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Old 04-24-2015, 05:40 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,004,474 times
Reputation: 15649

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I did a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) on our last home, almost four years ago. I paid to have my listing on realtor.com and MLS, and offered area realtors (by email notice) a fair percentage (but not a full commission) if they brought a buyer to the table. I did my own publicity (blog, etc); potential buyers came steadily. I did almost get a cash buyer on my own, but the deal fell through when the buyer found one thing she didn't like in the inspection process. As it turned out, a realtor did bring us a buyer, and the deal went through and I paid her the smaller commission—but still saved a lot from not paying the full commission.

I was really motivated and energetic back then. Only four years ago! Now, we see the possibility of selling our current home within the next few years, if what we're looking for comes along. We're in no rush. I wonder now though if I have the drive to do all that I did last time in a FSBO. I do know that either way, FSBO or not, an owner has to go through an awful lot of work to get a house clean and presentable before each and every showing—let alone market it.

I'm directing this question specifically to older retirees, rather than placing it in the general real estate forum, because as "elder" adults, in selling on our own we can have challenges and concerns that younger folks probably don't have. If you've done this as a retiree, or plan to, what are your experiences and thoughts on it?
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Old 04-24-2015, 05:56 AM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,485 posts, read 5,949,749 times
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I'll be curious to see the responses here. I have spent time on the real estate board and all the figure point to a listing agent getting a higher selling price and more for the owner, even after full commissions, FSBO.
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Old 04-24-2015, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Rhode Island
6,854 posts, read 11,138,633 times
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Those figures you speak of Dave, are put out by the NAR. Anecdotal evidence of those who sell on their own is that they saved money. Most sellers won't even attempt this unless they know their comps and their local market. They'll know their house value.

Girl- You're still going to have to keep the house clean and show ready- that won't change. As to publicity, how much work is that really? If you do open houses, wouldn't you rather be there to monitor than trust your home and contents to a realtor?

Or try an experiment, list with a realtor and see if he/she can really "get you a higher selling price even after commissions". If they can, sell- if they can't- rip that baby back off the market.
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Old 04-24-2015, 06:36 AM
 
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
8,833 posts, read 7,732,605 times
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We will list ours FSBO when it goes on the market. The last time we sold it in 4 days. Piece of cake. Just hire a lawyer for all the legal stuff. Much cheaper and a lot less hassle than an agent what wants to show the house at 8:00am or 10:00PM. List it on craiglist. Run an ad in the paper or other circulars. One of the things the agent offers is that they can sell it quick. But if you've retired, your not usually in that big a hurry.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,004,474 times
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We created a blog early on, before we officially listed. On the blog DH posted nicely taken photos (most realtors in the Northeast do a miserable job at photo-taking), a narrative about the neighborhood and the area and the amenities close by. We listed the blog address on realtor and I emailed it to all the individual realtors. We had a professional sign done for out front (not the small red one you can get in a hardware store). Since we live(d) in a college area, I posted to every online college bulletin board, etc. I admit it was work, but not unpleasant.

The hardest part was getting every individual realtor's email address for each of the major agencies around here (probably 10–30 email addresses per agency, and there are about 20 major ones). I put 12 addresses to a folder. That did take a lot of time, and when I changed email systems recently I had to transfer them all by hand to the new system, figuring I'll need them some day. What a job!

Back then I had two open houses, and each time I left a clipboard by the door and people gave just their email addresses. I told them that I would keep them confidential and only use them for a price change. I'd say 60% or more gave their addresses.

We had a lawyer, too, and didn't have to deal directly with offers or anything else legal.

I will say it took a LOT of energy and enthusiasm to do a FSBO, and I do wonder, if several years down the road (I'm sailing toward 70 before too long) I would have the same gumption to do it again. It's so much easier when you already have a place lined up to move to, which we did at that point. This time around, I don't know.

That said, it's a significant amount of money to save on a commission, and so that is my only motivation.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
8,412 posts, read 9,165,392 times
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I really don't see a difference due to age when selling your own place. The steps are the same.

With that said we did sell our last house without a realtor and it went well. We were 52/50 at the time. Took us nine days in a good market in a good area. My wife is an attorney, so we didn't need to hire one, but even so, spending a few 100 dollars is way less than the 6% of the selling price.

We simply put a for sale sign out front, an ad in the paper and a house for sale sign in our cars. We'd do it again and pretty much with the same level of effort-it would work in our area due to several factors. No need to list on every realtor site in the western US. It helps that we live in vacationland. I'm 65 and the thought of doing it again in 10 years does not concern me.

If someone wanted to see the house, I'd have them make an appointment, by phone and show them around. Much more pleasent than having some agent telling us to get lost for two hours.

Last edited by Mr5150; 04-24-2015 at 09:40 AM..
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,004,474 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by augiedogie View Post
We will list ours FSBO when it goes on the market. The last time we sold it in 4 days. Piece of cake. Just hire a lawyer for all the legal stuff. Much cheaper and a lot less hassle than an agent what wants to show the house at 8:00am or 10:00PM. List it on craiglist. Run an ad in the paper or other circulars. One of the things the agent offers is that they can sell it quick. But if you've retired, your not usually in that big a hurry.
So all you did was post on C-list and run an ad in a local paper? How else did you market it?
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:31 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,937 posts, read 42,216,522 times
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I wouldn't. I'm knowledgeable in a lot of things, including some facets of real estate, but not enough on the selling end to be confident I could do it.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,004,474 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
I'll be curious to see the responses here. I have spent time on the real estate board and all the figure point to a listing agent getting a higher selling price and more for the owner, even after full commissions, FSBO.
Before we decided to do FSBO, I invited 3 realtors from different agencies to come over and do a market analysis. I was honest with them and said I'd be comparing them to each other (their marketing plans) and that I may wind up selling myself. They were game, and provided consistent starting figure for selling. I thanked them all when I emailed them to say I'd be doing FSBO but I hoped they'd bring buyers, for a smaller (1/3) commission. I will say that every realtor I came in contact with was professional and respectful. They seemed to be right on the beam.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,004,474 times
Reputation: 15649
Just want to say here that I'm NOT trying to undermine the real estate industry with this thread. My decision to do FSBO was strictly from a personal financial point of view. Doing this is not for the faint of heart, you have to give it your all and work hard on your own behalf. Realtors (most) do work hard, and I'd love for a realtor to sell our house this time around, it's just the financial aspect...
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