Using a Homes For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Company

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If you’re selling your home by owner, you’re probably very familiar with all the reasons for doing so: no commissions, more control, less stress. Obviously the real bottom line is simple: more money for you.

So let’s just assume that when you’re selling by owner, it means that you want to make/save as much money as possible. Following that line of thought, you might not see any reason for using a FSBO company, one of those help-you-sell types that you can purchase marketing through. You might be perfectly content to stick a sign in the front yard and wait.

Well, in today’s buyers’ market, wait you will.

Here’s my solution: use a FSBO company.

You may be thinking, doesn’t this contradict the whole point of selling on your own? If I use a company, shouldn’t I just use a realtor? Well, no. FSBO companies counteract the primary problem of selling by yourself: they bring you buyers and create professional advertising.

If you decide tomorrow to sell your house and you buy a red and white sign at the hardware store and put it in the yard, only the people who drive by your home will know it’s for sale. This is a start, and it’s good, but you want to cast your net a little wider. You want to reach as many people as possible so you can find THE buyer—the one who’s going to pay you what your home is worth, in the shortest amount of time.

FSBO companies usually offer advertisements with their websites, magazines or other marketing tools. They build their business around reaching consumers and bringing them to your property. This is very, very important.

Plus, you’re still saving thousands of dollars: compared to a 6% commission, a one-time fee for advertising/buyer-gathering is always a better deal! Personally, I’ve been very satisfied with Buy Owner, after using several other companies. BO is the only company that left me with no complaints. Do some research and determine which company’s best for you. (Ask me about any one of them! Odds are, I know about it, if I haven’t used it myself!)

Selling a property is important—so important, in fact, that you want to do it right. Consider a FSBO company. You’ll be glad you did.

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12 Comments

  1. RealEstateLady on

    I would have to agree with what you said if we were in the real estate market that existed before 2005. However, there is simply too much inventory now for a FSBO to attract a buyer. The companies that profess to help the FSBO really only cost them…mostly money but also their time. Placing the listing in the MLS is of no help today; once again, the inventory is too high. Also, it is manditory that it be clear in the listing that the property is being listed by a FSBO service and that the agent would be dealing directly with the owner. Very seldom would an agnet in this market take the chance of exposing one of the few qualified buyers they have to an owner. The chances of the transaction no closing is way too high. The seller is also paying fees upfront, even if the property does not sell, they have had to pay the fees.

    It costs the qualified buyer nothing to work with an agent; who has access to all the listings in the area and knows where the best buys are located. Most often, only investors looking for a deal, or unqualified buyers hoping to find lender financing are making offers on FSBO properties.

    Trends have be followed and established that a qualified agent will comand at least an 18% higher selling price. Yes, the FSBO had to pay the 6%, but still made more money. Also, in this market, sellers can not enter into transactions that will not close without loosing lots of money. A well qualified agent knows what to look for and how to get out of the transaction quickly if it becomes necessary. FSBO companies will not be there for you….

    If you want to make more money on the sale of your home, find an agent that has a strong web site…this is where the buyers are. They need to be connected and able to list your property on 15-20 web sites. If there marketing plan is to put the listing in the MLS and put a sign in your yard, then you should sell FSBO. Take the time to find the right agent, interview several agents and check them out. But, please, don’t try these services that “help” FSBO’s. You need expert marketing in this market or you will loose a lot of money.

  2. Well I’m glad to have got you thinking, realestatelady. You make some interesting points; however, I take issue with a few of your arguments:

    You said: “I would have to agree with what you said if we were in the real estate market that existed before 2005. However, there is simply too much inventory now for a FSBO to attract a buyer. ”

    Actually I see it another way: with so many homes to choose from, which would you rather purchase–a home with no commission, reasonably priced, where you deal with the seller directly OR a home at full commission, priced up to compensate, where you deal with middlemen?

    You said: “Placing the listing in the MLS is of no help today; once again, the inventory is too high. ”

    I agree. That’s another good reason to not go that route. Sell on your own, using advertising online, and pay no commissions. It’s also worth noting that (ironically) a lot of realtors will try to sell their “service” by saying they put you in the MLS, providing tons of access. Access only to realtors.

    You said: “FSBO companies will not be there for you….”

    Each time I sold with Buy Owner, they helped me with any tricky spots that came up. I had the resources with all of the power.

    You said: “It costs the qualified buyer nothing to work with an agent; who has access to all the listings in the area and knows where the best buys are located.”

    It costs nothing when they haven’t found anything. Commissions are costly for both buyers and sellers.

  3. Steven Boorstein on

    I’ll take the middle road on this one…

    First, I think since this blog is aimed at real estate investors, it might be a good idea to address a property sale specifically for that group.

    As an investor, I’d generally think that your could first try to network the deal (local real estate associations, other local landlords, selling to tenants, lawn sign, etc.) Especially for multi-unit buildings. Based on the interest from that level of marketing, which I think you could gauge in a very short time, the next step might either be a real estate agent or a FSBO site.

    The FSBO sites, in my opinion are a good way for investors to gain access to the MLS for multi-family properties, even though they seem to be shunned by agents. Most investors look through the MLS themselves because they either have a real estate license or go directly to websites like Realtor.com themselves to search the listings. Although I sometimes rely on agents to help me, I have rarely found they are looking for the same things that I am looking for when I search for good rental properties.

    This is very much unlike the role that I think agents play for non-investors looking for a personal residence. These agents can play a crucial role in providing experience and knowledge in helping first time buyers, for example, since they have been through a lot of houses in the area and could save them a lot of time by weeding out the ones that don’t have the amenities these “personal home” buyers want.

    On the other hand, an investor who has single family home that he can rehab and is looking to try and sell it to a homeowner for their personal residence… I think agents make a lot of sense (as long as you get one who is comitted to advertising heavily or has a huge network).

    My general suggestions to real estate investors is that if you think you have the time, and are good at negotiating and marketing… by all means go FSBO. On the other hand if you hate showing the property yourself, scheduling appointments, driving to the property, and don’t want to deal directly with sellers on the negotiation… use a good, professional real estate agent.

    In my opinion, you can save money or lose money either way. You just have to know which tactic is better for you personally.

    Steven Boorstein
    Landlord Business Insider

  4. Dear my friend,
    it’s very useful and interesting for me , i’m a newcomer in real estate field. hope that we can connect each other to have a really clear and general image about real estate market.

  5. Yes I am very much agreed with you If you’re selling your home by owner, you’re probably very familiar with all the reasons for doing so: no commissions, more control, less stress. You are removing middleman that will definitely save your extra money. So good option.

  6. Thanks for sharing this article. I find it informative. I’ve recently found a service that can be useful for fsbos. It is called drivescore: http://drivescore.fizber.com. It shows a map of what establishments are in your neighborhood and calculates a Drive Score based on the number of places within a convenient driving distance.

  7. Real Estate Resource on

    Doing it your own is a good idea if you are not in a hurry selling your house otherwise get a real estate agent (a good one), most likely, it will sell you house in a short period of time compare to FSBO. Speaking of marketing tools I heard Craigslist is worth a shot because this advertising site is most visited and it’s free.

    -Jan

  8. I think Doing it yourself is a good idea(but you canbe do mistake) if you can sell your house after sometime so must be get a real estate agentmost likely, it will sell you house in a short period of time compare to FSBO. Speaking of marketing tools.i m agree with jan

  9. You know during these hard times every dollar you can save and put in your pocket is for all the better. Like the author stated it’s best to due your due diliegence when shoppinf for anything.

    But during these times more FSBO companies are working hard to get clients as many home owners believe they can do it themselves, hmmm you may be in for more than what you think.

  10. I am a novice when it comes to real estate but this article is an eye-opener for me. For one, I didn’t even know that FSBO companies exist or there are firms that help market a property (yet, the owner is still very much responsible for the sale) other than real estate agents. I am glad to know that one can directly sell his or her property but can still seek assistance from some reliable source to provide a compelling ad. That’s good news indeed. Some may not totally agree with the idea but an FSBO company sounds right for me.

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