Author Topic: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?  (Read 2420 times)

Freedom2016

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 618
Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« on: April 07, 2019, 06:29:13 PM »
We're selling our house and have reason to believe it will be a popular listing: it's one of the cheapest homes in one of the best school districts in our state; there is very little inventory at our price point; it's a gorgeous lot in a prime location; when people found out we were moving, literally four different neighbors said they had friends who might want to buy it. Beyond all that, realtors are itching to get our listing, virtually promising that we'll get multiple offers at well over asking price.

So I'm toying with putting the word out early and trying to make a private sale happen to save 2.5-5% in realtor fees (including but going beyond the 4 neighbors...). I'm thinking we may also be able to save 8-10k in improvements that would need to be made in order to fetch top dollar via the realtor (painting, landscaping cleanup, a few repairs).

However: I'm a little nervous that if I send the word out informally, that we might actually get overwhelmed with inquiries and/or get strangers driving by our house / sneaking onto our property.

Is this anything to be concerned about? I was thinking that I'd maybe set one afternoon for anybody who's interested to come by, and have offers due by X date.

Advice? We have a real estate attorney who could handle the paperwork but otherwise we don't really know what we're doing. The thought of saving $25-40k in fees & expenses is very appealing...

Freedom2016

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 618
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2019, 06:42:04 PM »
Mods - sorry, duplicate post. Please delete!

Nick_Miller

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1092
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2019, 07:32:03 AM »
A few points:

1) If you go without an agent, prospective buyers will expect a "discount" and they'll likely have agents themselves, so I'd expect to get no more than a 2-3% savings on your end, at best.

2) I think agents' most valuable service is knowledge of the market, sale prices of comps, trends, etc. A real estate attorney may or may not have that level of info.

3) Are you buying a replacement home? Would you hire an agent for just that process, or are you moving to an apartment or something?

Trust me, I understand the temptation to try to save money. The thing is, you'll never really know if you made the right decision or if an agent could have fetched you a better sales price or created more of a bidding war. Are they still doing the "list low and create emotional attachment from prospective buyers and get tons of offers and create a feeding frenzy and know that at least one prospective buyer will get overly emotional and overpay" thing?

Case

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 755
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2019, 08:39:14 AM »
A few points:

1) If you go without an agent, prospective buyers will expect a "discount" and they'll likely have agents themselves, so I'd expect to get no more than a 2-3% savings on your end, at best.

2) I think agents' most valuable service is knowledge of the market, sale prices of comps, trends, etc. A real estate attorney may or may not have that level of info.

3) Are you buying a replacement home? Would you hire an agent for just that process, or are you moving to an apartment or something?

Trust me, I understand the temptation to try to save money. The thing is, you'll never really know if you made the right decision or if an agent could have fetched you a better sales price or created more of a bidding war. Are they still doing the "list low and create emotional attachment from prospective buyers and get tons of offers and create a feeding frenzy and know that at least one prospective buyer will get overly emotional and overpay" thing?

I'm not sure how that 'discount' will be arrived at; an extra % off the list price?  Based on a detailed analysis of the market to determine the fair market value?  All of these things are very fuzzy and always have some level of subjectivity.  In the end, it's a negotiation and a matter of what the buyer will pay and the seller will accept.  So I don't htink it really matters whether or not the buyer expects an additional discount.  E.g. the seller can just jack up her listing price by 1% to compensate for an expected 1% discount, although I don't think it's real anyways.

More important is whether the seller will have good access to the market, and whether buyers tend to form an negative preconceived notions on houses that are listed independently. 

Real estate agent fees are very expensive... couldn't the seller just Red Fin it to save a bit of that for certain, but not lose the marketing advantages of an agent?

YTProphet

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 204
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2019, 08:44:47 AM »
We're selling our house and have reason to believe it will be a popular listing: it's one of the cheapest homes in one of the best school districts in our state; there is very little inventory at our price point; it's a gorgeous lot in a prime location; when people found out we were moving, literally four different neighbors said they had friends who might want to buy it. Beyond all that, realtors are itching to get our listing, virtually promising that we'll get multiple offers at well over asking price.

So I'm toying with putting the word out early and trying to make a private sale happen to save 2.5-5% in realtor fees (including but going beyond the 4 neighbors...). I'm thinking we may also be able to save 8-10k in improvements that would need to be made in order to fetch top dollar via the realtor (painting, landscaping cleanup, a few repairs).

However: I'm a little nervous that if I send the word out informally, that we might actually get overwhelmed with inquiries and/or get strangers driving by our house / sneaking onto our property.

Is this anything to be concerned about? I was thinking that I'd maybe set one afternoon for anybody who's interested to come by, and have offers due by X date.

Advice? We have a real estate attorney who could handle the paperwork but otherwise we don't really know what we're doing. The thought of saving $25-40k in fees & expenses is very appealing...

I am a real estate attorney and a real estate broker. My advice is to just pay the broker fee.

1. Nick_Miller is correct below with point 1.
2. You'll also get the most eyes on your property when it goes into the MLS. Some buyers get spooked by FSBO.
3. The best buyers will already be represented by an agent and agents won't alert their buyers to FSBO properties because they'll assume there's no commission.

Nick_Miller

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1092
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2019, 08:59:34 AM »
I can say that when my wife and I looked for houses 2+ years ago, we were not interested in FSBO.  The reasons...

1) Anything "weird" or "not the norm" just spooks you when it comes to your biggest purchase you ever make. You want things to be smooth and normal as possible.
2) I assumed that the FSBO people were cheap and difficult to deal with, and would try to jerk us around. I wanted to deal with a professional, not the actual homeowner.
3) There was a pretty big overlap between the FSBO people and the "As Is" people, and again that didn't appeal to us at all.

YTProphet

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 204
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2019, 09:37:49 AM »
I can say that when my wife and I looked for houses 2+ years ago, we were not interested in FSBO.  The reasons...

1) Anything "weird" or "not the norm" just spooks you when it comes to your biggest purchase you ever make. You want things to be smooth and normal as possible.
2) I assumed that the FSBO people were cheap and difficult to deal with, and would try to jerk us around. I wanted to deal with a professional, not the actual homeowner.
3) There was a pretty big overlap between the FSBO people and the "As Is" people, and again that didn't appeal to us at all.

All correct points. People who do FSBO are usually cheap and unrealistic on price and hard to deal with. Fact.

Just sell on the MLS. It's easier and you'll probably  get a higher price anyways.

CowboyAndIndian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1498
  • Location: NJ, USA
    • KOWines: Deep discount wine/spirits store.
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2019, 10:01:19 AM »
You need to be on the MLS to get a lot of exposure. When you get listed on the MLS, you start showing up on sites such as Realtor.com, zillow.com etc.. Most users use these sites to pre-screen their houses.

I would suggest going with FSBO.com where you can get on the MLS.

Also, I would suggest that you do pay the buyers broker. That may be about 2%. If you do not pay a commission, they will not bring any buyers your way.

affordablehousing

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 352
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2019, 10:06:48 AM »
A counterargument. FSBO's can save a lot of money, just represent yourself clearly, put it on the MLS (pay the fee) and Zillow, hire someone to take great photographs if you don't have a DSLR, paint over the imperfections, and take on the role of broker yourself. Host open houses, schedule an offer and best and final dates and proceed as you would, just without an agent. If you look like a FSBO crank, you'll get people looking for a deep discount, if you just appear like a savvy home seller, people won't waste your time as much. Brokers are normal people who took a class and don't do anything magical, just look at comps yourself and ask your friends with bland senses of style to tell you what type of beige to paint things.

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8011
  • Location: United States
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2019, 11:20:09 AM »
I'm not sure how that 'discount' will be arrived at; an extra % off the list price?  Based on a detailed analysis of the market to determine the fair market value?

We sold a home privately. The buyers expected to split the difference of the real estate agents, since neither of us used them. They took the appraisal and since the commission to the buying and selling agent would be 6% total, they asked for a 3% discount from there.

In our case, this was our rental property, being sold to our tenants, and we just wanted to get rid of it.  Top dollar was not our goal.

If top dollar is your goal, listing with an agent, especially if you have a very desirable property, is likely worth the commission.

jps

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 174
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2019, 11:39:30 AM »
Could be a difference in how a buyer perceives FSBO based on the house itself. If it looks like it's well cared for, updated, etc, a buyer will be less wary of a FSBO than a property that looks bad.

Just like MMM's video on youtube about buying a car, he said, look for a car that looks like the person takes good care of their stuff - a well written listing, nice photos, spelling, punctuation, etc.

If you represent your house well, if it looks clean and well-maintained, and if you write about it professionally, you could potentially overcome some of the hesitations that someone might initially have about FSBO.

Nick_Miller

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1092
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2019, 11:47:14 AM »
I didn't necessarily assume that the FSBO people were unsophisticated or anything like that. It was more that I assumed they would be "difficult" and take the whole process personally, and that they wouldn't know how to "play the game."

I am an attorney, and I would rather deal with an insurance adjuster (whom I generally despise) any day over a "normal person" like a person in small claims court, or an unrepresented party in litigation. That is a giant PITA. It's the same thing to me.

affordablehousing

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 352
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2019, 01:10:36 PM »
Totally agree N_M. The issue with a FSBO is it's a lot of direct negotiating. Some people are comfortable with that some less so. The one time we bought a FSBO, we ended up really liking the seller, even though they were a grade A weirdo. Some (such as myself) find real estate agents even worse to deal with than random people.

Mississippi Mudstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2161
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Danielsville, GA
    • A Riving Home - Ramblings of a Recusant Woodworker
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2019, 01:41:21 PM »
I've bought 3 homes, and sold 2.

One of the three homes that we bought was FSBO. One of the two homes we sold was FSBO. Both of the FSBO transactions were smooth and painless. They saved both parties money. I highly recommend it. Buying or selling a home is really not that complicated for a reasonably competent individual. YMMV. You do need to be on MLS for exposure.

Ceredwyn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2019, 02:34:20 PM »
Another thing you could consider is selling with Redfin. Pay them 1% and the buyers agent 2%, 3% total instead of 5% but you keep the benefit of an MLS listing.

In theory a FSBO should be the most efficient thing for both parties but in practice you may outsmart yourself by scaring off the buyer who otherwise would be willing to pay the most for the home. Some buyers who might consider your house may also have a buyers agent, so you will need to decide whether you're willing to pay for those agents or not.

Also, regardless of which way you go, keep in mind that realtors and neighbors fighting over your house before its even listed means your asking price is (likely) too low. This can be a good strategy if you want to create a bidding war (where someone else's winner's curse is your profit) but just remember that FSBO will limit the number of bidders relative to paying realtors.

One final piece of personal anecdata - don't use any comp from Sep18 to Jan19 when listing; in many parts of the country the Feb/March transactions were significantly higher than recent history for a variety of reasons.

Good luck!

Freedom2016

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 618
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2019, 09:02:43 PM »
Hi all,

Thanks for all the food for thought. I am a little surprised at the amount of anti-FSBO sentiment... 2-3% savings in our case would be something like $18-20k. It doesn't seem typical for an MMM person to sneeze at that kind of money.

There is a pretty common thing in our town that sellers *who are planning to use agents* will put the word out informally before the listing goes live, to see if they can make a deal happen early. The agent who wants to list our home has offered to let us make a list of interested buyers; if one of them winds up buying the house, the agent will waive his fee.

Do any opinions change if the approach we take is more like the above than a full-on FSBO? I'm having trouble seeing the down side.

Oh, and for anyone wondering, we haven't set an asking price yet. People are clamoring to know more about the property without any price tags attached to it. The agent who wants to list our place sent info on 3 other properties in town who all went for $20-100k over their asking price... I can vouch for this; we just bought a new house in our town and had to compete with two other buyers.

Nick_Miller

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1092
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2019, 07:05:33 AM »
Hi all,

Thanks for all the food for thought. I am a little surprised at the amount of anti-FSBO sentiment... 2-3% savings in our case would be something like $18-20k. It doesn't seem typical for an MMM person to sneeze at that kind of money.

There is a pretty common thing in our town that sellers *who are planning to use agents* will put the word out informally before the listing goes live, to see if they can make a deal happen early. The agent who wants to list our home has offered to let us make a list of interested buyers; if one of them winds up buying the house, the agent will waive his fee.

Do any opinions change if the approach we take is more like the above than a full-on FSBO? I'm having trouble seeing the down side.

Oh, and for anyone wondering, we haven't set an asking price yet. People are clamoring to know more about the property without any price tags attached to it. The agent who wants to list our place sent info on 3 other properties in town who all went for $20-100k over their asking price... I can vouch for this; we just bought a new house in our town and had to compete with two other buyers.

Maybe I am reading other comments wrong, but I don't think anyone is "sneezing" at the effort to maximize profits. In fact, I think we are all discussing the most effective way to do that. Yes, agents charge fees, but if they bring stronger offers (and/or quicker offers), is the net result better for you?

And as I said earlier, no matter which way you go, you'll likely never know if the "other path" would have resulted in more money in your pocket. But hopefully it is helpful to you to discuss the pros and cons, hence the whole point of the post I guess, right?

And yes, if your agent is willing to waive a fee on the people already interested, then yeah I think that is a good in-between. I don't know of any agents around here who did that (maybe smaller agencies with more flexibility?)

Freedom2016

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 618
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2019, 07:08:18 AM »
Hi all,

Thanks for all the food for thought. I am a little surprised at the amount of anti-FSBO sentiment... 2-3% savings in our case would be something like $18-20k. It doesn't seem typical for an MMM person to sneeze at that kind of money.

There is a pretty common thing in our town that sellers *who are planning to use agents* will put the word out informally before the listing goes live, to see if they can make a deal happen early. The agent who wants to list our home has offered to let us make a list of interested buyers; if one of them winds up buying the house, the agent will waive his fee.

Do any opinions change if the approach we take is more like the above than a full-on FSBO? I'm having trouble seeing the down side.

Oh, and for anyone wondering, we haven't set an asking price yet. People are clamoring to know more about the property without any price tags attached to it. The agent who wants to list our place sent info on 3 other properties in town who all went for $20-100k over their asking price... I can vouch for this; we just bought a new house in our town and had to compete with two other buyers.

Maybe I am reading other comments wrong, but I don't think anyone is "sneezing" at the effort to maximize profits. In fact, I think we are all discussing the most effective way to do that. Yes, agents charge fees, but if they bring stronger offers (and/or quicker offers), is the net result better for you?

And as I said earlier, no matter which way you go, you'll likely never know if the "other path" would have resulted in more money in your pocket. But hopefully it is helpful to you to discuss the pros and cons, hence the whole point of the post I guess, right?

And yes, if your agent is willing to waive a fee on the people already interested, then yeah I think that is a good in-between. I don't know of any agents around here who did that (maybe smaller agencies with more flexibility?)

Fair enough. I like to think I know the market but I may very well be undervaluing what an agent could do for us. Another listing in town just went live and the asking price is a good $30k above what I would have thought makes sense. So maybe we'd be leaving a lot of money on the table to try to do it ourselves.

Thanks for the input!

affordablehousing

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 352
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2019, 03:51:28 PM »
You either have confidence in your own abilities to sell the house well or you don't. Darbin Orvar has a good youtube episode of her selling her house in a hot market herself. She got 10% over asking with a single open house and a traditional 21 day close.

The agent does agent work- prep, photograph and market the house, negotiate, check paperwork and advise. If you can do that work, awesome go for it. If you can't, hire it out. In a hot market like the bay area, people will buy if they see value in a property, agent or not. If you need to question the value the "validity" an agent gives your listing, why don't you just FSBO it yourself, and hire an agent on an hourly basis to just stand around at your open house (or even just some reasonable person who passes out the flyers). There are tons of agents who sell their own properties, and they do a reasonable job of hiding it. I can't imagine you couldn't get someone to do that for $500 an hour, and it would be worth it potentially if it makes some buyers more comfortable, but you are capping what you give up to the industry.

CowboyAndIndian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1498
  • Location: NJ, USA
    • KOWines: Deep discount wine/spirits store.
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2019, 07:41:01 PM »
You either have confidence in your own abilities to sell the house well or you don't. Darbin Orvar has a good youtube episode of her selling her house in a hot market herself. She got 10% over asking with a single open house and a traditional 21 day close.

The agent does agent work- prep, photograph and market the house, negotiate, check paperwork and advise. If you can do that work, awesome go for it. If you can't, hire it out. In a hot market like the bay area, people will buy if they see value in a property, agent or not. If you need to question the value the "validity" an agent gives your listing, why don't you just FSBO it yourself, and hire an agent on an hourly basis to just stand around at your open house (or even just some reasonable person who passes out the flyers). There are tons of agents who sell their own properties, and they do a reasonable job of hiding it. I can't imagine you couldn't get someone to do that for $500 an hour, and it would be worth it potentially if it makes some buyers more comfortable, but you are capping what you give up to the industry.

Thanks for the Darbin Orvar pointer. The link if you are interested is http://www.darbinorvar.com/blog/2018/8/29/how-we-sold-our-house-in-3-days-vlog

The one big issue with FSBO is that the buyers realtor will not bring buyers to see your FSBO house unless they get a commission.

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3179
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Texas
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2019, 05:42:03 AM »
I considered selling myself but went with an agent.  I'm pretty savy on real estate, have financed it for a while but dealing with homeowners and potential homeowners is emotional.  Its too big of a transaction to not have a professional represent me.

That being said, I had mine agree to a sliding scale commission.  If she gets more than a certain price, she gets 4%.  If it sells below a certain target, the 3% goes down to 2%

I've also re-traded a real estate agent's commission on my last house when the seller started asking for repairs and concessions.  I agreed to half and told both agents they could pay the other half if they wanted the deal to close.   I don't know (or doubt) I'll do this on the sliding scale offer, but another thing to consider.

Can you cut a deal where the agent puts a coming soon sign out and rebates some of the comission back to you if he/she doesn't have to incur the cost of pictures and actually putting it on MLS?  Remember everything is negotiatble.

radram

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 956
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2019, 06:50:39 AM »
We tried to FSBO our house 2 different times, both well before the days of zillow and craigslist. We had very good traffic, even back then, but just could not close the deal. We then tried with an agent, with the same result. Since then, we have rented it out for almost 20 years, have more money in our pocket that we originally asked, and still own the house which is worth 1.5 times the first asking price.

If I was not in a hurry(like leaving the state permanently), there is NO WAY I wouldn't try to sell it myself before going to an agent.

Keep us posted.

GreenToTheCore

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 153
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2019, 04:11:48 PM »
I'm on the FSBO side. What's the worst that can happen? If you decide you want an agent after all, you can still go get one.
(of course, do the math to understand your opportunity cost if it's taking longer than expected. However, it sounds like you're in a great position for multiple buyers.)

happy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5291
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2019, 05:45:18 AM »
I live in a different continent, but FWIW, another vote for avoiding FSBO. As a purchaser I've generally avoided these due to the above stated reasons. I did try to buy one property FSBO, because I really wanted it, but the owners and I did not have the same expectations at all re price, and despite all my research and logic and attempts to offer more than what I thought was a fair price, they were not going to move at all, so I gave up.

A good realtor will out-earn their commission especially with an in demand property: they are trained in such negotiations and do this every day. I've personally had great success with this several times. Most importantly though, have a good process for screening potential realtors and don't go with a poor one.

yodella

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 60
  • Location: US
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2019, 07:33:00 AM »
My husband and I very recently (as in just a few weeks ago) sold our home by owner.

We did a lot of research on Zillow beforehand to look for comps, and priced somewhat aggressively high.

We staged the house well, used our good camera to take nice, well-lit photos, and put them up up on Zillow along with a comprehensive description. We were also VERY clear in the ad that this was a FSBO, and that a buyer's agent commission was NOT included in the asking price.

Calls started flowing in within minutes, and we had 22 showings in three days. Many agents called despite the fact that we hadn't paid to list on MLS, and I think that was largely because their buyers found it on Zillow and liked the house enough to want to see it, no matter what the selling arrangement was.

After three days of showings we received multiple offers. The one we accepted was for our full asking price, PLUS the buyer was adding an additional 3% to pay his agent. Buyer also paid for inspection.

We are using a title company to handle the paperwork, which is costing about $1200. Overall we are saving nearly $20k, and are very happy we chose this route. Honestly, I didn't expect it to work; I thought we'd list by owner for a couple weeks, probably nothing would happen, and then we'd list with an agent and go from there. So it's been a very pleasant surprise.

I think ultimately, whether or not selling your house FSBO is a good idea depends on many factors. Your local market, your comfort with setting your own price/handling negotiations, and (most importantly) your house itself and it's condition and overall appeal will all inform whether or not this is a good option for you.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2019, 07:35:19 AM by yodella »

CowboyAndIndian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1498
  • Location: NJ, USA
    • KOWines: Deep discount wine/spirits store.
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2019, 01:01:14 PM »
My husband and I very recently (as in just a few weeks ago) sold our home by owner.

We did a lot of research on Zillow beforehand to look for comps, and priced somewhat aggressively high.

We staged the house well, used our good camera to take nice, well-lit photos, and put them up up on Zillow along with a comprehensive description. We were also VERY clear in the ad that this was a FSBO, and that a buyer's agent commission was NOT included in the asking price.

Calls started flowing in within minutes, and we had 22 showings in three days. Many agents called despite the fact that we hadn't paid to list on MLS, and I think that was largely because their buyers found it on Zillow and liked the house enough to want to see it, no matter what the selling arrangement was.

After three days of showings we received multiple offers. The one we accepted was for our full asking price, PLUS the buyer was adding an additional 3% to pay his agent. Buyer also paid for inspection.

We are using a title company to handle the paperwork, which is costing about $1200. Overall we are saving nearly $20k, and are very happy we chose this route. Honestly, I didn't expect it to work; I thought we'd list by owner for a couple weeks, probably nothing would happen, and then we'd list with an agent and go from there. So it's been a very pleasant surprise.

I think ultimately, whether or not selling your house FSBO is a good idea depends on many factors. Your local market, your comfort with setting your own price/handling negotiations, and (most importantly) your house itself and it's condition and overall appeal will all inform whether or not this is a good option for you.

The perfect FSBO! Great how you handled it.

If you don't mind, could you let us know where this was? I definitely understand if you do not wish to disclose it.

yodella

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 60
  • Location: US
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2019, 03:10:40 PM »
My husband and I very recently (as in just a few weeks ago) sold our home by owner.

We did a lot of research on Zillow beforehand to look for comps, and priced somewhat aggressively high.

We staged the house well, used our good camera to take nice, well-lit photos, and put them up up on Zillow along with a comprehensive description. We were also VERY clear in the ad that this was a FSBO, and that a buyer's agent commission was NOT included in the asking price.

Calls started flowing in within minutes, and we had 22 showings in three days. Many agents called despite the fact that we hadn't paid to list on MLS, and I think that was largely because their buyers found it on Zillow and liked the house enough to want to see it, no matter what the selling arrangement was.

After three days of showings we received multiple offers. The one we accepted was for our full asking price, PLUS the buyer was adding an additional 3% to pay his agent. Buyer also paid for inspection.

We are using a title company to handle the paperwork, which is costing about $1200. Overall we are saving nearly $20k, and are very happy we chose this route. Honestly, I didn't expect it to work; I thought we'd list by owner for a couple weeks, probably nothing would happen, and then we'd list with an agent and go from there. So it's been a very pleasant surprise.

I think ultimately, whether or not selling your house FSBO is a good idea depends on many factors. Your local market, your comfort with setting your own price/handling negotiations, and (most importantly) your house itself and it's condition and overall appeal will all inform whether or not this is a good option for you.

The perfect FSBO! Great how you handled it.

If you don't mind, could you let us know where this was? I definitely understand if you do not wish to disclose it.

A suburb on the far outskirts of a major Midwestern city.

CowboyAndIndian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1498
  • Location: NJ, USA
    • KOWines: Deep discount wine/spirits store.
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #27 on: April 12, 2019, 03:44:45 PM »
A suburb on the far outskirts of a major Midwestern city.

Thank you. I almost expected the Bay area or somewhere on the West coast where I hear they get multiple offers well over the asking price.

I think this would work in my part of NJ.

radram

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 956
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2019, 10:53:17 PM »

I think this would work in my part of NJ.

There's only 1 way to find out. List it!

CowboyAndIndian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1498
  • Location: NJ, USA
    • KOWines: Deep discount wine/spirits store.
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2019, 07:06:09 AM »

I think this would work in my part of NJ.

There's only 1 way to find out. List it!

I'll use @yodella and Darbin Orvar template. Probably have a 6-week deadline before I work with a realtor.

Another 3 years before that date, but good to prepare early.

Buffalo Chip

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 559
  • Location: Tidewater Virginia
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #30 on: April 13, 2019, 06:44:46 PM »
With apologies to any good real estate agents posting here  Iíd list it with MLS on my own, make sure you note that selling agents/ brokers protected for 3% and save the 3% listing agent fee.

The problem isnít with the fee, itís the shenanigans that seem to be rife with listing agents. If itís an active market, the property will sell. You can do your own research. And you wonít have to worry about pocket listings, agents who donít do squat once they get the listing, etc. Donít get me wrong, in a soft market a good listing agent who hustles and finds a buyer is pure gold. They just seem to be the exception.

Fuzz

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 337
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2019, 02:25:38 PM »
I know a handful of people that have bought and sold 10+ properties FSBO. If you have bought and sold a few times to learn the process and can handle the paperwork, it seems like a good idea to me, especially if your real estate market is hot. I'd give it a shot. And yes, your buyers will hope/expect to get a reduction based on the listing price.

There is a now dated famous freakonomics paper that shows that real estate agents sell their own homes for a higher price relative to the appraised value than the homes of their clients. It makes sense--a real estate agent is incentivized to close the deal, even it means leaving a few bucks on the table.

Freedom2016

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 618
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #32 on: July 17, 2019, 06:12:47 PM »
To update how this all went: we got a pre-market offer from friends-of-friends but they wanted to capture the entire 4-5% realtor savings themselves so we said no thanks. We went with a listing agent and wound up with two offers over asking price. In the end, after paying the realtor fees we came out a few thousand dollars ahead of the pre-market offer. Not a huge difference, but we are glad we used the realtor. It didn't feel good that the pre-market buyers wanted to capture the delta entirely for themselves.

happy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5291
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #33 on: July 18, 2019, 02:37:25 AM »
Thanks for the update. The commission is paid by the vendor....and so I think you were right to reject the first offer if you thought it was below market price.

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3179
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Texas
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #34 on: July 18, 2019, 05:28:13 AM »
Glad to see the update and sorry the first offer didn't come through.

I responded earlier - I wish I would have put a "coming soon" sign out for a month and tried to sell it ourselves.  I didn't get the value I expected out of the $40,000 in real estate commissions.

SavinMaven

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 89
Re: Try to 'private sell' our house or not?
« Reply #35 on: July 20, 2019, 08:34:07 AM »
Glad this worked out well for the OP. Just wanted to put this out there because I thought it was clever, and wished we'd thought of it for a home we sold 5 years ago. I think it would only work well for a newer or freshly updated house in a popular neighborhood:

A home near us just went on MLS with essentially a silent auction process described in the listing. The initial ask was well under market value (80k to 100k under comps). There were about three weeks for showings, and then a date and time specified at which all offers then on the table would be considered. So the sellers sat back and collected offers, went through them one weekend and picked their favorite. Essentially a time-compressed bidding war - wish we'd thought of that!