FSBO Not getting any prospects

48 Replies

Muinda. I would not rely on any "expert" advice from anyone claiming to be a Real Estate Agent. Every single one of them is greedy and only looking out for themselves. Hence the comment about the commission. Notice how that is always their first question. You CAN sell this property on your own. There are some good suggestions. The photos are key in this situation. Nobody knows your property better than you. NOBODY! No matter how "expert" someone thinks they are. Post on every social media possible. Community Boards. Facebook. Your end goal is to sell the property right? Just keep at and and don't throw away your hard earned money on an agent.

I totally agree with Louie Masters.

Notice that, all people who strongly disagree you not to FSBO are real estate agents.

Even though you give your listing to a real estate agent today, I guarantee you that, after you sign the listing agreement with the Realtor, their selling strategy is to tell you, drop the price today.

I have seen many successful FSBO stories.

To sell a property at top dollars, is to list it at MLS and price correctly.

Listing at MLS is the main key.

To list it at MLS, you can either hire an agent or pay a flat fee MLS listing like you have done already, which is great!

The other part, is to price your property correctly.

@Muinda Gueston ,

I agree with some of the other posters about the house itself.

While I don't know your area, just looking at the pictures, it looks dark and dated, especially the pink bathroom.

My first guess is that you will be getting offers, if any,  well below asking from fix-and-flippers who see what needs to be redone.

My $0.02 ...

Sounds like you are on the right track. Much better photos and I tend to agree on my basic look, price is high. Unless the house is completely updated and pristine they usually don't get top dollar. I imagine you wouldn't want to, but get pro photos after you declutter and stage it a bit. I would also entertain painting some of the rooms with a neutral color (beige or grey). Last but not least unless $350k is the right sales price, it suggest dropping it, to maybe $325k? Hopefully you weren't dead seat on getting $350k, but I am not sure the neighborhood sold houses I saw show yours is worth $350k.

I'm not an agent. And I still say it is almost always a mistake to FSBO.

The reasons have already been mentioned. Unrealistic pricing. More work for either the buyer's agent, or your attorney, or both (and if your attorney ends up doing things that would normally be done by a seller's agent, it will cost you MORE, not less, to FSBO.) Lack of understanding of real estate marketing, as evidenced by things like lousy photos and going to market at the wrong time of year.

People using an agent consistently get a better price.  This has been validated in every single study of the data that I am aware of.  

FSBO is false economy, unless you really, really know what you are doing.

@Richard C. do you have any studies you can share? I am told frequently that agents can get more than the 2.5-3.5% saved selling by owner. I have never had a house that would appraise for that high, so I have yet to sell other than FSBO, however I am always up for reading into it. I have also never been to a closing where both the buyer and the seller didn't have an agent... I imagine this is state to state, but every single closing I have been at was conducted at an attorney's office, by the buyers attorney, so I'm not even sure hiring one can be avoided everywhere.

FYI I may be using my current buying agent to sell my next house for me. Up to this point FSBO has been my go to, but I actually want my agent who hasn't been great on my searching to get more than just his commission on my buy end.

I have done more than 10 deals off market without buyer agent nor listing agent.

I found the deals off market. I wrote the offer myself to the seller directly, then take the signed contract to a title company.
Then the title company handle the rest of the paper work. And we are done. No attorney, no agent. Just title company is good enough.

I have also done more than 10 deals on MLS.
I wrote the offer myself and emailed it to the listing agent.
We closed it all smoothly and successfully.

Comments from the listing agent to me:
The listing agents said:
I’m an easy, straight to Point, no wasting time on anybody. They like to work with me again although I don’t have a buyer agent.

The terms on the offers I made is a 3-win situation. (Win-win-win, listing agent win, seller win, buyer win). And this is my secret sauce to get my offer accepted.

"...don't throw away your hard earned money on an agent."

Must have had bad experiences. Selling FSBO = hiring a subpar/average agent. But hiring a quality agent? The financial, mental and time gained are worthwhile.

@Andrew Kerr well... I took a lot of the advice given, hired a photographer and decluttered more items in the home so it's staged quite well, and I lowered the price for better competitiveness. The broker who I paid $500 to list on MLS took 2 weeks getting the proper information up and new photos. Meanwhile the only calls I received were from agents wanting to sell for me. The broker explained that his contact info must remain on the listing and he would forward any inquiries to me. I have received none which is quite odd to me. Lastly the broker called me today to tell me he had a potential buyer and He wants to show the house tomorrow. Should I be suspicious?

Updated over 1 year ago

well... I took a lot of the advice given, hired a photographer and decluttered more items in the home so it's staged quite well, and I lowered the price for better competitiveness. The broker who I paid $500 to list on MLS took 2 weeks getting the proper information up and new photos. Meanwhile the only calls I received were from agents wanting to sell for me. The broker explained that his contact info must remain on the listing and he would forward any inquiries to me. I have received none which is quite odd to me. Lastly the broker called me today to tell me he had a potential buyer and He wants to show the house.

@Sam Lin I understand where you are coming from and so far this has been a headache for me. Problem is I'm not a quitter and I won't hire an agent until I'm at my wits end. Thanks!

Account Closed thank you for sharing your experiences. Gives me hope that i can accomplish this without an agent!

While I am not familiar with your specific market, I do know the US has been having a large influx of foreign cash as they like US real estate. When I sold my portfolio last year, I had interest from NY to California, from the Middle East even two private groups out of Hong Kong. The buyer that bought my portfolio ended up being from the west coast. With that in mind, nothing phases me, but that is me. If he is a licensed broker and wants to bring through someone, I personally wouldn't worry about it.

@David Dachtera thank you David for your $.02! I figured I might have to negotiate the price a bit for the dated bathroom and countertops. Also i have since updated the photos and they look good.

@Andrew Kerr wow all the way from China? Quite interesting. I️ think my concern with the broker was that perhaps he maybe wasn't passing my contact info on to the prospects in hopes of helping a peer profit from the sale. 

Updated over 1 year ago

ow all the way from China? Quite interesting.

@Muinda Gueston you may have gotten a different photographer, but the photographs are still bad. You did not use a photographer that shoots real estate. The exposure on the phtographs was not performed properly. Your description also has wording in it that violates the Fair Housing Act. I do not see the required seller disclosure packet uploaded to the MLS. Did you fill one out? If not you should be aware it is required by law to provide it to potential buyers. I believe I know who the builder of your house is...and if your house is 2 levels, and it is the builder I think...did you disclose the all hazardous materials in the house? That builder tended to use a type of asbestos called transite in the underground air ducts.

@Russell Brazil I did fill out a form regarding hazardous materials in the home such as lead. The siding is asbestos siding but that is all I'm aware of. Not sure what words violate fair housing act but I will bring these items up to my attorney. I appreciate the info.


Last year 2016, one of the conversations I had with my friend who is a Realtor.

She told me about two of her listings.

One listing was a very ugly house without any upgrades, received many negative comments from different buyers/agents about the ugly house, but it didn’t take too long for the house to be sold (even with all negative comments) because it was priced “right”.

During the same period of time, another of her listing was an upgraded beautiful house, received many positive comments from different buyers/agents like the house is beautiful etc. However, it took almost one year to get the house to be sold because the seller asking price was high.

Price it “right” is the key.

All buyers include you and me always look for the best deal on the market.
Pretend that you are the buyer.
Let’s take a look at all other houses around your house.
If you are the buyer, base on both price and conditions of the houses, to be honest, would you buy your house or other houses surrounding your house?

If you feel that other house is a better deal than your house, maybe your house would not be sold before “that” better deal house has an offer first.

If you want to sell it fast, make your house be the best deal (doesn’t mean the cheapest, need to consider the conditions too) in the same area, I’m sure the “smart” buyer will find your good deal house.

If there is not too much profit and not worth to sell it with lower price, why not hold and rent it out for another year or two, and get more appreciation?

All cities in USA have very low inventory houses, the market is still very strong. I’m very bullish on the next few years.
I’m not selling any of mine, and will hold it for at least a few more years for more appreciation.

A few months ago, I bought another two properties at the same time. One house was listed at $238,000 the cheapest in the area, everybody knows this is the best deal, multiple offers already the second day it was on the MLS, I made an offer of $247,000 and my offer was accepted.
Another house was listed at $280,000. Seller listed too high, nobody made any offer. The high listing price scared away the other buyers. I was the only buyer made offer. I negotiated back and forth with the seller, got my offer accepted at $250,000.

These two houses are the same floor plan (same size) in the same Community.

One house, I made offer above the asking price. Another house, I made offer way below asking price. Because I did my homework and checked the comp before I made the offers. I knew how much the houses were estimated to be worth. I made offers using the market “right” price instead of the listing price.

Good luck

By the way, I wrote the offers myself and made the negotiations myself with the listing agent directly. I didn’t use a buyer agent.

I’m not a Realtor. I’m purely an investor.

@Andrew Kerr @Anthony Gayden Account Closed so guys I had a guy come by the house 3 times and brought his daughter whom he's buying the home for. She kept telling me how much couldn't stop thinking about my house. I priced the home at 338,900 which is lower than the current comps by a few thousand. The 3rd visit he asked me to take 295k I told him I couldn't go lower than 335( because I would like to bank at least 20k at closing/ I owe 300k now). TOnight he has counter offered at 330 and I pay for any structural damage. I told the broker I wouldn't go below 333 and as-is but will pay up to 2k for structural damage. The broker offered that anl they stopped responding. The broker also mentioned how historically real estate slows down until New Years and that I may not be able to sell until spring and that in the end I would be losing profit by continuing to pay mortgage. Your thoughts please.


I'm not sure what your particular situation is but in my experience it is a pain in the butt to do FSBO. At first it was exciting and easy. Then I quickly learned why realtors want you to have a letter of approval before you go "shopping". There are plenty of people out there just window shopping and I myself am also guilty of it as well. I wasn't doing FSBO for the last 3 months and had 50 calls, 15 showings, and 5 people who said they are on their way to the bank now. Then, no response to text or phone. Truth is, manny people like to drive around and negotiate. Maybe their serious but probably not. Do yourself a favor and do what I did. Hire a realtor. Luckily I know what's wuestions to ask like can you bring comps to the meeting, how long have you been in the area, how's many homes have you and/or your team sold this year, etc. Then, I tell them how much I need to net. With a simple calculation we figure out what we have to sell it for and the max commission I can pay to keep sale price reasonable (4%).

Hope that helps.

@William H. that is NOT what I wanted to hear lol but I appreciate it. I'm going to sleep on it and if this deal does t happen then I'll probably end up taking your advice. Thanks

@Muinda Gueston I would strongly consider interviewing agents and even opening up to the possibility of hiring one if a stand out agent shows up. I found an amazing agent through referral many years ago as a result of keeping an open mind.

Ask the agents to brings comps and several examples of prior listings. I agree with many others that your pictures could be improved. Here is a link to a house I am currently selling to give you an idea of the difference between a photographer and one that specializes in RE photography: https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/518-Havenbrook-Way-NW_Concord_NC_28027_M63793-70070

You are looking for a couple things in an agent. A lot of comps. 2 or 3 isn’t sufficient and indicates a lazy agent in most cases. My agent usually brings at least 6-10. A lazy agent won’t get you top dollar. Ask them to explain why they used the particular comps they did. Look at their prior listings. Do their pictures stand out? If not, move on. If their pictures are good, ask them what they plan to do to make your listing stand out. Do NOT tell them what you feel you need to get to sell the house unless you are ready to sign a listing agreement with them. DO be 100% honest with them about the property condition and any problems you are aware of. Ask them what you can do to improve your chances of selling quickly, aside from price. Be open and remember this is a free opportunity to gain valuable information.

Why is this exercise worth it? Well, it will tell you several things. First, it will tell you where you need to be priced at. Second, it will help you determine updates you can do to improve your chances of selling. This is a HOT market. If you aren’t showing, something is wrong. This exercise will tell you WHAT. Finally, if you do encounter a stand out agent, it may help you see the difference between what you can do vs what an agent can do so you can make an honest assessment of your best plan moving forward. Remember, time is money.

Imo. Don’t put the fsbo in the listing...and the “reasonable” is like the liar always saying, “truth be told.” And the commission is not there either. There is a spot on the mls and most agents probably do not even look at it...they are much more concerned with the product. Focus on the product. Every photo matters. You are reassuring everyone that all your rooms are nice and that your house is worth viewing in person. Instead of stating the backyard is great for entertaining when there is no picnic table or anything out there, let the buyer think “I could turn the backyard into...whatever they want, fido’s toss the ball area. But do tell that the hvac is 2 years old or whatever else you can (just a few big ticket) to alleviate a buyers worse fear, that they buy a money pit. Imo.

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