Myths Seen On Many FSBO Web Sites

There are many web sites on the internet that want you to place your property with them.  You need to learn to the difference between the truth and myths before you select that route. 

Here are some statements found on several FSBO web sites and the truth:

"In a buyer's market FSBO sellers can use the money they save on the listing agent's commission to do one or more of the following: (1) raise the buyer's agent's commission, (2) market the home more aggressively, or (3) lower the price."

Truth:  In a Buyer's Market, listing with an professional is much more important.  Just make sure the professional has experience in Buyer's Markets (ie, has been licensed more than 15 years!).  Your property is competing against many other properties for a lower number of buyers!  

Increasing the payment to the the buyer's agent assumes that all real estate professionals who are working with buyers know about your home and want to do the extra work required.  But if you double the amount they'd be happy to do all the work.  But then you might as well list the house.

Remember, the only reason buyers want to purchase a By Owner home is to save the money on the commission, too.  So they will expect the price to already be lower.  And now these "experts" tell you to lower the price.  Some savings that is.  They just want you to pay for the MLS Only service they offer!

"Though buyer's agents may have a fiduciary duty to search all homes for sale in the area for their clients, there's evidence that agents in some areas boycott FSBO homes or steer their clients away from them.  If you're in a hurry to sell, it might be best to give in to this bullying and work with an agent."

Truth:  Our fiduciary duty is to work in our "clients" best interest.  We are NOT required by our fiduciary duty to pull out the newspapers and drive around neighborhoods and call all FSBOs to see if the home is right for our buyers.  The best interests of the buyer are usually served best by finding them a home owned by a reasonable seller who has someone working for them.

Because of the number of Independent Contractors in the real estate industry (all of them), it is doubtful that in any area there would be an agreement to boycott ANYONE!

Remember, would you want to do twice as much work on your job for the same amount of money...or less?  Many buyer's agent contracts require the buyer to pay the extra commission if the seller is offering less than the amount the buyer's agreed to.  When this happens, the professional will tell the buyer and ask for their decision as to whether to view the property or not.  Usually, the buyer doesn't want to see it, as paying extra will not be in their best interest.

"Once a listing contract is signed, listing agents have little incentive to spend money on marketing"

Truth:  Listing companies and their licensee usually spend a lot of money marketing a house before it sells.  Just wait until you find out how much a small classified ad in the newspaper costs you!  They actively market your home because they want to bring in buyer leads!  Sure there are some who just "put it in the MLS and hope it sells", but you need to avoid listing with some one like that.  A true professional will give you a detailed marketing plan.

"Signing a contract with a listing agent can be risky.  You might find yourself locked into a contract for several months with a flaky or incompetent agent."

Truth:  All you have to do is make sure that the listing contract contains some form of a "out" for you....and never sign a long time contract (meaning over 6 months).  You also need to do a lot of work interviewing real estate professionals from several different companies to find the best one for you.

"Selling "For Sale by Owner: (FSBO) isn't much different from listing a home with a traditional real estate agent."

Truth:  WOW!  What a lie that is.  Doing everything on your own (pricing, knowing what to do to get your home in top showing condition, negotiating, knowing what to disclose, having all the legal liability, and problem solving) is the same as having a professional help you?  Yeah, sure!  Again, they just want your MLS Entry Only fee.

"There is no secret! If you can sell a used car, you can sell your home."

Truth:  See the answer above!

This article could go more, but hopefully you have get the point.  The web sites out there with these outrageous statements are in business.  Their business is to make a fee for putting your home in the MLS...and then not doing any work for you.


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Linda Grissette
Keller Williams Realty West
Office: 636-229-8722
Linda is a licensed Broker-Associate in the State of Missouri.

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