is it worth the price???

Real Estate Agent with Prudential Preferred Realtors

I love the for sale by owner market! In the Grand Rapids, Michigan real estate market and the Michigan real estate market in general, trying to be a for sale by owner takes a lot of guts.  I don't mean this in a bad way.  What I mean is that it is tough enough to sell even when you are represented by a Realtor because there are so many homes for sale in the Grand Rapids marketplace.  As of the end of May, the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors board (GRAR) reported that there were over 15,000 listings from January through May of this year.  That is a lot of homes for sale and doesn't even include the for sale by owner population. - Does it Work?

I don't know, you tell me?  I do have an interesting story that I've heard about this website that I thought I would share.  The person that shared the story with me was so disappointed with the service and the money that was spent that she swore she would tell others not to use the site.  Obviously, as a Realtor I was very curious.  Here's the complaints she had with

  • She initially paid the money to be on the website, and the listing was incorrect and needed to be changed.
  • When no phone calls were coming in, she looked at the website again and found that the number published was incorrect and transposed.
  • She called several times about this transposed number to be assured it would be taken care of.  Several times later, they finally got it right.
  • After that, her listing would suddenly "not be there".  She would call asking what was going on, it would come back on but would disappear again.

Obviously, this person was very frustrated with the system.  Also, as a Realtor I personally can't confirm or deny how good their system is.  The only thing I can do is tell you one of my stories or actually a story from a for sale by owner that I helped.  Even though I provide great service, my goal is not to brag about me.  It's just good to get another person's perspective about the for sale by owner process and some of the pitfalls with selling a home. 

So here it is:

 "I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all the hard work you did to sell my house.  As you know, I had it "For Sale By Owner" for about 6 or 7 months with hardly any traffic and no offers.  I thought because my house was in a good location and good school, I could sell it myself.  And, maybe in a different housing market, I could have, but with the current house sales climate, I am so glad I had you working for me.  You had great suggestions for making the house "pop" and I couldn't believe how fast my house was on the internet with so many beautiful photographs.  When you drive around and see house after house for sale, many empty, it gets kind of scary wondering if your house will sell.  Thanks for taking all my nervous phone calls.  I know it only took you 2 or 3 months to actually sell my house, the waiting time is nerve racking.  Thanks for being so patient with me.  I also appreciate all the information you gave me and the phone calls keeping me up to date all the time.  If I hear of anyone buying or selling, I will definitely recommend that they call you.  You more than earned your commission! "

Saving on Commission

When someone tries to sell a home as a for sale by owner, they obviously want to save on the commission.  I would too!  It costs a lot of money to sell a home.  The question you need to ask yourself is, "How much is your time worth?, Can you handle the stress of selling a home?, and What will it take in the Michigan marketplace to sell your home?"

I would be more than happy to answer your questions.  For other articles and help, feel free to visit my website at:


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Terry Lynch
LAR Notary and Closing Services - Saint Clair Shores, MI

It is not worth the price in this market, why would a buyer want to deal with a FSBO when there are so many listed properties to choose from?

Jun 26, 2007 04:00 PM #1
Frank Harris
Keller Williams Realty Centre - Columbia, MD

Nice Story and good point terry.

They are saying buyer and sellers are more savvy, if so it's only a matter of time before the truly realize that obtaining representation of a Realtor is a good thing.

Jun 30, 2007 04:18 PM #2
Greg Renfrow
Marx-Bensdorf, REALTORS - Memphis, TN

Great point. Hopefully, 'real sellers' will see the value a Realtor brings when it come to negotiating and closing a real estate transaction.

Nov 14, 2008 09:40 AM #3
Dave Sifers

It must be nice to be in an area where the realtors are actually working (?)  I can tell you my experience in Illinois, Nebraska, and Colorado realtors are not earning their money. 5-7% commision to sit on their butts and ask me (seller) to do all the legwork and keep the sign in good shape and the flyer box filled (at my expense).  I haven't met the realtor yet worth $8-10,000 to sell a residential property.  I can see why you don't want homeowners selling their own properties, it kills your goldmine!

Dec 14, 2009 01:24 PM #4
Sally Wisecroft

I agree with Dave.  I interviewed 4 different realtors to take on my house.  Between the female realtors showing up with 6-inch heels on and not even wanting to look around my property, and them handing me tons of paperwork for me to do myself............the thought of potentially paying one of them the $15,000 - $20,000 fee was making me sick.

I had to teach 2 of them how to get onto the county property appraiser's website since they had no idea they could access those publicly over the internet.  Gee whiz!

And I reviewed each of their realtor websites and was astonished at the multiple misspellings and grammatical errors.  I was beginning to wonder if any of them had even graduated from high school let alone earn a realtor's license.

I saw how lazy the realtor was that my neighbor hired............she whipped through the home with potential buyers quite abruptly because she said it was too warm outside for her;  she left the broken "for sale" sign hanging for months before she finally fixed it;  she went on vacation across the country for 2 months without a replacement realtors;  etc........

I realized I was smarter than any realtor I witnessed or interviewed.  I did the FSBO and within 4 months I sold my $318,000 home.  And I sleep peacefully at night knowing I didn't have to fork over that huge commission to some undeserving knucklehead.

Jun 18, 2010 09:42 AM #5
Tammy Stone
Prudential Preferred Realtors - Grand Rapids, MI
"Eco-Green" Agent in West Michigan

Dave and Sally~It makes me sad to hear some of your comments especially when I pride myself on giving my best to the industry and my career.  I understand where you are coming from and have heard some of these comments before.  The best answer I can say is that there a good Realtors and bad Realtors.  Most of my business comes from referrals of people who have worked with me and trust me... which is the way that it should be in business.

Selling on your own does work for some people and for others, it's simply not what they want to do.  Finding a good agent to help is always the key and interviewing several agents may be the ticket.  Good luck in all your future endeavors.


Jun 22, 2010 03:39 AM #6

Tammy, you might be a rare one.  I've been tossing up the idea of using For Sale By Owner or a realtor, since I too don't see what realtors do to earn this money - you have to do everything for them.  I've sold 2 homes, same experience.  They seemed to be only good at making nice business cards.  Greg Renfrow's comment above convinced me to go with For Sale by owner though.  "Real Sellers"?  We are all real sellers Greg, who want to feel like we're paying for something.  Don't impugn the opinions of seleers and attempt to divide into 'real' vs -? sellers.

Sep 07, 2010 07:49 AM #7
We have had the same experience with realtors. They seem to be on the same page until the contract is signed and then the only time we hear from them is when they want us to lower the price, or update something. I've taken all of the photos that were ever used, and wrote all of the descriptions. Once that contract is signed, we never hear back from them. Even when we ask for a weekly update. In fact, when we picked our keys up from our last broker, her comment was "Do you think you'll ever sell it"? No wonder she didn't, with that type of attitude. We've recently called two different firms/brokers, and they won't even follow up. Doesn't anyone want to actually sell a house? I can keep lowering the price and eventually sell it myself, but we can't keep the price low and pay expensive commissions. I'm at a loss. Our home has been for sale for 7 years now. Down from $379,000 to $198,000. What else can we do? We're on the brink of FSBO!
Dec 14, 2013 09:32 AM #8
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Tammy Stone

"Eco-Green" Agent in West Michigan
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