Author Topic: Does FSBO work?  (Read 8450 times)

akajoe87

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Does FSBO work?
« on: May 23, 2015, 07:25:46 PM »
I have my house listed on Zillow and have had some action. Has anyone tried forsalebyowner.com or another marketing tool that works well? I sold houses in the past with agents and I hate paying commission on my hard earned equity. 

hello867

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2015, 07:33:24 PM »
We sold ours last year on forsalebyowner - it took about 60 days on the market to sell. We found that it was essential to get listed on the MLS to get traction and you can achieve this through forsalebyowner or other sites that are actually cheaper. Just make sure to double check your listing on the MLS as that is what matters. Also taking amazing photos and having your house in showroom condition matters a lot.


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forummm

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2015, 07:43:03 PM »
I tried to sell by myself once. I wasn't very good at it. The only calls I got were from agents trying to talk me into listing it with them. And most of those were liars, pretending to be interested in the house for their nonspecific clients and asking if they could come check it out and talk to me about it. Of course once they did come out, it was all about signing me up. Even when I said on the phone "I am not interested in listing it with you. Are you trying to get me to list it with you?" they would baldface lie to me.

If you can get some action on Zillow or another site, good for you. The MLS access is the big barrier to getting to where most of the buyers are, so you would be wise to get into that. I didn't know how to do that other than through a realtor.

thedayisbrave

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2015, 08:53:51 AM »
There are fee-based services that will list your home on the MLS for you for an upfront flat fee. 

I would hire a professional photographer.  They are relatively inexpensive (about $150 around here) for the value they provide.

Also make sure your home is priced right.  That is what will keep it from sitting on the market.  Sellers typically overestimate the value of their home, just because they are emotionally attached - see if you can talk to an appraiser or have a CMA done (should cost maybe $500 at most).

Full disclosure - I'm a real estate agent :)

waltworks

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2015, 01:14:33 PM »
Without knowing your specific story; I have looked at a ton of FSBO properties in my life. They were inevitably either trashed, horribly overpriced, or otherwise undesirable. I hardly bother to look at FSBO listings anymore, because honestly, the owners are basically all crazy IMO. I'm sure there are nice reasonable people who do sell FSBO but I've just never encountered one.

If your place isn't moving, take a hard look at whether selling it yourself makes sense. Or drop the price dramatically.

-W

akajoe87

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2015, 01:33:59 PM »
Well I have had it on zillow for 15 days and have one person coming to check it out this week. So FSBO is working but it seems slow. I am consisting listing on mls at this point.

waltworks

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2015, 02:18:10 PM »
You should be getting a lot of showings in the first week, or you're doing it wrong. As the listing gets older and older it becomes less and less appealing to buyers.

You've priced your place wrong and/or failed to reach your target buyers.

-W

akajoe87

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2015, 02:22:50 PM »
Houses like mine are goingFor $170k in my area and I have it listed at $189k to give me room for negotiation. So you think that's too high to list it?

forummm

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2015, 02:29:51 PM »
Houses like mine are goingFor $170k in my area and I have it listed at $189k to give me room for negotiation. So you think that's too high to list it?

I'm not a real estate professional. But my sense from buying/selling houses is that if the price is right or too low the day it hits the MLS, you'll get a bunch of interest and offers right away. And you can have interested parties bid against each other. If the price is too high, interest will be very limited and it will take longer to sell.

Norrie

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2015, 02:47:48 PM »
We are under contract to sell our house right now, and we only listed it on Zillow. We started out with a realtor and we were asking far too much. She said that we should just to see what happened. Unfortunately, those first days/weeks are the most important time for a listing, and we blew it. Then we headed into the holidays (Thanksgiving/Christmas), and no one was out looking. Once our contract with the realtor expired in January, we listed it ourselves.

The key has really been doing open houses at least 2-3 times a month. It's a pain in the ass, but on a regular day on Zillow we get about 45 views. When we list that there's an open house the following weekend, that shoots up to over 100 views.

It's taken a very, very long time to sell our house, but I think that most of that was due to being over-priced and listing right before the holidays, not because we were for sale by owner. Our realtor got far fewer people going through it than we did. (But yeah, constant calls from realtors trying to convince us to list with them.)

akajoe87

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2015, 02:52:11 PM »
My question is if I am willing sell for $170 how much should I list my house? It is $189 on zillow now.

thedayisbrave

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2015, 04:30:31 PM »
My question is if I am willing sell for $170 how much should I list my house? It is $189 on zillow now.

Only one showing in over a week being listed is pretty bad, IMO.  It shows that you are likely overpriced.  Have you tried looking up the list price to sold price ratio of nearby homes? That should help you determine the best listing range.  It also depends on your local market -- houses where I am are selling at about 95%-97% of list price on average, but that's because there are far more buyers than sellers at the moment. 

forummm

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2015, 04:53:21 PM »
My question is if I am willing sell for $170 how much should I list my house? It is $189 on zillow now.

Only one showing in over a week being listed is pretty bad, IMO.  It shows that you are likely overpriced.  Have you tried looking up the list price to sold price ratio of nearby homes? That should help you determine the best listing range.  It also depends on your local market -- houses where I am are selling at about 95%-97% of list price on average, but that's because there are far more buyers than sellers at the moment. 


OP said that houses like theirs are currently going for $170k. Sounds like the price needs to come down a bit.

Norrie

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2015, 05:16:08 PM »
My question is if I am willing sell for $170 how much should I list my house? It is $189 on zillow now.

The comps (which are found on the bottom of your Zillow listing) are really crucially important. We thought that we'd start high and see if there was any interest, and then slowly work our way down to a more reasonable price. This was absolute insanity, because the longer a house lingers, the more it's ignored on Zillow.

We're in a similar place, price-wise. We would have been okay with selling ours for $172,000 (though not a penny less), but we actually ended up with a full price offer ($178,500) with the agreement that we would pay up to $5,900 in closing costs. So it all evened out in the end.

I think that if you want to move it fast and get lots of people in, you need to list it at $174,900. This gets it under the $175K mark that may be a cut off for folks, but gives you about $5,000 worth of room for negotiating.

PM me if you want a link to our Zillow listing so you can see how incredibly long ours has been listed, how many price drops we've made, and how many views it's had, etc.

Good luck!

forummm

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2015, 05:23:37 PM »
If the house sits on the market too long, people wonder "what's wrong with it?". There's also a time cost to you because of the opportunity cost of the money. But with interest rates low, perhaps that's not a huge cost at this point. The cost of it weighing on your mind, or needing to move, etc, might be greater.

Another Reader

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2015, 05:41:06 PM »
The rule in real estate is no showings means the property is priced 10 percent or more above market value.  Showings but no offers means the property is priced more than 5 percent above market value.  From the numbers you listed, it sounds like you are 10 percent above the market range.  In addition, lots of buyers won't bother with an overpriced FSBO.  They figure, based on experience, the seller wants an above market price for their house and will not negotiate.

Did you discuss listing the house with any agents before you went the FSBO route?  Did they give you estimates of the property value with an analysis of comparable sales and suggest a list price and marketing strategy?  You might want to talk to the two or three top selling agents in your neighborhood to get their opinions of the house value, their marketing approach, and a list of things that need to be done to get the highest price and sell quickly.  Then you can make a reasoned decision about selling it yourself or paying an agent to do the job.

waltworks

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2015, 07:08:16 PM »
$170k, probably. A CMA will tell you better but obviously $189k is way, way too high.

-W

My question is if I am willing sell for $170 how much should I list my house? It is $189 on zillow now.

akajoe87

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2015, 07:18:54 PM »

Did you discuss listing the house with any agents before you went the FSBO route?  Did they give you estimates of the property value with an analysis of comparable sales and suggest a list price and marketing strategy?  You might want to talk to the two or three top selling agents in your neighborhood to get their opinions of the house value, their marketing approach, and a list of things that need to be done to get the highest price and sell quickly.  Then you can make a reasoned decision about selling it yourself or paying an agent to do the job.

The agents said if I listed for $160 I could sell it fairly quick. If I listed for $170 it may take sometime to sell but probly could sell it. I have a year before I need to sell. So from what everyone is saying I feel that $174K my be a good price to set it.

waltworks

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2015, 09:39:54 PM »
You are in over your head. Get a CMA, at the very least. Probably, hire a realtor. Why did you list it now if you don't need to sell it for a year?

-W

akajoe87

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2015, 03:07:17 AM »
I listed it a year in advanced because the last house I listed with an agent took about 9 months to sell. So I figured if I do FSBO I better give it a year.

forummm

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2015, 07:04:03 AM »
If you sell it now, instead of in a year, is that a problem for you?

A house on the market for a year screams "PROBLEM HOUSE".

akajoe87

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2015, 07:06:56 AM »
It is not a problem if I sell now or a year from now. Just not over a year though.

Norrie

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2015, 09:51:54 AM »
I absolutely agree that you don't want to list it now just to see if you get any nibbles unless you're going to list it at a reasonable price, and put every effort into showing it and doing weekly open houses. Trust me on this, as we're just now under contract for our house that has been listed for 248 days (whee!).

The other thing that we didn't expect, was that after our three months were up with our realtor, we took our house down from Zillow for a week or so before re-listing it. When we re-listed, it didn't start fresh as "1 day on Zillow", it simply started adding to the days that she'd had it up. So if you're considering putting it up now just to see what happens, then taking it down and starting a fresh listing, ain't gonna work.

Truly the most important part is checking the comps in your immediate area (Zillow makes this a breeze), and pricing correctly. Have a super honest friend come over and tell you what needs to be cleaned up more, painted, or freshened up. We thought that we had our house in great shape, but my best friend was able to point out things that we'd grown so used to that we didn't notice. Now our house is noticeably cleaner/tighter than pretty much any other house in that price range. People comment on it all the time.

I don't think that you need a year to sell your house. I think that you just need to have it in great shape, priced well, and do open houses constantly. I also think that you need to list it at a time when people are buying (right now, as opposed to going into the holidays).

forummm

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2015, 10:10:50 AM »
An appraisal might cost you $300-$400, but it will give confidence to buyers if you say in the ad that it appraised for $180k or whatever the amount was. If you don't have a realtor, and it's been on the market for months, people might think you don't know how to price the house to sell. And it sounds like you have purposefully priced it too high, so that could be a good assumption. And MLS is worth the investment if you do a good job with the photos and write up. I had mine as a FSBO for a month or two, priced aggressively (8% below appraisal). I kept the same price, but listed with a realtor (who was recommended by a bunch of co-workers) who took lots of good photos and had a good write-up and put it in MLS. I was under contract within a week. Sure, I was out 3% for the benefit of the help (plus 3% for buyer's agent and 4% for buyer's closing costs--both of which I'd probably have to pay anyway). But the 3% was comparable to the costs I had of holding on to it for longer.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 10:14:35 AM by forummm »

LiveLean

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2015, 11:36:39 AM »
I plan to sell our primary residence of 16 years in the next two years and I'll do it FSBO. I find most real estate agents to be idiots. The guy who sold us our house in 1999 was such a douchebag that I went to real estate school to get a license -- took just two weeks -- in large part to see if I could bring the guy up on charges with the Florida Real Estate Commission. (The statute of limitations had passed).

I never planned to work in real estate -- and haven't -- but I've dutifully renewed my license every two years and now also have an investment property. I know my area and market better than anyone, live on a high-traffic street, and have plenty of pro photographer friends.

No way am I giving some lazy Realtor 5 to 7 percent to sit on their ass and wait for people to call off the MLS.

I can't wait to put my house on the market and have the Realtor who sold it to me call and see if he can "preview" the house. I'm going to have him over and go Alec Baldwin Glengarry Glenross on him before I kick his pompous ass out the door.

waltworks

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2015, 05:23:40 PM »
Why would you hire a realtor if you have a RE license yourself (and can presumably list on MLS)? I'm confused by your comment.

OP is NOT a RE professional or (it appears) particularly sophisticated about RE (list at ~15% over market value?!?) My guess is that FSBO is a money loser for that type of person. For someone who is a pro/semi pro, different story.

-W

akajoe87

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2015, 05:06:42 AM »
I agree that real estate agents are not at all worth 5-7%. The house appraised for $220 but I have to sell it much lower due to the market value in my area. I'm confident I can sell it on my own. I just wanted some input from my Mustachian community.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2015, 05:56:24 AM »
So your appraisal was fake. That doesn't help anything.

waltworks

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #28 on: May 26, 2015, 08:04:41 AM »
WTF kind of phoney baloney appraisal is ~25% off?!?

If your house will sell for $170, that's what it's worth, and what it should have appraised for (assuming this was a recent, professional appraisal).

-W

MayDay

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #29 on: May 28, 2015, 05:33:36 AM »
We are under contract and listed FSBO. We only got two showings in a month, plus 2 from an open house. That's a function of not being on the MLS, not being priced high, IMO. Because we got an offer from the second showing.

zephyr911

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Re: Does FSBO work?
« Reply #30 on: May 28, 2015, 11:26:51 AM »
I agree that real estate agents are not at all worth 5-7%.
In a free market economy, products and services are worth whatever a buyer is willing to pay. Most people find it worthwhile - between time saved, experience in real estate, and added exposure potentially yielding a higher sale price, the commission largely comes back to them.
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The house appraised for $220 but I have to sell it much lower due to the market value in my area.
Pretty much addressed already, but what you just said was your appraisal was crap.
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I'm confident I can sell it on my own. I just wanted some input from my Mustachian community.
FSBO works well for about one in five sellers; the rest end up getting an agent. You're definitely getting a lot of good advice here, and if you play your cards right, you can get market value or close to it. Good luck. :)