• Jessica Vantiegham

Our FSBO Experience

Updated: Jan 18, 2019

Gripping tale of a professional real estate broker looking for a FSBO.

Ah....For Sale By Owner. I respect it to a certain degree. I also loathe dealing with it as a Realtor. And not for the obvious car sales-y reasons that it takes away my bread and butter. Although, it does make me a lil sad. Let's be real.

I get it...why pay an agent if you can easily sell it yourself. And up until now, I have had limited exposure to FSBOs. It's never been part of my business structure to chase after these folks hoping to change their minds. 

However, my husband and I are on a mission to acquire investment properties this year which has us looking at anything and everything...including FSBOs.  And this is where our story begins...

No EXPOSURE online. We literally bumped into two homes on our way to look at another FSBO.  They were listed on ONLY one website and, unless you were navigating that particular site, it was BLIND LUCK that someone found the home. 98% of people find their home online and your pretty little house is on ONE website?  Eeks.

Uhm, could we just SEE it?   We get it.  You don't want some random stranger off of the internet stomping through your home without someone present.  That being said, we waited 25 minutes past a scheduled appointment for a late homeowner to even open the door.  Talk about bad first impression!  Another homeowner was unavailable to show it for 4 days. Seriously!?!  F.O.U.R. days. 

Photos are AWFUL.  One had a shaky picture of the front of the home and nothing else.  The others had photos taken from the corner of the rooms cutting off important details and giving no insight on the flow of the floorplan.  I won't consider buying shoes without at least 4 differing views but you want me to consider viewing and buying your home based on this marketing? C'mon!!

Zillow said my house is worth (insert fake number here).  Things I love about Zillow:  the interface is easy to navigate and makes surfing for homes fun for potential homebuyers. The end.  

One of the greatest resources Realtors have is the MLS which allows us, as Realtors, to price a home competitively and ahead of the market.  These FSBOs were priced all over the board. Either too low or too high but nowhere near the actual mark. 

None of these homes fit our needs so we never made an offer. But what if we had?  I'm a full time Realtor with a background in legal acquisitions. Our offer would have been submitted on standard TAR forms approximately 15-20 pages long with important details a seller may or may have not missed, potentially costing them even more money than hiring a Realtor.   

Look, if you're thinking about selling yourself...completely understand. But at least talk to an Agent. You may find that the value they bring to the table may help you make more money, not lose it.

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