Question removed

Asked by Mary, 30315 Fri Jul 16, 2010

This question was removed by its author.


Lee Taylor, Agent, Decatur, GA
Sat Jul 17, 2010

Your 2/1 is worth $175000 tops.

Tops was in 2007.

Crazy folks will pay $225000 in 30312 for a 2/1.

But, you are in 30315. Your pricing sweet spot today between Cherokee and Hill for a darling 2/1, with property depth and curb appeal on a quiet tree-lined street is $125000 to $150000.

Caroline from Duffy - your comment that "We listing agents are not that important to the process as much any more for most transactions" is a bunch of functionary babble.

Fiduciary agents with hyper-local expertise offering full service for a fair price get most real estate sales done.

I think Rhonda Duffy is awesome - she has more listing horsepower in her little Alpharetta office than any other agent in Georgia. Do you need some forest land sold in Dooly County? Rhonda will list most properties for $500 up front.

Last Summer, in 50 days, Julie Brittain, my Keller Williams associate for 10 years, and I sold a property at the busy corner of Hill and Atlanta near your house for $272000. A short sale. The most reliable means of property selling is reliant upon hyper-local expertise, knowing the buyers, and networking.

Hyper-local, fiduciary real estate agents and brokers like Bill Adams and Debbie Jone-Kelly have been successful at Grant Park property sales for decades - how do they succeed? One fiduciary transaction at a time.

Most fiduciary agents can not operate a profitable practice at $500 per transaction. Rhonda can. However, Iggy manages to do his downscale, lowest common denominator GAMLS and listing game for free - I'd still pay Rhonda and get a professional experience with a human being before I slummed a skank like Iggy.

Functionary service providers do not care that many of their listings fail to sell - expired and withdrawn at $500 a listing.

When my listing clients in Kirkwood needed a win on a $340000 sale, a listing that was on the market for 15 months, I reduced my discounted commission of 2% of the sales price to a flat fee of $1000.

In the past 15 months, I've walked my client's dogs, prepared their house for sale, held over 10 open house events, put out one fire, stopped one leak, and followed up, followed up, followed up all for a $1000 commission check for Keller Williams Realty.

Keller Williams will take a portion of that, I'll pay my Closing Coordinator, Hilary $275, I'll donate $25 to KW Cares, and I'll pay a nominal FMLS fee - I keep the rest. I'll pull my $75 estate signpost installed by Reliable Post, pull my $250 virtual tour on the best website for property selling in Intown Atlanta,, pull all of my postings and listings from 100+ websites, and when my Assistant, Dana is done doing all of that, she'll probably have over 20 hours at $20 per hour of time on task for just this one listing. Maybe 30

Now, what should I do with my $400ish commission check? Well maybe I should co-sign it over to you, because apparently you need it. You can almost hire Rhonda Duffy with it.

4 hours after we get that house closed, my busy clients and I will close on their purchase of a cool condo at White Provision lofts and in addition to my commission, I'll receive a $10,000 bonus from the builder.

Win/win or no deal.

When the first quarter 2010 statistics came out for metro Atlanta we saw that more than 60% of all listed property failed to sell. In spite of the false buoyancy of the tax credit, I expect that the numbers got worse in the second quarter. The scrubbed charts and stats come out in a couple of weeks, and I'm expecting that it did indeed get worse for sellers.

The question to ask yourself Mary is how would you change your behavior if you knew with absolute certainty that the market would be down another 10% within 3 to 6 months?

How would that knowledge effect your behavior today?
1 vote
Jeri Creson, Agent, Studio City, CA
Fri Jul 16, 2010
Thanks for the clarification Mary - I understand the problem. This is a classic illustration of what happens when a home isn't priced right from day one...exactly this - the interest of a new listing wanes, the listing becomes market-worn and in the end you generally wind up selling for under true market value just to get back to that initial interest level to attract a buyer. I'm sorry this has happened to you.

A couple new ways to freshen up a listing: Staging - and you can do this inexpensively yourself - some creative lighting, yummy smells, decluttering...making sure that your personal pictures are gone. You want the buyer to imagine themselves living there, not feel awkward being in your home.

Can you manage to give the home a slight break? Even a month off the market can sometimes give you a fresh start.

Give the exterior a fresh look - new flowers, a rocking chair...something...and re-do your pictures from different angles. Many times both agents and buyers "memorize" the pictures and mentally put the listing in the "seen it" pile, instead of taking a fresh look.

Direct your marketing to people who don't need a 3/, young urbanites looking for historic properties - know your demographic and put your flyers where they are.

Consider a new Realtor - and if you really don't have room in the deal, consider going a little above "local average" buyers commission - add a selling bonus, and make the agent community your partners.

Good luck to you!
1 vote
Lee Taylor, Agent, Decatur, GA
Fri Jul 16, 2010
Try two things - one will work, one will not.

1. go to the web reference - Iggy's House will list you at your price for free. From there, dazzle the enlightened buyers in 30315 with your marketing savvy.

Iggy says...

Post unlimited photos for FREE!
Get your home on® for FREE.
We offer FREE MLS to start

2. call me when that doesn't work - I'll tell you that nothing in 30315 sold for more than $70,000 in the past month, and that there are 15 pending sales right now between $105000 and $300000.

Somewhere in there, you fit in amongst the 299 other actives that are selling at the rate of 15 a month.

5% of the market is moving - that's where judgment ends and curiosity begins...

I'll leave you with a lyrical quote from a truly effective Iggy who always gets the job done. I have always been able to depend on this Iggy...

Iggy Pop says in his song "Knocking 'Em Down in the City:"

"We're coming to your house to state our appeal
Knockin' 'em down in the city
It doesn't take long 'cause the message is clear
Knockin' 'em down in the city"
Web Reference:
1 vote
Don Groff, Agent, Austin, TX
Wed Jul 21, 2010
You would need to speak with a Realtor to have your home listed in the MLS. Typically if you want to take care of everything and just want to be in the MLS you can pay a flat fee to that agent. If you want more representation you can discuss that as well with them.
0 votes
Rob Purifoy, Agent, Plano, TX
Wed Jul 21, 2010
Yes you can get on MLS- by using a Realtor. This is not the market to try it yourself and it's proven that homes sell for a higher price when a Realtor is involved.. I also have a blog about this if you'd like to read it..
0 votes
Sally Bell-m…, Agent, Bellaire, TX
Wed Jul 21, 2010
In Michigan the only way to get a FSBO in the MLS is to list with a real estate agent and have them enter it in the MLS. You may find an agent that will work with you and take a lesser commission if you find a buyer. Most agents will work with you in any way they can. Good luck I hope you get your home sold; this is a tough market!
0 votes
Joan Stucken…, Agent, Minocqua, WI
Tue Jul 20, 2010
The only way to get a MLS number is to have a licensed agent list the prospective property. There are several companies out there that will charge you a minimal fee to list. Sellers beware, these companies will not help you show the property, stage your home, suggest a realistic price, and the list goes on.
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Mon Jul 19, 2010
FSBO = For Sale By Owner

MLS - is licensed by Realtors

Answer is No

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes
Caroline Gam…, Agent, ALpharetta, GA
Fri Jul 16, 2010
Moving out of your home sounds very radical to me and probably will not make the difference. You are trying to sell in an extremely difficult market where the buyer pool is very low , the supply is high, and the loans are tough to get. I suggest that you visit our website at and learn about the $500 flat fee program . This is a more affordable and more effective option than any other By owner type companies and you get full contract and marketing support. We sell more homes than any single agent in the Atlanta market and this option has been a lifesaver for sellers who have to price their homes very sharply to get them sold. In essence you will only pay much less than the traditional 5-6% and get the same or better exposure to the market. Having a property that is in great condition, priced correctly, giving it a good bit of time, and internet exposure is what helps to sell a home. We listing agents are not that important to the process as much any more for most transactions. If you are planning to buy a home, we also offer a Buyer Rebate. Just some other good ideas for you to explore.
0 votes
Mary, , 30315
Fri Jul 16, 2010
Don and Jeri,
Thanks for your answers. I appreciate the advice and agree that singles or childless couples are definitely our market.

Jeri, our house is off the market and we were hoping to leave it off for around 60 days. However, if other nearby houses for sale don't sell in the interim we may take that as a sign to continue cooling our heels until early '11. It will slay us to have to continue paying our increased mortgage on our devalued property, but at least it will help agents forget us.

Our house has been staged and is so decluttered/depersonalized that we feel like we live in a model home. That said, I may repaint our only remaining two rooms that aren't neutral parchment-colored--not because the colors are obtrusive, but just because it will create something new/different a la your picture comment.

One thing that my husband and I have strongly debated is whether or not to put the rest of our stuff in storage and stay with friends for the first 45-60 days when we relist our house. As a 2/1, every inch counts. i know that a nicely staged home sells, but our house will also seem far more spacious if the big furniture (couch, bed, dining room table) was gone. Thoughts?
0 votes
Mary, , 30315
Fri Jul 16, 2010
I worry about people seeing that 70k and thinking that things are gonzo overpriced by comparison, but I suspec that if the home sale prices were mapped out that the truly low-priced ones/short sales/foreclosures, etc. are west of Hill Street toward the stadium/Peoplestown, etc. Those numbers kinda drag the GP area of the zip down, imo, but i'm neither a math or real estate whiz, so just my line of thought.

Thanks for the Iggy's House info. I will look into it.

If we decide not to do FSBO and relist, I will most likely list with our most recent real estate team. I thought they were great, but just inherited my listing in the waning days of the homebuyer's incentive and after it had been sitting on the market for nine months--not ideal conditions in which to work real estate magic. The only reason we are even considering not using them is purely a matter of my fantasy world, we will do FSBO, break even (or only have to write out a small check to cover the gap), and our old agency will be the buying agent and reap the benefit of the 3% commission they would have gotten on the flip side. That is the closest thing I can think of that is a win-win.

Thanks for the Iggy Pop quote. Never thought of him in the context of real estate :)
0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri Jul 16, 2010

Thanks for the clarifications you provided below.

A couple of suggestions. First, target prospective buyers who might be interested in a 2/1. Now, of course that doesn't mean steering and it doesn't mean actively discouraging anyone. But figure out who your ideal purchaser would be. My guess--but you've seen who's gone through and looked--is either a single person or a couple without children. More likely, a single individual.

Figure out how to market to them. Maybe (depending on price) it's recent college graduates. Maybe (depending on location and configuration) it's a retiree. But realistically, not too many couples with a couple of kids are going to be interest in a 2/1.

Do the same thing regarding location. You say yours is in a historic location. So find buyers who attach a particular value to the historic location. I've lived in a couple of historic locations, and the buyers tend to have a somewhat different set of priorities than those who might buy nearby.

If the location is near a cluster of businesses, make sure you include that in your marketing plan. Especially in urban areas, some people like to walk to work. Or bike to work. Or just hop on a bus. The first two again might suggest a younger demographic. Again, no steering allowed. But nothing wrong with identifying who your most likely buyers will be.

Next, if you have the names and contact information for the people who took a look at your property when it was overpriced, follow up with them. The pitch, in a nutshell, is: "A while back you took a look at 123 Main Street. The feedback we received from lots of folks like yourself was that they really liked the place and the location, but it was just too expensive. We understand that, and have reduced our price to be fully competitive with other properties. Are you still looking for a new home?"

If yes: "Then I'd really like to invite you to come back and take another look."

If no: "I'm sorry we can't interest you in ours, then. But because of the great feedback we received on it, I was wondering if you knew of anyone who might be looking for a home like ours?"

One other point: The first time home buyer tax credit accelerated the demand for a lot of housing. But it didn't increase demand; it just sped it up. So now we're in a lull (in many areas) since anyone who was looking for a home probably just bought one. The market will recover. And that also leads to another suggestion regarding demographics: Your buyer won't fit the profile of those who bought earlier this year. Either they're not first time home buyers (according to the IRS definition) or else they weren't in the market--for instance, maybe because they hadn't graduated from school yet. Just another thing to consider as you formulate your marketing plan.

Hope that helps.
0 votes
Mary, , 30315
Fri Jul 16, 2010
I think that it hasn't sold because it's a 2/1 and in a buyer's market a buyer can get a 3/1 in a nearby neighborhood (not the same neighborhood b/c ours is a historic neighborhood) within the same price range.

However, despite it being a 2/1 I feel that if it had been priced appropriately it would have sold. We had the most traffic when we first entered the market 40k above where we are now. People wanted to see the house, but it wasn't priced right for the size. We are now priced right for the size and the area (and the market), but prospective buyers have dried up.
0 votes
Joan Braunsc…, , Morris County, NJ
Fri Jul 16, 2010
Wow, a seller having to recommend a price reduction to an agent. Not sure I ever heard that one before.

Mary, just curious: why do YOU think your house hasn't sold, bearing in mind I have no knowledge of your market area?
0 votes
Mary, , 30315
Fri Jul 16, 2010
clarification/extra detail:
My house is recently off the market but had been listed by over a year with two different realtors. The initial realtor had it priced waayy too high and although agent caravans indicated it was overpriced, she recommended that we keep it there and see how traffic was. We had good traffic, but it never moved and we never got an offer. We always had to suggest a price drop to her. With April's homebuyer incentive looming, we decided to hire another agency that we had observed being more successful in our area. They did a heroic job of marketing, but still no dice. We dropped the price by 15k, still no dice.

Before anyone jumps to conclusions: Agent carvans and buying agent feedback all indicated that the house has great curb appeal, is cute inside and out, and shows well. We had massively decluttered our place (have been paying for a storage space for 13 months now), kept the house and yard immaculately clean, neutral paint colors, fresh flowers, etc.

In the interim, we received the news that our house has lost 38% of its value. We have an interest-only loan so we are not building equity (our mistake, nothing we can do about it now). We were fine with interest-only at the time because we bought the house as a dump and intended to flip it. We all know how that idea pans out nowadays. Our mortgage has gone up because of an increase in city taxes, which created an escrow shortage that only a mortgage adjustment can fix. We can afford our mortgage, but we are essentially "renting" a devalued property. Our currently selling price is so low that in order to pay 6% commission and closing costs, we would most likely have to write a check at closing.

HENCE OUR INTEREST IN FSBO. We would still offer 3% to the buying agent, but saving the 3% that would go to the selling agent is pretty much the only way we may not lose money at closing and gives us wiggle room in negotiations to offer money for repairs, etc.

I am a marketing professional, so not worried on that front. We already had a friend do professional photography of our interior and exterior with a wide-angle lens. We would get a lockbox and not make amateur FSBO mistakes like being there when a potential buyer is looking. Yadda yadda. But I know that an MLS number is important, hence my question.

It appears that I cannot get an MLS number for our listing unless I see if a discount brokerage will do an entry only contract.
0 votes
Jeri Creson, Agent, Studio City, CA
Fri Jul 16, 2010
As my colleagues have said, there are discount brokerages willing to do a limited service - MLS entry only contract with you for a fee. And yes, with a MLS number you will have some additional exposure on website syndication. However, since the vast majority of buyers are obtained through real estate agents, and a real estate agent will see in the MLS that the listing broker is a "limited service" broker, that agent, by bringing a buyer to your home is, essentially, agreeing to do twice the work for half the price of a standard, full service listing. In a hot market where multiple offers are common - that may not hurt you too much. If you are not in that situation, however, not having full representation and professional handling of your sale may very well discourage offers. In this market, and lending environment, it's hard enough to get a transaction closed when the seller has competent professional representation. There are so many issues that can come up, both on the buyer and sellers sides in this environment to derail a sale that a good buyers agent may very well counsel their client that offering on your home might be risky, and by doing so they are taking on additional risk. If the market isn't highly competitive - you could be losing offers to go this route.

Just like a good accountant usually saves his client more in taxes than his fee costs - so does a good agent - a good agent generally increases a seller's net take and over-all experience in ways that far exceed the cost of the commission.

Best of luck to you whichever way you decide to go -
0 votes
Joan Braunsc…, , Morris County, NJ
Fri Jul 16, 2010
The vast majority of exposure to a listed property is on the mls and there are plenty of flat free brokerages that offer that service. I believe it may set you back a few hundred bucks.

Taking excellent pictures to post on the mls is of utmost importance. I can't emphasize that enough. If you can't do it (obviously after decluttering and making your house sparkle), hire a photographer.

Using something such as postlets can give you immediate exposure to many of the websites that Dunes is talking about.

These days, there is very little in the way of hefty fees for marketing although admittedly this may differ between brokerages. For example, Remax has design center where an agent can tailor make a gazillion (okay, slight exaggeration) different flyers and marketing tools and have them printed for minimal expense.

You do still need to offer a commission to buyers' agents in order to attract traffic.

It also helps to become as knowledgable on the subject as possible. There's a rumor that there's a blog by some dude named Rockinblu that's very informative. Serioiusly, mandatory reading. Advertise your knowledge and your willingness to work with buyer's agents and that could go a long way.
0 votes
Strom Thurman, Agent, Alpharetta, GA
Fri Jul 16, 2010
The answer is no!
You must have a broker account to enter listings into the MLS so you must list with a broker. There are several discount brokers out there.
0 votes
davidwbrower, , Woodstock, GA
Fri Jul 16, 2010
Yes, hire a Realtor and you will have full exposure to the MLS services that Realtors paying hefty fees for marketing their client's properties. There is no way to gain that kind of marketing exposure without paying for it. When a property is listed with real estate and priced right 95% of potential qualified buyers will see the home for sale. When it is a FSBO, only 5% of buyers will ever see your home for sale. If you need help finding a professional Realtor in your area that will provide your listing with maximum exposure, please give me a call.

David Brower, Managing Broker
Crye-Leike Realtors
0 votes
Joe Hildebra…, Agent, Aurora, CO
Fri Jul 16, 2010
You can. You would need to find someone who is willing to list you in your local MLS as entry only. As another person answered, you could get lost in the MLS if there isn't compensation offered to buyer's agents.
0 votes
Voices Member, , Benton County, OR
Fri Jul 16, 2010

You may wish to check out Flat-Fee Services offered by REALTORS (The Agents who follow a Code of Ethics)

Here's an Example of one for your Area and part of what they offer..

Listing in the Local REALTOR® Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
Local MLS
Zillow, Yahoo, Google Base, AOL,, Trulia, Lycos, Cyberhomes, Walmart, HGTV, FrontDoor, The Real Estate Book, Oodle, HotPads, CLR Search, Enormo,, ResortScape, Overstock, eRealInvestor, Investor Loft, Fizber, Home Seekers, Condo Quick Find, Listing Mania, Hoodeo,,,,,,,
ReMax, Prudential, Google Base, Oodle, Trulia, By Owner MLS
Searchable Webpage with 25 photos & Exhibits

It's just one example...Here is a link to the Google Search with other Agencies/Realtors who offer Flat-Fee Service...…

Good luck
0 votes
James Dudley, Agent, Suwanee, GA
Fri Jul 16, 2010
This is where discount realty companies like Buy Owner come into play.

Listing your home in the MLS won't help you much unless you intend to pay a commission to the Buyer's agent.

Many agents shy away from these types of listings because the seller typically will rely on the one agent involved to do all the work to complete the transaction, essentially only earning half the pay for all the work.

If you are serious about selling your home in this market you should consult a full service real estate company.
0 votes
Scott Askew, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Fri Jul 16, 2010
No. The Multiple Listing Services are a service for licensed real estate professionals. Real estate professionals pay for this valuable service.
0 votes
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