FSBO Tip #1: Establish a relationship with a good Realtor
I know you do not want to list your home and you want to save the commission but you should still establish a relationship with a Realtor for several reasons:
- A Realtor can help you establish a fair market price for your home based on comparable sales in your area.
- A Realtor can help you prepare your home for a sale and give you some staging and marketing tips based on what is going on in your area.
- A Realtor can tell you which forms you will need to use throughout the process (Property Disclosure Documents, contract, etc.).
- A Realtor can possibly even help you with the paperwork and the transaction once you find a buyer (for a pre-determined fee) so that you have a successful sale.
The first mistake For Sale By Owners make is to think that once they find a buyer, their work is done when in actuality, that's when the work starts. According to the National Association of Realtors, 2 out of 3 transactions do not close when there are no Realtor involved. Don't take that chance. When you interview Realtors, ask them if they can unbundle their fees and possibly help you close the sale once you have a buyer for your home.
Why would a Realtor help you if you're not listing your home, you ask?
Our business is all about relationships and referrals. You may be buying another home or know someone else on the market to buy or sell a home. Besides, only 15 to 20% of For Sale By Owners are successful in selling their homes themselves so there is a great possibility that you will eventually list your home with a Realtor.
Having a Realtor on your side also means that if you can't sell your home on your own, you will know where to turn right away to take the burden off of your hands.
Tip #2: Offer to compensate if a Realtor brings you a buyer
Yes, you want to save the commission but you also want to sell your home, right? If you have a sign in your yard, Realtors will call you to either list your home or get information about your home if they think they might have a buyer for it. Don't push them away; they may be able to help you sell your home.
If you've established a relationship with a Realtor (see tip #1) and another agent call, simply say: "I have a Realtor that will list my home if I am unable to sell it on my own, however, if you bring me a buyer, I will compensate you __% or $________" (for a fixed dollar amount).
When we work with buyers, we try to find them the best house for them and sometimes that home happens to be a FSBO (many of my buyers have bought FSBO in the past and still used me as their agent in the transaction). Be nice and polite to Realtors when they call. Who knows where your buyer will be coming from?
More tips to come...