Sometimes finding the right house for your buyer means doing something extra or out of the ordinary. Going the extra mile.
I recently had one buyer that simply could not find a suitable property in the area he wanted to live. I showed him more than 35 houses over a period of about 6 weeks. We even wrote offers on two that did not get accepted.
Each week we wait for the new listings to hit the MLS. We began to expand the search area, nothing was working. Finally, we got with his lender and had the lender increase his Pre-Approval by $10K just so we could look at some higher priced houses.
I was just getting ready to fire this client, not because he was being difficult, but because I was spending too much time. Then one Saturday I was showing him some homes in his preferred neighborhood. Even though I was pretty sure they were overpriced flips I took him to see them. Just for the heck of it, this week I researched a couple of FSBOs on the web to see if anything else was available. Luckily I found one that was just about 1 mile from where we were going that day. We decided to take a drive past.
The property looked good on the outside. Being a FSBO, it, of course, was overpriced but after a little research, I found they had been trying to sell it themselves for a long time. Maybe they would entertain a reasonable offer?
Working with FSBOs can sometimes be tricky. You have to avoid any implication of an Agency relationship, while at the same time doing all the work of two agents.
I called the seller, arranged for a showing and the house looked good on the inside as well. Now I needed to get them to agree to being unrepresented and to pay me a commission. To my surprise, they agreed to both. I sent them documents to sign indicating I would be representing the buyer alone and the agreed to commission rate. They signed off on both. So far so good.
I explained to them the limits of my buyer’s approval and that the offer would be based on his qualifications. It was below their asking price, but appropriate for the neighborhood. Again they agreed.
I wrote up an offer, found an escrow agent that had a lot of experience working with FSBOs, and we proceeded with the sale. The escrow agent handled all the communication so I didn’t have to worry about any “You said this,” or “You promised that,” problems.
The transaction went smoothly, we closed escrow on time and it appears all parties are satisfied.
In some ways, it renewed the way I felt about working with FSBOs. Were we just lucky? Maybe. Or maybe the seller just wanted to sell the house and we did what we needed to do to get the job done.
So going forward, I will make it a point to research any available FSBO houses to see if they are a good match for my buyer. After all, that is the goal. Find the best house, for the best price for the buyer.
From now on, “I’m going to FSBOland.”
Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix & Scottsdale metro area. You can find more great information by visiting his website at www.Scottsdale-AZHomes.com.