"Whyis this a FSBO?"...or "Why is this a FRBO?" You've undoubtedly asked yourself that question before- as you've perused the real estate section of the local paper, as you've sifted through endless craigslist ads, or as you've read that hand-made sign on the street corner and also tried to figure out why someone with the world's worst penmanship got picked for "sign-writin' detail". Makes you wonder, and think before you handle them or look to do so.
A read a good post today from a fellow Realtor that says she's done with FSBO's. They're too much work. The sellers are too particular. They're too quirky. They're flaky. And they're not loyal. The same can be said for FRBO's, and it begs the same question and a bit of analysis. "Why are they what they are?", "Should we continue to work with them?", "How can we keep keep positive about them?" and "Should we even care?" are all good questions.
When things are broken down, there really aren't a great deal of reasons why an owner chooses the FSBO route- and most often I see folks falling into one of two categories:
1) Owner is aware of what a Realtor (or property manager) is, knows what they do, knows the costs- and has mulled over the costs/benefits and decided they're best served by serving themselves. Call these owners "distressed" or "underwater" if the terms fit, call them "cheap" or "thrifty" if those do.
2) Owner is not aware of what a Realtor or property manager is, has no idea what they do, no idea how much they cost and not aware of the benefits one can bring them. These owners may have been in comas for many years, may have lived in caves for a while, or may have just thought to themselves "Dang. That guy that has his name and goofy picture on a car magnet the size of Texas just isn't that friendly".
Here's the deal, though: we need to pursue both types of owners in the same way.
If an owner thinks the sign above is the best way to market their property, we need to convince them otherwise. If an owner thinks they understand real estate law as well as you do, tell them that you don't even understand every bit of it- but that you'll work together until all of you do.
Gather your CMA's and comps, and let the FSBO owner if you feel their price is too high- who'd want to reject advice based on sound research that could get their place sold quicker? Meet with the FSBO owner that thinks Zillow is the greatest thing since sliced bread, and tell him your thoughts that very well may differ. Let them know that it's nice to try and get a really high price for their home, and that you'll work towards the same goal- but it's even better when you don't let it sit until 2015!
Owners of all sorts are finicky. All are still trying to get the most the quickest, the highest price coming in for the least amount going out. And can we blame them? Of course not. Should we continue to work with FSBO's (and FRBO's)? The answer to that question lies within our own individual cost/benefit analyses. In deciding, though, we surely do ourselves and the profession a great service by ensuring that homeowners are as educated as they can be- whether we work with them or decline to do so.
There IS value to our craft, folks- value that simple internet searches and cardboard signs can't provide. The best asset we can have is the ability to convey that value to the public.