Your FSBO house isn't being's invisible to agents.

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 531132

BlindfoldI recently had an interaction with a FSBO seller who just wanted to complain about Realtors not showing her home for sale. She handed me a flyer, and as I glanced at it, I noticed that her price was already somewhat high for that sub-division. What she said was that Realtors were blackballing her listing. I don’t often hear that term in regards to selling real estate.

I asked her why she thought that and she said that no agents were showing her home that had been on the market for several weeks.

Are you offering a co-op to agents? No. She read on the internet that she didn’t have to do that. The agent’s buyers can pay their commission. While that may be the case in some areas, it’s not the standard of practice here. I guess her expectation is that agents will work for free.

Is your house in the MLS? No. When you’re an unrepresented seller and you don’t know how to do these things, you’re going to be at a disadvantage.

Is your house being syndicated? No, and what’s that?

Do you have a website? No, too complicated and expensive.

Are you doing any advertising, even newspaper? No. Just the flyers I printed.

Directional signs? No, but I have a sign in front of my house.

Twenty questions was over for me. That’s when I told her that her house wasn’t being blackballed by Realtors...IT WAS INVISIBLE to Realtors. It seems that the only way anybody would know her house was for sale was a drive by. We all know just how effective that is.

Real estate is a competitive undertaking these days. If you’re not prepared to do the job of selling your house completely, you should really consider hiring a professional Realtor.

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 Richard Iarossi is a full time licensed REALTOR®, working in Crofton, MD. My coverage areas are: Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, Howard, Calvert, Queen Anne, and Baltimore City and County. I specialize in residential real estate, working with both buyers and sellers. Use the registration free search on my website at If you’re not already working with a REALTOR®...I can help. Call me at 443-995-9595 (Cell) or 410-451-6255 (Office).

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All information is deemed reliable but should be independently verified. Property information is subject to change without notice.



Re-Blogged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Cheryl Ritchie 06/14/2012 12:50 PM
  2. Patti Ann Kasper 06/14/2012 02:05 PM
  3. Scott Fogleman 06/14/2012 07:31 PM
  4. 1~Judi Barrett 06/15/2012 11:12 AM
  5. Gene Riemenschneider 06/17/2012 03:08 PM
  6. John McCormack, CRS 06/24/2012 01:17 PM
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Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

You are so right about this.  Even if we knew about it our clients often do not want to deal with them.

Jun 15, 2012 11:44 PM #89
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Nearly all shopping starts on the internet now and FSBO's don't know how to get their house out to all those folks.

Jun 15, 2012 11:49 PM #90
Dagny Eason
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo

What a timely post!   I just signed on a couple who were going to FSBO their house until I explained how the world finds real estate today - they were on board!

Jun 16, 2012 12:47 AM #91
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

I'm still shaking my head that she was surprised she wasn't getting showings. This is a great post and really highlights that selling your home doesn't happen by sticking a sign in the yard.

Jun 16, 2012 12:56 AM #92
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Interesting story about how misinformed most FSBO are about selling their homes. The challenge for FSBO's are they want to save money or keep most of the proceeds from the sale of their home, yet are unwilling to make money by paying a Realtor a commission for selling their home, quite a paradox, isn't it?

It's very simple, give me 6% and I'll get you 94% of what you want of the market price or give me 6 cents and I'll give you 94 cents. How many 6 cents would you give me? Their answer would either begin a relationship or end the conversation, wouldn't it?

Jun 16, 2012 01:15 AM #93
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

It's always someone else's fault or something out of the sellers control.  That's not true as Realtors only pay attention to homes in the MLS where all the homes ARE for sale.  As you say, you are invisible to people with the buyers because you just thought sticking a sign in the front yard was a great idea.  No sale coming for you.

Jun 16, 2012 01:27 AM #94
Raymond Denton
Homesmart / Evergreen Realty - Dana Point, CA
Capo Beach Realtor® -

I love finding FSBO's like that.  I put up a website for them, increase their signate, give them a copy of For Sale by Owner in California, help them pre-qualify prospects, and somewhere along the line, introduce them to my friend, the local Real Estate Agent.

Jun 16, 2012 02:26 AM #95
Wayne Jackson
Lakeshore Realty 208-714-4109 - Hayden, ID
North Idaho Realtor, Serving Coeur dnullAlene and Hayden Lake

Thanks for the post Richard. It's hard to believe how some people just don't ger it. I wonder if they might be a couple of bricks short of a full load.

Jun 16, 2012 02:35 AM #96
Judy Orr
HomeSmart Realty Group - Orland Park, IL
SW & Near West Chicago suburbs
I see fewer fsbo's in this market than in the past & I think many are close to short selling if they have to pay a commission. However, most of them are overpriced & no exposure. Good luck to them is all I can say.
Jun 16, 2012 03:05 AM #97
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

Our company markets FSBO real estate, thus providing the website, professional photography, yard sign and flyer design. Many of our clients further opt for an MLS listing, thus committing to a selling commission (while still saving a listing commission). It's an "in between" option between selling completely on one's own and going with a full-service real estate agent.  Admittedly, Realtors offer other services that we don't because we aren't Realtors, but many of our clients have experienced great success because we've solved that invisibility issue that FSBOs have.



Jun 16, 2012 03:58 AM #98
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Thanks for the laugh Richard, that lady's house is not only invisible, but the owner seems to be delusional, how could she be blackballed when she hasn't even informed anyone that the house is for sale?  And why do so many people think that it is so expensive to hire a Realtor?

Jun 16, 2012 08:24 AM #99
Jennifer Chiongbian
Specializing in all types of Manhattan apts & townhouses - Manhattan, NY
Real Estate Broker - NYC

I hate dealing with FSBO's because they are so unrealistic and they want the world for nothing.  Good luck to this seller in being able to move an invisible listing!

Jun 16, 2012 08:54 AM #100
Suzanne McLaughlin
Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael) - Saint Michael, MN
Sabinske & Associates, Realtor

That was terrific....she is invisible and indefensible.  Lost cause, I think.  Even if she listed with an agent, she might not sell her property.

Jun 16, 2012 09:46 AM #101
Kirsten Conover
Prudential Georgia Realty - Atlanta, GA
Atlanta Georgia real estate agent

Great points about exposure, lack of market knowledge! 

Also, as agents, we already work ours butts off--FSBO's result in us to holding our buyer's hand AND their hand during the inspection, appraisal, etc--in other words, all the work that the listing agent (if they had one) should be doing.  No one wants to negotiate directly with the seller--that's why the buyer hired us, and that's why we want to deal with a professional with no direct emotional ties to the sale--not someone with no idea of the true market value of their home (I find most FSBO's are about 20% over-priced) and with little or no negotiation skills.

The FSBO argument is that they're "saving money" by paying less commission--of course, you don't save money if you don't sell!  But the flip side of this discussion is that, even if they do sell, they'll never know what price they COULD have gotten with a fully marketed property!  (Not to mention avoiding all the unqualiified tire kickers and low-ballers--who reduce their offer because they know the seller is not paying a listing broker commission.)

Bottom line--FSBO's are twice as much work and less likely to make it through negotiations because of having to deal directly with an emotional seller who hasn't been brought up to speed on the latest market conditions--if they  had been, they'd be hiring one of us immediately!

Jun 16, 2012 11:55 AM #102
PRG Real Estate - San Jose, CA
VA Home Loan Specialist - SF Bay Area

Wow. No type of exposure at all! Hopefully she realized that she needs all the help she can get.

Jun 17, 2012 07:15 AM #103
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

The FSBO prospecting letters I offer on my site include a seller checklist of things they need to do. One friend of mine read it and said that if she read all the steps necessary to actually get a house sold, she'd run screaming to the nearest agent for help.

I wonder if that woman even had any idea about the forms she needed if she did get a buyer? I'll bet not.

Jun 17, 2012 10:23 AM #104
Cyndi Carver
PRSI Choice Gallery Homes - Bellevue, WA
Newcastle & East Renton Specialist

Have her get the report, "How to Sell Your Home without an Agent"

Jun 17, 2012 02:20 PM #105
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Richard,

Sign calls, even at busy locations, are down in my view. Having some little, barely visible sign with a couple of flyers will require someone, who is scouring just that neighborhood for just that home. If it were that easy, our jobs would be a lot easier too.

Jun 17, 2012 10:36 PM #106
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Richard, great post.  I have a lot of FSBO scripts but your are very original!

Jun 18, 2012 03:46 AM #107
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

She is probably the last person who should try to sell her home.

Nov 06, 2012 01:38 AM #108
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