Real Estate Agents & For Sale By Owner Sellers

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Real Estate

Real estate agents and For Sale by Owner sellers are mortal enemies, right?


It just makes sense. Why would they get along? One wants to save money, the other wants to make money. 

After all, it's always been this way. Plus, you hear it all the time.  Every day, Twitter, Facebook and a million real estate site blogs share horror

stories about why it's a bad idea to sell your own home.

FSBO sites do it too. Realtors don't do anything you can't do yourself, it would seem, so why pay them?

It would seem the natural order of things and that's just the way it is. But it doesn't have to be that way. More importantly, it shouldn't be that way. 

You see, FSBOs really can benefit from a real estate professional in ways that help Realtors grow their business too. 

Here are the top 3 ways FSBOs can use Realtors to sell their homes faster and easier:

   1.     Realtors actually are open to reduced commission

The data shows that most For Sale by Owner sellers end up with a real estate agent after their home goes unsold for around 4 months. Why not plan ahead and make contact with a savvy Realtor who's open to reducing their commission to a) list your home if it doesn't sell and/or b) bringing you more buyers and traffic to your home at an agreed-upon reduced commission?

Most FSBO sellers assume Realtors won't be open to this, but the most successful agents get it and will happily work with you. It may take a while to shop around and find a savvy agent who knows FSBOs can grow their business, so plan accordingly and take your time choosing the right agent that "gets it." 

    2.  You can pay a Realtor to handle the closing

Good realtors are, well, very good and efficient at handling the most difficult parts of a home transaction. Things like settlement proceedings, title companies, legal counsel, surveyors, escrow setup, contracts, etc. are routine for them and the best agents have it down to a science.

Think about it. The more efficient and smooth a close, the less time and money they spend away from selling and marketing homes. Again, many of the best agents will help you with these important items for a fee or reduced commissions. It could keep you out of the legal hot water and from losing more money in a deal than you intended.

" I absolutely love the opportunity to assist FSBOs with getting a transaction closed," said Sheri Griffin, Realtor with Coldwell Banker-Group One Monroe, LA. "I usually work with the seller and give a reduced commission given they may already have a ready and willing buyer. Typically, the commission would still be a percentage of the price but obviously much lower than a full listing agreement. "

    3.  A Realtor can help you set your price correctly

The number one reason FSBO sellers fail at or lose money selling their homes? They get the price wrong.

Pricing a home for sale is one of - if not the - most important things a seller can do. It should be based not on your "pride of ownership" feelings or how much you've put into it, but instead on a detailed assessment of comparable homes that have sold in the last year, current and near-term future market trends, location elements and about a half dozen other factors.

Realtors have the tools to help you form a solid selling price. This can prevent you from losing money or losing lots of valuable time. 

Realtors and FSBOs can work together. In fact, many real estate analysts see an increase in not only FSBO activity, but in the need for the two sides to come closer together to help home buyers who are themselves increasingly looking for alternative deals and better transactions. It's a smart FSBO seller - and a smart Realtor- who realizes the value of partnerships aligned with common goals.