For Sale By Owner War Was Waged and I didn't Even Know!

Real Estate Agent with Future Home Realty

I recently have been targeting a local waterfront area for FSBO's and learning this niche. When I first started out a few years ago, I had been told by veteran agents that there was much potential there, but I was still wet behind the ears and not yet comfortable with my knowledge of real estate, the pro's to hiring a Realtor, the cons (perceived by some prospects) and still learning the area that I had just moved to. Over time all these answers have come with trial, error and great success!

Forgive my naivity- but I was a little shocked when I came to this website:

Not that I didn't know there were books to help FSBO's, websites, companies that listed in MLS for a flat fee and so forth. What really took me back and quite frankly made me laugh a little was the underlying tone of ..."don't wast your money on such a person, the Realtor, for they do not deserve their commissions, what they do is merely a simple-mans work". "You, Mrs. FSBO can do it ALL yourself and just as good if not better, with ease".

I commend the informational world we live is quite handy. There is "How To" information everywhere. Just like we see on the Home and Garden Network to renovate your kitchen. But make no mistake, An Extreme Home Makeover program never tells you how easy it is and you don't have to pay thousands to have a professional help you. They will show you how it is done and the potential risk if not done properly- that's it. Reason being is because yes- each one of us, could probably "do" lots of things that we pay for- but we don't. Why? Because we are not the professional. These FSBO sites make it such a war on Realtors regarding our commissions. Why? Because we work hard, invest in our business plenty, continually educate ourselves and assist our clients through a sales and purchase contract with confidence- one of the largest and important purchases or sales they will make in their life? Why don't they ever say somewhere in there- you can potentially save yourself money by selling your home yourself, however, we always recommend consulting with a professional first. Or, do not try this at home could end up being sued if you don't know all the rules surrounding the contract and process.

OH, now I remember why! Because these companies are trying to make money too. The very same thing that they are trying to take away from us with sugar coated advertising. Dig deeper into these sites and it will all come down to "a small upfront fee", "a one time upfront fee" and "upfront advetisement cost" and you still have to do all the leg work. Funny? We Realtors know that we will sell your home, we know that we will find you the best deal and in knowing so, Mr. Seller or Mrs. Buyer, I don't get paid until YOU are completely satisfied.

Now, this is NOT to say that FSBO transactions haven't been done. We know they have by those catchy little commercials we see late at night- Thanks By Owner! Sure there might have been FSBO's closings that were quite successful over the course of time. But this website just brings to light (very brightly) we have a HUGE obligation to educate all your clients and prospects on why it is important to hire a professional. Or to at least consult with a professional first so you can weigh the positives and negatives with realistic facts, numbers, comparatives and so forth. FSBO's can have a great relationship with a local agent and actually learn from them. Sometimes they try but at least they know they have someone they can turn to if and when the time comes. We can be allies not enemies because of ....... commissions!

I saw the icon that said- FSBO's can list on too...but then realized it's just another gimmick to get an upfront fee and put a home on the MLS- still have to go through a real estate brokerage. Theirs. Then I saw that a Buyer can make an offer on a FSBO, no problem. All you have to do is make sure you get your report summary of the home (like a real estate CMA) and hire an attorney (for a "small fee") to review your real estate documents and answer questions and etc...all the while I am thinking....why would any Buyer chose to do this? You can have top of the notch representation at NO COST TO YOU, with the ease of mind of knowing you are in a professionals hands to guide you and protect you from pitfalls. An agent, who will bend over backwards to find the best home for you.

After being armed with all the knowledge I have today, this website and these "tools"to help FSBO's and Buyers that may want to buy a FSBO home, actually is a good thing. It shows us agents, yet again, those who can't do, try to knock down others who can and make money in doing so by offer a severly watered down version of our services.


Comments (1)

Donald Wenner
Keller Williams Maplewood Mid-Town Direct - Florham Park, NJ


Good post.  In my area there is a guy who goes after FSbos by charging them a flat fee to put them on the mls and include a sentence and 1 photo.  Showing instructions = "call owner"

He lists them at a super low commission and that is all the service provided.  So this knucklehead is on of the people who the FSbo site is warning Mrs. homeseller about.


Sep 17, 2009 05:43 AM