For Sale by Owner Email

Real Estate Agent with BAIRD & WARNER, NAPERVILLE

 I received the following email today:

 "3.25% Commission. Our home needs your buyer. Bring them and make 3.25% Commission

We're seeking active home buyers.  Close the deal and earn 3.25% Commission.

Custom built home in XXX Subdivision.  4 bedrooms & 4 baths.  3464 sq ft.  See attached for additional details and pictures of our home.

I must stress that we aren't looking for a listing agent.  Please do not call us to solicit your listing services.

Don't miss your chance to earn more commission during this market lull.  Call or email today to schedule a showing."

Here's some background.

There are 65 homes on the market today (5-8-07)

There are 9 homes under contract.

There are 7 price reductions.

The listing price range: $499,900 to $1,700,000

The average listing price is $734,000. Market time: 170 days

There have been 14 homes sold and closed since 1/1/2007. Their average price: $599,000.

As an agent what would tell this seller?

As a seller what would you do?


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Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County
Me? Hit the delete button and move on. But, that is just me.....
May 08, 2007 04:57 AM #1
Stephanie Edwards-Musa - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP

Wow. I would have to spin that around somehow. "Please do not call us to solicit your listing services."

I'll have to think on that one.

May 08, 2007 05:02 AM #2
Jason Vombaur
Keller Williams - Vancouver, WA
That guy is going to have about a 100 new agents call him to want to sell the house.  Some will even say they have buyers, which they do not have.
May 08, 2007 05:11 AM #3
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552
Sounds like a seller with a bit more on the ball than some, who is trying to save part of a commission by doing the marketing on his own.  If you have a buyer, get something in writing first & then show your client.  If not, you'll probably be competing with a bunch of other agents for a listing that may never be awarded.
May 08, 2007 05:20 AM #4
Carol Spengel
Prudential Rubloff - Wheaton, IL
Wheaton IL
It's a free market, bring a buyer, get the sellers to sign a one time showing agreement form and make 3.25%.  If it is the right home for your buyer go for it.  Sherry
May 08, 2007 05:23 AM #5
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

As an Agent, I would tell the seller that wherever he acquired my e-mail, he should desist from using it. I hope he is smart enough to put an unsubscribe at the bottom. Simply I am not interested.

Comment: The seller wants it both ways and probably natural that he does. While I empathize, I make no judgment about why they choose this method of representation. I have had similar situations in the past and usually delete the e-mail. When I am working with Buyers, I do work under a Buyer Brokerage but I put a clause in there that I will not show them FSBO properties. If they want to look at or purchase one on their own they are of course free to do so. I don't want the commission, I don't want a referral fee. I want no involvement whatsoever. I have a real avoidance problem with FSBOs, as I used to work FSBO's years ago and I would guess at least 1 out 3 were  undisclosed handyman specials. That was not always apparent in first appearances. Time after time, I advised my buyer  to understand what they were purchasing and they mostly made the right choice for themselves. I was treated with less respect as a professional by these owners and I learned that I did not want to pursue them any longer.

In California, the most litigious state in the union, FSBOs are a playground for the adventurist, not for me, a serious professional. I don't have the time nor the inclination to try to convince them that they have a fool for a client. I make no judgments for anyone else however. If this works into their business plan, by all means pursue it. For me, its a 'been there done that" and forever more, I pray I will never have to encounter another FSBO . Guess you can tell, it was not a great experience for me. And I would be the one person to advise that an over reaction is ever acceptable.

May 08, 2007 05:24 AM #6
Michael Trinchitella
Putnam, Westchester Real Estate - Mahopac, NY
Putnam Westchester Real Estate

Why all the negative comments? Tell the seller you want to preview the home, every person you meet is some sort of networking or prospecting. Don't try to get the listing, just go and see it and build a nice conversation.

If they ask if you have any buyers just tell them you will see and then leave by telling them that you would be receiving a lot more buyers if you had the listings, because that is where you meet all your buyers, your web site, from your page, etc etc

Or you can tell the FSBO that without a listing contract you aren't protected if you show a buyer the home and most of the other agents feel the same way, trust me these things work and the seller will eventually list.

May 08, 2007 06:17 AM #7
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

I met with a FSBO today who called me from a recent sale in his neighborhood.  He wanted to let me know he was offering a 3.5% commission.  I actually had a buyer that I wanted to preview the house for.  We had a cordial conversation and spent about 30 mintues going through his house.  I showed him pictures of 2 other properties for sale in the area that were bigger than his (I always have my digital camera with me)for 10K less.  The comps in his neighborhood are about 20-25K below what he is asking.  It turns out the property isn't right for my buyer and I told him why.  I didn't try to solict the listing and I have already sent him and his wife a handwritten thank you note.  So when his house doesn't sell he might remember the friendly realtor who wasn't pushy.  I don't need his listing in a market already saturated with overpriced houses!

May 08, 2007 08:42 AM #8
Eileen Landau

Well, actually, I started a dialogue with the FSBO.

I did ask where he found me. Google was the answer. I also suspect that he only emailed to those agents that he could find and most would not be "newbies."

And, I also explained why I would not show his property. I do not practice 'dual agency' or 'undisclosed dual agency' as there is just too much liability.

And, although he seemed to think that offering that bit more in commission would make it worth my while, I explained that I could take my buyer to new construction and receive anywhere from a 3% to a 5% commission and work with a listing agent.

And, yes, he was surprised at my answer. However, I think he's pretty smart and after competing with 60 plus homes for weeks and/or months, he'll bite the bullet and list. It seems to me that 88% of all For Sale By Owners do. 

May 08, 2007 09:38 AM #9
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