Do For Sale For Owners Save Money?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Carlson Properties 325-721-2429 0528582

Today I talked to a "For Sale by Owner" and they own a house t hat I have previously staged. One positive outcome to staging a home, is that one never forgets that experience and there remains a bond to that home that doesn't disappear entirely.  When I saw that For Sale By Owner sign in less than a year a little pain went through my heart and I felt the question arising from deep inside: "What has gone wrong?" 

Fortunately after visiting with the current owners, they have good reasons to move on, to get closer to a job and closer to family. When I asked for the listing, they explained they wouldn't be able to afford to as if that is any surprise to anyone!   

Money is the reason I hear most often from "For Sale by Owners."  Does this reason pan out?   Obviously not or the For Sale signs would  not disappear being replaced instead  by Realtor signs. One house that I have shown has very outdated wallpaper and overpriced to boot.  I don't have a crystal ball, but the wallpaper is either going to be painted or the sales price is going to come down about $20,000.  This is a huge high end home for my area.

I picked up a flyer from a For Sale by Owner out of box and It's black and white and incredibly enough no where on it is the owner's name.  I guess I'm picky.  One thing for sure For Sale By Owners flyer's won't be the reason buyers beat a path to their door.  Another flyer has just the first name of the owner on it.  I find that a little odd as if the owner thinks that somehow that will protect her privacy?!

My favorite explanation is that I'm going to test the market for a month.  The sad truth the market is already tested day in and day out by very competent buyers who are only going to pay what they think the house is worth!   

Cute Cottage Style Home that I own and rent in Abilene Texas!                             


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Beverly Carlson,  REALTOR, GRI, ASP, IAHSP, RESA


Carlson Properties           

Abilene, Texas


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Julie Messina
CNN Mortgage - Scottsdale, AZ

Selling a house is already stressful.  A FSBO is worse.  I have had financed two FSBO  transactions this year and they were both delayed in geting docs to the closing table.  Homebuyers and sellers think they are saving on the realtor fees but a FSBO sends up a red flag for underwriters (possible fraud), causes appraisal issues, and whenever the buyer or seller does not know the answer to something they call the lender (me) and I think "if they were using a realtor we wouldnt be having these challenges".  You (Realtors) take about 80% of the stress out of the transaction.

Jun 09, 2009 02:14 PM #1
Beverly Carlson
Carlson Properties 325-721-2429 - Abilene, TX
Abilene's Staging Realtor

Julie,  It is nice to hear that we Realtors reduce about 80 percent of the stress.   I think that is one of the overlooked tasks of the For Sale By Owners is that someone needs to represent the buyer to keep the buyer motivated to do what it takes to get the loan taken care of. 

Jun 09, 2009 03:40 PM #2
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Beverly, what a great post. FSBOs don't seem to realize that they tend to LOSE $$ by trying to sell that way. When they see comparables, they tend to forget that the commission paid was built into the price of the home. So that means, technically, their home should be worth that % less than the one that sold, when you look at it that way... :-)

Jun 10, 2009 01:13 AM #3
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Beverly Carlson

Abilene's Staging Realtor
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