FSBO Real Estate – How Some Sellers Are Finding Buyers

By Kathy Godin on February 13, 2011


“No showings in three months. Do we get an agent or do we get one of those flat-fee MLS listings? If we go with MLS listing, can we still sell our house ourselves?” Diana was expressing her frustration to her husband Sean.

“Funny you should bring that up. Fumitaka will be here any minute. Limited showings from expensive newspaper ads made him start thinking of the MLS. He said he’d do some research” Sean replied.

“Fumi, my biggest question is ‘call I still sell my house myself?’ If I can’t, I don’t know that I want to do this” said Diana.

“Yes and no. Signing up for flat-fee MLS includes agreement that when a real estate agent brings you a buyer you owe the agent a fee. You set the fee. Fee normally between 2.4 and 3 percent” said Fumitaka.

“The MLS listing lasts six months. The listing is not until we sell our house. It can be renewed for a fee. They also submit listings to real estate web sites” Fumitaka went on. “Prices vary. I don’t believe you can buy just based on price. Why not? Because what’s included varies.” Added Fumitaka.

“You know, the differences between one MLS service company and another ranks second on my list” said Sean. “What do we need to know to make a decision?”

Diana replied “Making a commitment to pay a buyer’s agent stands tall as the biggest issue to me. Next is the sign. Service forbidding FSBO signs ranks next. These items move us away from FSBO. We started this to save money.”

“I don’t like idea of the sign. Will this create leads for real estate agent? I believe some companies allow you to put your number on the sign” said Fumitaka.

“You had an agent bring you a prospect, Fumi. You said you signed a contract with that agent for that prospect. If prospect bought, you’d have paid a commission. So we’re already in a position to pay a buyer’s agent. I think an MLS listing will increase the likelihood of getting prospects with a buyer’s agent attached though “added Sean.

Diana summarized this way. ”We chose FSBO to save money. Buying an MLS listing and paying a buyer’s agent will reduce our savings a lot. It might get us a buyer. That’s worth something. Fumi, you found newspaper advertising to be expensive. Let’s decide whether to move ahead. Then we can deal with the variety of MLS services.”

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