
0 votes
Jim Johnson, , 78233
Thu Jun 5, 2008
Certainly. I get some of the best deals for my buyers from FSBOs.
0 votes
Susan Emrich, Agent, Lebanon and Hershey, PA
Thu Jun 5, 2008
I have shown "FSBO's" when my buyer clients have asked me to. However, as a Realtor, we have an obligation to all those people who are listed in the multi-list (MLS) first.
0 votes
Nirmal Kumar, , Commerce Township, MI
Thu Jun 5, 2008
Definitely. We will have the seller sign the commission agreement letter that they will pay the Realtor commission at the closing of the sale.
0 votes
Cathy James, , San Marcos, TX
Thu Jun 5, 2008
Absolutely! We will ask the owner to sign an agreement between the broker and the owner that they agree to pay the commission.
0 votes
Pat Caron, Agent, Mystic, CT
Thu Jun 5, 2008
Certainly. For Sale By Owner homes are often shown and sold by realtors. Most people selling their own homes are happy to cooperate with a realtor in order to sell their home in a timely manner, especially if they are listed in the MLS and are already offering a commission.
0 votes
James Graham, Agent, Midvale, UT
Thu Jun 5, 2008
I personally am willing to show all properties including for sale by owners, however I think there are a lot of agents that are weary of the implications of showing it because it will be twice the work.
0 votes
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