For Sale by Owners

for sale by ownersAs a matter of regular business, I do some prospecting of for sale by owners. I am always fascinated by just how much many of these people detest real estate agents. Others are just plain unreasonable.

I recently found this ad on Craigslist:

Drive-by viewings, then we’ll need your offer subject to final inspection. ALL viewings are by appointment only. If you’re seriously still interested, please forward your contact information including name and contact phone #, for me to call and discuss your terms please.

No, I don’t need an agent, so please don’t ask, thank you. No I am not interested in your rent to own, owner carry, or any other “non-conventional” sales/purchase offers you may have for me. No Brokers either please, thanks.

I DON’T NEED TO SELL, SO save your LOW BALL OFFERS for those failing and corrupt banking institution deals!!!! Because of all the SPAM/SCAM on Craigslist, No PHONE NUMBER, No contact sorry!!

Does this ad motivate you to contact the owner? Seems to me this person is not only angry, but doesn’t want to sell his house.  Yes, there are low balls, and yes, there are some scams on Craigslist, and yes there are some aggressive Realtors, but honestly, that is just part of the ride. Most folks navigate these annoyances with a tad more grace.

I had a second fun interaction with another ‘for sale by owner.’ The ad indicated that they were willing to pay buyer’s agents their commission. As I do in this circumstance, I offered to put their home on the MLS as a (fsbo) for a flat fee of $199. If you’re serious about selling a home, the MLS will get you 10 times for attention.

First, I was asked if I provided a professional photo shoot for that price (those cost $150). When I said that I did not, the owner was quite snide and asked why I just didn’t bring a buyer.  The seller also offered the fact that they expect the buyer’s agent to do both sides of the transaction paperwork for their commission.

Where do people get this stuff? No agent in their right mind would do both sides of a transaction for the same price, let alone the legal consequences the Realtor might encounter by doing so. But again, this speaks to the disrespect and devaluation of our services. I often wonder where the attitudes come from. For instance, did these sellers have bad experiences with Realtors in the past? Do they feel burned because they lost money in their home?

What I want to say about all of this is that it’s a shame. Are there horrible Realtors? You bet. I’ve also met some horrible doctors, and yet, I continue to use them as necessary….same with plumbers, electricians, and sales people of all kinds. Most Realtors are incredibly hard working and decent.

Are commissions steep? Yes. What most consumers forget though is that our commissions pay us NOT JUST for the buying or selling process of a home, but for the dozens of hours we may have spent getting to that point. We often spend hours and hours driving buyers around with no compensation for our time and gas. We may spend months advertising a listing that never sells. These are uncompensated tasks and hours of our lives.

I’ve often wished we got paid more like doctors and lawyers do…a flat fee for face time with monthly billing. That way, consumers would pay for the time they use. But honestly, consumers don’t much like lawyers either!

So if you are selling for sale by owner ’, remember that 80% of people who start out this way, eventually list their home. Although you CAN sell your home on your own, Realtors do this way more often than you do.  We are up to date on the laws, have marketing tools at our fingertips, and have relationships with one another. If we’re worth our weight, we will also get you a higher price for your home than you will obtain yourself.

Even if you do sell your home yourself, chances are that you will be dealing with a Realtor on the other end. After all, most buyers still use Realtors.

So, if you’ve met some bad eggs in the business, I’m sorry. If you’ve lost money, I’m sorry. If you think we’re overpaid, I’m sorry. But your attitude towards us will no help you get your home sold and will only make it harder. Think twice, and give the next Realtor you deal with a chance.