I don't mean to preach to the choir...

Services for Real Estate Pros with Jack Pratt Signs

monte preaching to the choir

I don't mean to preach to the choir, but I think that sharing a real life experience of selling my house to you proves that it really does pay to use a REALTOR®.

Back in November 2010, my wife and I decided it was time to move.  We've only been looking for about 7 years or so - trying to decide which neighborhood to settle in.  We knew we wanted in the "Deer Creek" school system, because now that our kids are getting older, it's all about the school system, right?  At least a really big part.

Ashlyn (my wife) and I decided to build, and not buy.  Based on what we figured we could get out of our house and what we've saved, we could actually afford to get exactly what we want in the neighborhood that we fell in love with.  So we put our house up FSBO back in November 2010.

fsbo = bad ideaWhy FSBO?  For a number of reasons but mainly to try to save money.  Jack Pratt Signs has been supplying the local Oklahoma City Metro with yard signs since 1950, so we pretty much know everyone in town that is in real estate.  So, who am I going to use?  I felt that I was damned if I used a REALTOR®, and damned if I didn't. We weren't in any rush necessarily because we were building, so we gave it our best shot.

Guess how many offers we got?  One (1), and it sucked, real bad.  One formal contract that lowballed us so bad that I was tempted to not even counter.   But we did, and then got into a counter match via text messaging with the buyers agent that lasted through a weekend.  It finally fizzeled away - she put a contract on another house less expensive than mine in a different area.

Though Ashlyn and I were not in any rush, summer was approaching and we found ourselves in the middle of June with nothing, nada, ziltch.  Finnaly, we decided to use a friend of mine, TJ Jordan, whom I've known for 23 years.  I was a little nervous using a friend, but I got exhausted trying to figure out what agent I should list with.

The first thing TJ did was remeasure the house.  Guess what?  We picked up an extra 80 - 100 square feet (legitimate, too).  So, we were able to list the house with MLS at a higher price but at the same dollar/square foot.  Basically, it went down like this:


We initally asked FSBO at $289,000.  Got nothin...  TJ took the listing, and recommended we ask $299,900

SOLD! It Pays to use a REALTOR


For 5 weeks we got more action than we ever did in the last 7 months.  TJ suggested we reduce the price to $289,000.  In the 6th week, we got a solid offer - we countered and they accepted!!  $282,000.  $7000 off our initial offer - pretty good, huh??  


We closed last Friday and are now officially homeless - which I guess is better than having two mortgages..  We'll be living with my mom and dad until late October when our house is scheduled to be finished.  So what have I learned?  

Just because one can list a house FSBO doesn't mean it ought to be done.  You can drive a car with your foot if you had to, but that doesn't make it a good idea, right??!!? 

You guys don't tell me how to make signs, so I won't presume to know how to sell real estate either.  That sounds pretty fair, don't you think?

Furthermore, the money paid in commission to TJ pails in comparison of what I could have saved every damn month if only I listed it with him last November!!  But, that's water under the bridge.  Ashlyn and I got what we "needed" and the buyer felt like he got a steal of a deal.  Plus, I'm glad to help TJ as a friend and a loyal customer to my company.

Monte & Ashlyn Pratt - Happy Customers!!!

I hope to stay in our new house forever and ever, however, if we do decide to move again, rest assured, I'll be calling a REALTOR®!

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Comments (28)

Gabrielle Jeans
WebTech Dezine, Gabrielle Jeans Real Estate Coach - Toronto, ON
Real Estate Web Solution, Real Estate Trainer and Coach

Monte, I will forever think it is necessary to use a Realtor. Realtors have experience dealing with various types of clients that FSBO's know nothing about. Thanks for sharing your post.

Aug 24, 2011 09:02 AM
Margie Kopp Sorrell
Coldwell Banker Lake Oconee Realty and Lake Country - Greensboro, GA
Lake Oconee Real Estate

Another great post to add to my FSBO folder that I use when trying to gain their listing. Thanks for that!

And you're wife is a beaut!

Aug 24, 2011 09:24 AM
Deborah "Dee Dee" Garvin
C2 Financial - San Diego, CA
C2 Financial

Monte,  Great testimonial for every agent to slip into a listing portfolio.  I think you learned the same lesson most FSBO's learn.  Congrats on the sale and your new home...AND, no double mortgage payments!!!!

Aug 24, 2011 09:47 AM
Monte Pratt
Jack Pratt Signs - Oklahoma City, OK
Expert in sign manufacturing & graphic design.

I'm glad this has been so well received. Thank you all for your warm sentiments ; )


Aug 24, 2011 10:15 AM
Cynthia Larsen
Cotati, CA
Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA

Now that is a great story! Even the fonder of ForSaleByOwner.com couldn't sell his own home the FSBO way, so he hired a REALTOR® too!

Aug 24, 2011 10:19 AM
Monte Pratt
Jack Pratt Signs - Oklahoma City, OK
Expert in sign manufacturing & graphic design.

Oh yeah, that's right Cynthia!  I remember seeing that posted all over Facebook.  Should have listened to Ben back in November when he told me I was being a cheap ass.  I haven't brought myself to add up what my savings would have been if only I listed earlier.  Oh well - water under the bridge...

Thanks for your comments!


Aug 24, 2011 10:30 AM
Gerry Mills


I am happy you sold your home especially in this market. It is truly a buyers market and homes are depreciating in price. I bought my first home in 1973 which had a 5-1/2% assumable loan. Current rates then were 7-1/2%. I assumed the loan which had a $121.00 a month payment. In 1981 I sold the home without a real estate agent netting $40K for my equity with a $12K loan balance. The buyers and I closed over the kitchen table after I provided the abstract to them for their attorney to look at. Everything went well. Years later I got my real estate license and learned all of the ropes and tricks of the profession. When it comes time for me to sell my home, I will do it myself. Now is not the time for me to sell. The golden rule is you sell when times are bad and buy when times are bad.

Take care.


Aug 24, 2011 10:31 AM
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

Hi Monte-Thank you for telling your story.  It's nice to hear it from someone who has experienced it rather than us saying all of the time.  I may just have to reblog this.  Terrific post and congrats on the feature!

Aug 24, 2011 10:38 AM
Monte Pratt
Jack Pratt Signs - Oklahoma City, OK
Expert in sign manufacturing & graphic design.

You're welcome Brenda.  Reblog away!!

Aug 24, 2011 10:55 AM
Jeff Ragan
Ming Tree, Realtors Real Living - Eureka, CA
Luxury Agent, Northern California

I've only been in this business since 2004, but I am continually amazed at how complicated selling a house can be, especially to those looking in from outside the business!  Setting a price. Marketing stuff like flyers, photos, vivid descriptions, and where to advertise.  Negotiating a contract.  Handling disclosures.  And working out any repairs or issues.  It's way more complicated than non-agents realize!

Aug 24, 2011 11:18 AM
Robin Sherman
www.PensacolaForYou.com - Grand Points Realty - Pensacola, FL
Search Pensacola Homes, For Sale - Pensacola FL Neighborhoods

Yes, looks like a great Reblog Monte! A neighbor who moved held on to his property for years, chasing the market down. He tried every trick in the book (1-800-BuyMyHome sort of things) except a Realtor. I tried to talk with him about a $650k offer when he wanted $850k. He eventually did sell through a Realtor - at $450k.

Aug 24, 2011 11:28 AM
Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change

Ah!  Love it that you shared your angst and ah-ha moment. What a testimonial!

Aug 24, 2011 12:03 PM
Faye Y. Taylor
StepStone Realty, LLC - Floresville, TX
Homes for Sale Floresville, La Vernia &San Antonio

Love your comments.  It helps to hear it verbalized from the public.  

It is hard when you work with Realtors to choose one from all your clients but you did it and it worked.

Aug 24, 2011 12:36 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Monte, throwing a sign out front is easy, knowing how to get attention to that sign is what a Realtor does. Sometimes it's not just smoke and mirrors. Even the Chairman of FSBO had to bring in an agent to get his Park Ave property sold with the same results, higher price quicker.

Aug 24, 2011 02:43 PM
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

You did the right thing. Hire an expert and expect a good outcome. Make it a DIY project and your risk of screwing things up escelates enormously. 

Aug 24, 2011 03:54 PM
Toronto, ON

Hi Monte - Many years ago, before I was in the business, I was looking at open houses on the weekend in a popular community.  On one particular street, there were two houses with open houses.  One house was a FSBO and the other was listed by a well known brokerage.  Guess which one had a lot of cars and visitors.

Aug 24, 2011 06:05 PM
Rosalie Evans
Meritus Group Real Estate - Sioux Falls, SD
The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale

Glad to hear that you got your home sold! I know when I first got into real estate I learned how much I had to learn! I can't imagine learning it just to try to save a few thousand dollars. Its just not worth it and thats not even taking into account how much higher the litigation rate is amongst self sellers!

Aug 24, 2011 06:29 PM
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Monte, Well at least you came around and learned valuable lesson. Tell everyone!                

Aug 24, 2011 06:53 PM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

This is a very important lesson for everyone. I find a lot of agents who tyry and sell their own homes that are expereinced but than can not seperate the business part of selling with the emotional part of being the seller. Have an expereinced listing agent can assist with getting a quicker sale at the best obtainable price.

Aug 25, 2011 01:07 AM
Monte Pratt
Jack Pratt Signs - Oklahoma City, OK
Expert in sign manufacturing & graphic design.

@ Jeff: I couldn't agree more.  It was a lot of work, stress and in the end very relieved to hire an agent!

@ Robin: That's a bummer for your neighbor.  I'm glad I came around when I did, otherwise I most likely would have ended up in a similar situation!

@ Karen: I'm an emotional and passionate guy anyway... trying to maintain calm, cool and collected through the process was a challenge in of itself - especially when I got the first offer.  So glad that my REALTOR® took the weight off my shoulders.  Money very well spent, for sure!!

@ Faye: Indeed, it was a difficult choice.  I didn't want to appear biased or show favoritism toward any brokerage or agent, which is one of the reasons why I tried to do it by myself.  In the end, choosing TJ was the right decision for me.

@ Ed: You are correct, sir.  The ironic thing about my experience is that I did not use all the techniques that I encourage my customers (REALTORS®, like yourself) to use.  Why?  Because I didn't have the time and I'm not an expert in lead generation.  I have no one to blame and accept all responsibility for my decision.

@ J. Philip: Thank you! I did expect a great outcome it my dreams came true!

@Marc: Umm, let me guess...

@ Rosalle: It was more than just a few thousand dollars that I was trying to save.  Nonetheless, the money spent on commissions will be recouped in the four (4) months that I'll save by not paying a mortgage.  Whew!!!

@ Sandy: I knew eventually I would have to list with a REALTOR®.  It was only a matter of time.  I will tell everyone about my experience!

@ Scott: Boy howdy, you hit it on the head!  Keeping the emotions out of the game is tough enough, even with an agent.  Having an agent probably saved my marriage too?  Thanks Scott!!


Aug 25, 2011 03:24 AM