The first time I heard this I thought to myself, "What in the world are they talking about?" Of course, now that I am "in the business" of real estate, I know that a FUZZ BOW is in fact a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) property.
There are several different types of FSBOs:
· People that used to be in the real estate business
· People that had bad experiences with real estate agents in the past
· People that are internet savy and have read various sites on how to sell your own property
· People that are trying to save money
· People that are trying to hide things from prospective buyers
I am sure there are more, but this covers most of them. I will address each of the above categories one at a time.
The first category is previous real estate agents:
These people have had the education and should do okay selling their own property, but still not having a licensed agent with them at closing can be risky. It is sort of like going to court without an attorney. It can be done, but there are always risks.
The second category is sellers that have had bad experiences with real estate agents in the past:
Of course, like all lessons learned the hard way, they aren’t easily forgotten. However, instead of selling the biggest asset they have without professional assistance, they should do their research. Research to find the best representative they can to help them through all the twists and turns of selling property from listing to closing. Not only the best person, but the best real estate agency! The agency is the support for agents and if agents don’t have a good support, then that can make them weak.
The third category is the sellers that are internet savvy and have read various sites on how to sell your own property:
Hmmmm… So if this is a good idea, then I can read how to surgically remove a brain tumor and operate on any one I find that has a brain tumor? I don’t think so. Of course this isn’t a totally fair comparison, but they both can have devastating outcomes.
The fourth category is the sellers that are trying to save money:
If I had a nickel for all the stories I have heard about this one… After the closing the seller may find that they priced the house too low because they did not run comparables to discover market value of their home, the seller was pressured into paying most if not all of the closing costs, the seller was sued because of non-disclosures (things an experienced agent would have noticed and helped with), the seller was tender hearted and allowed the buyer to move in before closing date and then had to file for the buyers to be evicted because they never made the closing, and there are more horror stories on this… actually too many to list here.
The fifth category that I have listed above is the sellers are trying to hide things from prospective buyers:
Now the downside of this one is fairly obvious. It is the buyer that will suffer after this sale. There are professional crooks out there that will stoop really low to pull this sort of thing on unsuspecting buyers, especially those buyers without a buyer agent. Some of the worst offenders are the sellers that offer lease with option to buy. A young couple I know had this arrangement and then the owner sold the house while they were still making payments! He told the new buyer that they were renters.
It is our responsibility as professional real estate agents to try to help these fuzz bows. If we don’t, it would be neglecting our desire to help (this should be our desire if we are truly good agents). It could be similar to a medical professional walking past an injured person without giving them a glance. We should at the very least, offer to help them. If they refuse our help, then we can go on without a guilty conscious.