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Old 10-15-2014, 12:55 PM
 
3,460 posts, read 1,954,222 times
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We are thinking of selling our home and moving closer to work. But I don't like the idea of paying 6% to a realtor. I'm interesting in hearing about people who have sold their own homes in NJ without a realtor and what were your experiences like. Did you have any tips to pass on? Where and how did you advertise your home was for sale? How did you handle showing your home to strangers? I suspect the best way to do this is by appointment of course.

What I was thinking of doing was using my real estate attorney to handle any offers and the negotiations.

I was also wondering if anyone has listed their own home in the MLS listings and just paid 3% to the buyer's agent?
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:36 PM
 
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I can tell you the other side. When buying I refused to look at home that was FSBO. They tended to be people that met with realtors and didnt agree with the price they were told. My buying agent knew what I was looking for and called me when something that might interest me came to market. I could also see it on my terms since she would have access to a key to show the place on my time.

Right off the bat, people would expect to split the 6% fee with the seller. So you would only be saving 3%. Given that you will have limited traffic to your house, I do not see how much you would save (if any).
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:43 PM
 
3,930 posts, read 1,451,492 times
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sold my home last year using forsalebyowner. Paid the extra $$ to have it listed on MLS and offered 2% to buyer's agent -minimum to get it on MLS. Glad I did it. For the most part the FSBO people were either time wasters looking to see someone else's house or total low-ballers looking to steal a house. Showed up as a regular listing on MLS- most agents were very suprised when they found out I was selling myself.
I took really good pictures and staged them really well. Helped that my house was in mint condition and in a unique setting for where I was. However, inventory was high in my town and most buyers wanted 2 family or square footage over anything else due to multiple generations/families living in same home....so it took about 7 months to sell.


However- i'm glad i did it this way. A neighbor listed their house too- and the agent spent about 5 min taking pictures with no staging (talking about clothes lying on floor in pictures and terrible lighting). And this was from an owner-agent with a good reputation. BTW- they took almost 25K less for selling price and paid out another 15k+ for commission for someone to put his picture up online and cut his open house short. But to be fair his sign was nicer!!

The website assigns you an agent who puts the listing on MLS for you for a fee (out of what you pay to the site anyway). You still need to ensure that the listing is accurate and pics used are ones you wanted even after you give the info to the "listing agent".

I showed the house probably 75 times- got to know many agents- and made me glad I listed myself. Can't tell you the lack of professionalism I witnessed. Even worse were the clients....my favorite situation was when one agent who's buyer was late by 30 min taking a walk around my house and telling us our home was pretty much perfect. His buyer strolls in and I can hear them talking on my back deck- the agent imploring the guy to make an offer on my place since it was in great shape and in a great location and the guy telling him he preferred the yet to be built townhome 10 min away b/c it was bigger (and also had a cell tower on the property, parking for one car per home only, and was on a major busy road with tons of truck traffic). The apologetic and angry look on the agent's face when they left was priceless.
To be fair there are several agents active on this site that seem very qualified and diligent who i'm sure would be helpful to use if you went that route.

The site links and app to your phone where you get a text and can agree, deny, or amend showing requests. Pretty useful and robust. It also lets you keep track of agents/broker shops who came by and you can remember any good ones who were good ot deal with or ones who no showed or were crap to deal with.

In the end I got lucky- a really good agent brought his buyer to my home and they loved the turn-key aspect of my house, the location, coutless upgrades, the obvious care we put into it, etc...they saw the house and we had a signed contract 1 hr later. The agent was awesome- 30+ year vet owned his own shop- worked with me on several issues to keep deal together- including bogus inspection issues buyer's inspector "found". I shudder to think what would have happened if I got stuck with a weekend warrior type.

IN the end it's a long process, but if you are willing to put in the work you will save big $$$ and can very well serve yourself better by doing so. But you need to be realistic about pricing, condition of your home, repairs, time/hassle aspect, and be patient and able to deal with dozens of complete strangers (rudely at times) walking through your home. Be honest- does the house need to be painted. How is your landscaping? Yellow cabinets, white appliances, and formica countertops? Huge family portrait on the wall? Give oyurself every advantage to help sell your place. STAGE IT WELL. Buyer are lazy and unimaginative. Don't put your stuff in thier vision of the home. We also made a nice print out of our listing with the best 6 pictures, list of unique/desirable features, and every significant upgrade and gave it to everyone that came to see the house. Also, if you do show to anyone directly form FSBO site (w/o an agent) ask them to bring their pre-approval from the lender listing loan amount or don't bother showing home to them- either they aren't serious or cant afford a home- takes about 5 min for a live body to get approval to some degree.

MY last advice- make sure you have a really good lawyer. We didn't and it was a huge issue multiple times.Saving a cpl hundred bucks on a 6 figure transaction isn't worth it....
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:51 PM
 
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I have to agree with 'sonofagunk'. I tried looking at FSBO when we were in the market and the sellers could never be there when it was convenient for me. The one time I got to see a house, the seller followed me around the whole time, pointing stuff out, and it really irritated me. Even then, I liked it, but right away the seller stated their price was firm, so I left and never went back to another one.
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Old 10-16-2014, 03:16 AM
 
3,460 posts, read 1,954,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by convextech View Post
I have to agree with 'sonofagunk'. I tried looking at FSBO when we were in the market and the sellers could never be there when it was convenient for me. The one time I got to see a house, the seller followed me around the whole time, pointing stuff out, and it really irritated me. Even then, I liked it, but right away the seller stated their price was firm, so I left and never went back to another one.
Thanks for sharing that. We have sold a home where we used a Realtor and since I was working out of the home at the time, I would leave for the hour the selling agent arrived with the buyers. I never saw them.

I have no desire to follow them around. I know when we look at homes I don't even like the listing agent following us around.

I was planning on telling them to make any offers to my real estate attorney's office. I would have a folder of information about the home and the contract in it to hand-out to those who I show the home to. There is no point in me discussing it because by the time they say they would buy it for X amount, I might have another appointment that day which would offer the asking price, and in reality who knows which of them could qualify to buy the home. So I feel if someone is really serious they will contact my real estate attorney's office to make a written offer.

I don't see the point of making the price firm. Maybe the person doing that was in some financial trouble and wasn't going to lower it at all, because unless he got the asking price he couldn't do the deal. He also might have been a poor sales person thinking that he was going to get the asking price just by telling you it was firm, when in reality if he got a written offer from you that could have started the negotiations. No way for you to know this either way, some people are clueless when it comes to business. Like those who buy a new computer and after six months want to sell it for the exact price they paid for it. :-)
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Old 10-16-2014, 03:26 AM
 
3,460 posts, read 1,954,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofagunk View Post
I can tell you the other side. When buying I refused to look at home that was FSBO. They tended to be people that met with realtors and didnt agree with the price they were told. My buying agent knew what I was looking for and called me when something that might interest me came to market. I could also see it on my terms since she would have access to a key to show the place on my time.

Right off the bat, people would expect to split the 6% fee with the seller. So you would only be saving 3%. Given that you will have limited traffic to your house, I do not see how much you would save (if any).
It depends on the selling price of the home. 3% on a $500K home is a $15K savings than paying it to the listing agent. If it was a $100K selling price, I agree, pay the 6% or even 7% if you have to.

I would price it for the market rate. I'm not considering selling it myself because I think I can get more for the house, but to save on the 6%. Either my wife or myself work at the home most of the time, so we are available to make appointments to show the house.

Most people look in the MLS listings, such as in Realtor.com, so if I paid to have it listed there and offered 3% to a realtor to sell it, that should be enough advertising. I was also thinking of doing paid advertising elsewhere. Because anyone says "You are spending money on advertising you wouldn't have to if you used a Realtor", yes, but the net result is going to be much higher.
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Old 10-16-2014, 03:50 AM
 
3,460 posts, read 1,954,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metsfan53 View Post
sold my home last year using forsalebyowner. Paid the extra $$ to have it listed on MLS and offered 2% to buyer's agent -minimum to get it on MLS. Glad I did it. For the most part the FSBO people were either time wasters looking to see someone else's house or total low-ballers looking to steal a house. Showed up as a regular listing on MLS- most agents were very suprised when they found out I was selling myself.
I took really good pictures and staged them really well. Helped that my house was in mint condition and in a unique setting for where I was. However, inventory was high in my town and most buyers wanted 2 family or square footage over anything else due to multiple generations/families living in same home....so it took about 7 months to sell.


However- i'm glad i did it this way. A neighbor listed their house too- and the agent spent about 5 min taking pictures with no staging (talking about clothes lying on floor in pictures and terrible lighting). And this was from an owner-agent with a good reputation. BTW- they took almost 25K less for selling price and paid out another 15k+ for commission for someone to put his picture up online and cut his open house short. But to be fair his sign was nicer!!

The website assigns you an agent who puts the listing on MLS for you for a fee (out of what you pay to the site anyway). You still need to ensure that the listing is accurate and pics used are ones you wanted even after you give the info to the "listing agent".

I showed the house probably 75 times- got to know many agents- and made me glad I listed myself. Can't tell you the lack of professionalism I witnessed. Even worse were the clients....my favorite situation was when one agent who's buyer was late by 30 min taking a walk around my house and telling us our home was pretty much perfect. His buyer strolls in and I can hear them talking on my back deck- the agent imploring the guy to make an offer on my place since it was in great shape and in a great location and the guy telling him he preferred the yet to be built townhome 10 min away b/c it was bigger (and also had a cell tower on the property, parking for one car per home only, and was on a major busy road with tons of truck traffic). The apologetic and angry look on the agent's face when they left was priceless.
To be fair there are several agents active on this site that seem very qualified and diligent who i'm sure would be helpful to use if you went that route.

The site links and app to your phone where you get a text and can agree, deny, or amend showing requests. Pretty useful and robust. It also lets you keep track of agents/broker shops who came by and you can remember any good ones who were good ot deal with or ones who no showed or were crap to deal with.

In the end I got lucky- a really good agent brought his buyer to my home and they loved the turn-key aspect of my house, the location, coutless upgrades, the obvious care we put into it, etc...they saw the house and we had a signed contract 1 hr later. The agent was awesome- 30+ year vet owned his own shop- worked with me on several issues to keep deal together- including bogus inspection issues buyer's inspector "found". I shudder to think what would have happened if I got stuck with a weekend warrior type.

IN the end it's a long process, but if you are willing to put in the work you will save big $$$ and can very well serve yourself better by doing so. But you need to be realistic about pricing, condition of your home, repairs, time/hassle aspect, and be patient and able to deal with dozens of complete strangers (rudely at times) walking through your home. Be honest- does the house need to be painted. How is your landscaping? Yellow cabinets, white appliances, and formica countertops? Huge family portrait on the wall? Give oyurself every advantage to help sell your place. STAGE IT WELL. Buyer are lazy and unimaginative. Don't put your stuff in thier vision of the home. We also made a nice print out of our listing with the best 6 pictures, list of unique/desirable features, and every significant upgrade and gave it to everyone that came to see the house. Also, if you do show to anyone directly form FSBO site (w/o an agent) ask them to bring their pre-approval from the lender listing loan amount or don't bother showing home to them- either they aren't serious or cant afford a home- takes about 5 min for a live body to get approval to some degree.

MY last advice- make sure you have a really good lawyer. We didn't and it was a huge issue multiple times.Saving a cpl hundred bucks on a 6 figure transaction isn't worth it....

Thanks for sharing your experience in selling your home and all the details, and tips. To confirm, is this the website you are referring to?
FSBO.com | Real Estate Homes For Sale By Owner Since 1997

How did you handle offers? Did you already have a contract put together by your attorney to hand-out with the photos and info about your house? Did you do any other advertising? Thanks!
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Old 10-16-2014, 05:24 AM
 
Location: Martinsville, NJ
6,158 posts, read 10,890,837 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastcoastguyz View Post

I was planning on telling them to make any offers to my real estate attorney's office.
Why?

Do you have a real estate attorney who knows the market? Who has seen many, perhaps most, of the homes that are for sale and have recently sold? Who is familiar enough with the inventory to give you advice regarding fair market value and your position in the market?

A lawyer is an important part of the process in NJ. They protect your rights & interests, making sure the legal conditions of the contract are as favorable to you as possible. They do NOT, for the most part, negotiate the price & terms of the contract. They don't study and participate in the market, so they don't know what they need to know in order to effectively be a negotiator for you.

If you aren't going to have a real estate agent do this for you, you might be better off doing it yourself than having your attorney do it. You will at lease have the benefit of having studied the market somewhat in doing your own pricing.
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:24 AM
 
3,460 posts, read 1,954,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Keegan View Post
Why?

Do you have a real estate attorney who knows the market? Who has seen many, perhaps most, of the homes that are for sale and have recently sold? Who is familiar enough with the inventory to give you advice regarding fair market value and your position in the market?

A lawyer is an important part of the process in NJ. They protect your rights & interests, making sure the legal conditions of the contract are as favorable to you as possible. They do NOT, for the most part, negotiate the price & terms of the contract. They don't study and participate in the market, so they don't know what they need to know in order to effectively be a negotiator for you.

If you aren't going to have a real estate agent do this for you, you might be better off doing it yourself than having your attorney do it. You will at lease have the benefit of having studied the market somewhat in doing your own pricing.
Because that's how I do business. Serious offers for a contract of any kind of business, not just for real estate go to the attorney for review. I let him do this job, which is to protect my interests. If they have conditions, I'm not going to sit down with them at my kitchen table and start writing things in, that's a legal part of the process and that's what the real estate attorney is for. Because I could easily agree to something which then my real estate attorney has to get me out of. It would be extremely arrogant to pretend to be an amateur lawyer in this regard.

Does he know the market? Yes, very well. His entire practice is just real estate and he's local to the area and been doing this for decades. He had been to many more closings and been involved in more real estate more negotiations than a realtor ever could. Do the math, how many closing does a realtor attend per month vs. a real estate attorney with a thriving practice? Yes, an attorney can negotiate the price and terms of the contract, that's what they do. I have hired attorneys before, you give them a range of prices and conditions that are acceptable. I sold and bought a home using a real estate attorney and he negotiated terms of the contract that was offered according to my parameters. So they are extremely qualified to handle this, much more so than a realtor, because a real estate attorney is 100% acting on my behalf and knows the law because that's his profession and sees more deals than anyone.

A realtor is on straight commission and will low-ball a sale so it moves very quickly or lie to both parties or omit the true to protect the sale. Realtors are motivated by self-interests because of the financial arrangements.

As for pricing, that's the most easy part of this. Homes that are similar to ours have sold recently in the area and some are on the market. All a realtor does is prepare a comparative analysis which is easily available to do, but I don't need it. I think realtors do that to either get you to low-ball the listing to it moves quickly, or make it very high so you will give the listing to them, and then after a month on the market they come back and give you a doom and gloom speech so you lower it a huge amount for a quick sale. So I have an asking price, and an acceptance price, and give that information to the attorney. There is no need for me to be directly involved in that. I prefer professionals do their jobs. It's foolish to believe I can do that better than the attorney can, so my other option is to get a full commission realtor who is going to be acting entirely in self-interests? Realtors aren't geniuses about pricing anyway, by the fact you see a home listed very high and then a huge price drop over a year or more. If they really knew about pricing you'd see it priced correctly and sold right away.

Update: I didn't notice you were a Realtor. I'm an IT professional. I took a look at your website. It has a copyright on it of 2004, which I am going to guess it's an old website. I clicked on a link on it to see a listing and it's a broken link. If the website was put together for you by your broker, or whoever did it, I recommend you look for a Joomla website developer who has experience doing realtor type or sales websites. The current rhuk-solarflare-ii template is old. Current version of Joomla is 3.x and I'm estimating this is an old 1.5 website which is no longer supported or will be coming to end of life soon. Have it hosted at Hostgator.com for $5-$6.00 a month, because that's all you need for a low-traffic website like that. Select a Joomla template that Realtors use and have the website developer installed it and get everything working for you. Then ask for instructions on how to login to the back-end as Administrator so you can do your own updates without having to pay a developer to do this. Then you can have a nice website that looks professional and its entirely under your control. After you do this, the domain billkeegan.com is registered to Weichert Realtors which I have to tell you isn't a good idea, because it's your name and you should 100% own it and control the domain. After all, if you wanted to jump ship there and work for another broker you don't want to have to go back to Weichert and beg for it. In any event, after the new website is up and running for you, have the Name Server changed for primary and secondary to point to the new hosting service, like Hostgator I recommended. Also, on the new website have the Contact Us software installed by RS Form for Joomla, and make sure there is a CAPTCHA on it. That prevents spammers and evil bots from trying to flood your inbox with junk and prevents them from trying to take over your website by hacking it. Oh, you should never have your e-mail address in plain text on the website, it allows spam bots to pick up your e-mail address. It's best to have people only use a Contact Us form as I mentioned, and if you want display your e-mail address it should be a graphic imagine only, so it can only be read by humans. Hope you find this useful.

Last edited by eastcoastguyz; 10-16-2014 at 07:49 AM..
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Old 10-16-2014, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Martinsville, NJ
6,158 posts, read 10,890,837 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastcoastguyz View Post
Because that's how I do business. Serious offers for a contract of any kind of business, not just for real estate go to the attorney for review. I let him do this job, which is to protect my interests. If they have conditions, I'm not going to sit down with them at my kitchen table and start writing things in, that's a legal part of the process and that's what the real estate attorney is for. Because I could easily agree to something which then my real estate attorney has to get me out of. It would be extremely arrogant to pretend to be an amateur lawyer in this regard.

Does he know the market? Yes, very well. His entire practice is just real estate and he's local to the area and been doing this for decades. He had been to many more closings and been involved in more real estate more negotiations than a realtor ever could. Do the math, how many closing does a realtor attend per month vs. a real estate attorney with a thriving practice? Yes, an attorney can negotiate the price and terms of the contract, that's what they do. I have hired attorneys before, you give them a range of prices and conditions that are acceptable. I sold and bought a home using a real estate attorney and he negotiated terms of the contract that was offered according to my parameters. So they are extremely qualified to handle this, much more so than a realtor, because a real estate attorney is 100% acting on my behalf and knows the law because that's his profession and sees more deals than anyone.

A realtor is on straight commission and will low-ball a sale so it moves very quickly or lie to both parties or omit the true to protect the sale. Realtors are motivated by self-interests because of the financial arrangements.

As for pricing, that's the most easy part of this. Homes that are similar to ours have sold recently in the area and some are on the market. All a realtor does is prepare a comparative analysis which is easily available to do, but I don't need it. I think realtors do that to either get you to low-ball the listing to it moves quickly, or make it very high so you will give the listing to them, and then after a month on the market they come back and give you a doom and gloom speech so you lower it a huge amount for a quick sale. So I have an asking price, and an acceptance price, and give that information to the attorney. There is no need for me to be directly involved in that. I prefer professionals do their jobs. It's foolish to believe I can do that better than the attorney can, so my other option is to get a full commission realtor who is going to be acting entirely in self-interests? Realtors aren't geniuses about pricing anyway, by the fact you see a home listed very high and then a huge price drop over a year or more. If they really knew about pricing you'd see it priced correctly and sold right away.

Update: I didn't notice you were a Realtor. I'm an IT professional. I took a look at your website. It has a copyright on it of 2004, which I am going to guess it's an old website. I clicked on a link on it to see a listing and it's a broken link. If the website was put together for you by your broker, or whoever did it, I recommend you look for a Joomla website developer who has experience doing realtor type or sales websites. The current rhuk-solarflare-ii template is old. Current version of Joomla is 3.x and I'm estimating this is an old 1.5 website which is no longer supported or will be coming to end of life soon. Have it hosted at Hostgator.com for $5-$6.00 a month, because that's all you need for a low-traffic website like that. Select a Joomla template that Realtors use and have the website developer installed it and get everything working for you. Then ask for instructions on how to login to the back-end as Administrator so you can do your own updates without having to pay a developer to do this. Then you can have a nice website that looks professional and its entirely under your control. After you do this, the domain billkeegan.com is registered to Weichert Realtors which I have to tell you isn't a good idea, because it's your name and you should 100% own it and control the domain. After all, if you wanted to jump ship there and work for another broker you don't want to have to go back to Weichert and beg for it. In any event, after the new website is up and running for you, have the Name Server changed for primary and secondary to point to the new hosting service, like Hostgator I recommended. Also, on the new website have the Contact Us software installed by RS Form for Joomla, and make sure there is a CAPTCHA on it. That prevents spammers and evil bots from trying to flood your inbox with junk and prevents them from trying to take over your website by hacking it. Oh, you should never have your e-mail address in plain text on the website, it allows spam bots to pick up your e-mail address. It's best to have people only use a Contact Us form as I mentioned, and if you want display your e-mail address it should be a graphic imagine only, so it can only be read by humans. Hope you find this useful.
Thanks for all the web site help. Yes, it is an old web site, and it will be replaced before year end.
And it's not registered to Weichert. It's registered to Bill Keegan, at the organization Weichert. It's all mine.

While my web site is not the focus of this thread, your post illustrates my point. You should hire the right professional to do the job, if you don't have the wherewithal to do it yourself. In most cases, a lawyer is NOT a marketing professional. In most cases, a lawyer does NOT know the real estate market well enough to be the best negotiator for you. If you feel your lawyer can do these things well, then good for you and your lawyer.


And I think that's likely enough for me on this thread. Based on your statements about how real estate agents will lie to make the deal happen, and how everything we do is deceitful or selfserving, it's clear to me that you have an agenda or an issue. Overgeneralizing and wrong as they are, I'll let you keep your theories.

Good luck with the house.
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