Anyone ever sell their home " By Owner " or something with out a Realtor....

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by chickenzoo, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    We are trying to find out about selling our one home ourselves. It is looking like at the least, with what we still owe, if we used a realtor we would be losing money ... not even breaking even. So.... what did you do if you ever sold a home yourself..... How did you do it, what would you do/ not do again...... What should I need to know...... Did you use a Buy Owner company?...... what ever you can tell me......
  2. duckluck

    duckluck Dulcimyrh Ducks

    Oct 22, 2009
    I did, and all I did was get some "for sale by owner" signs and put them out on the street corner on the weekend (when the village wouldn't be out and getting in my business about a permit). I got a buyer in 48 hours and I let my lawyer handle the sale, because we were selling our old house "as is" without any warranty. Everything went through pretty much without a hitch, except after they signed they wanted to start charging us rent until we got out, which was only going to be a week! We'd had a verbal agreement that since the guy wanted to remodel the house, my husband would help him carry in all his supplies and they wanted us there so the house wouldn't be vacant in the meantime, but then they wanted to try and get some extra money out of us after closing. So I packed up everything into my two horse trailers right away and they didn't get one more red cent out of me, which they had already gotten a good deal on the house anyway. But yeah, you'll lose a load of money on a realtor and they won't know what you do about your property, so why give them money? A lawyer will be involved anyway, so cut out one extra middle man. And forget the "buy owner" companies too, more money to waste.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Before the Great Collapse, yes, you could sell your own home. Today? If your home would bring 80K with a realtor, minus the 7%, that would mean you would have to sell it for $76K to realize any substantial pocketed savings. What I am trying to say is that if you under water, using a realtor or not using a realtor might not make a bit of difference. FSBO sales rarely fetch what a realtor get can. There's not often this HUGE savings. Would a couple grand of commission "save the day"? It'd likely be a wash. Just one old guy's opinion, who's bought sold more houses than Carter's got pills.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I was a realtor for 8 years. The internet has changed the market somewhat. There is nothing a FSBO company can do for you that you can't do for yourself, so in my opinion, that route is a waste of money. They usually have a set fee, no matter what happens with your house, not a commission, unless something has changed in recent years. Newspaper ads are super expensive to run and it's constant work if you do it yourself--just think where you would get the exposure. FSBO companies say they have a magazine (I never see them anywhere) or they say they list you on their website (I never see them pop up, though). I'd be more inclined to do it myself than pay them their fee for little exposure.

    The good thing about being listed with a realtor is the exposure in the multi-list, which means thousands upon thousands of people whose companies are connected have your home on the radar in case they have a client that fits your house. And the fee is not set--by law, it's negotiable, though some companies have a policy that it's 7%, there are many who will list your home for less than that and some have sliding scales with varying services to match different rates. It's a new world in real estate than when I was in it in the mid 90's and early 2000's. I've never sold a place without a realtor, before or after I was one, until lately, but the market is tough. There are so many deals to be had, unless you have super exposure or are willing to make someone the deal of a lifetime, having a realtor may be the difference between making a bit less due to the commission and not selling at all. Really weird market, to be sure. I understand your dilemma, though! I'm sort of in the same boat, but we're getting close to giving up selling at all now.

    ETA: Different locales/markets have different situations, though. What may be a hard sell in one area would go pretty fast in another. Some places, properties have been sitting for literally years with the same for sale sign in front of it and not because they are overpriced, either. Buyers are snatching up bargains (they think, anyway) and bypassing well-priced, but higher, more normally-priced homes. Maybe when all that madness slows down, some of us can sell our properties.

    Best of luck to you. Hopefully, more folks can give you input on this soon.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  5. lucky123

    lucky123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2009
    I have sold a couple of homes without a realtor, and a couple with one. I just ran adds in the local newspaper, and the thrift mags that are free. It can get very exspensive running adds in the paper for a long period if it doesn't sell. I would try it without one for a couple of months, and if you don't sell you might not have a choice but to use a realtor. I can tell you the value has dropped around 50% here, so, you most likely won't like the price it will bring now compared to what you paid. Good luck.
  6. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Thank you for the advice, we had a realtor for 4 months. It seemed they only post on the MLS... no newspaper etc... around here... unless they forgot to tell me... the others also said the same and everyone wants 6.5 %. that and selling the house for what the recommend price would be would leave us $20,000 in the hole. If we sold ourselves me might gain a few thousand as we could avoid paying the $5000 to the realtor..... don't know.... it's a shame as it's a nice house, on a corner lot and we put $20,000 of work into it a few years back.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    You forget that the multi list(s) is massive and they are linked all over the country, too-realtors in other areas who don't have access to the local MLS will call your realtor's company to refer clients who are looking for a place like yours. The multi list by itself means any time a realtor with a client who is looking for a property similar to yours will have it pop up on their screen. It's really better than any newspaper ad would be as it's there 24/7 and on the company website for people to access who don't even have a realtor at the time.

    In this market, it will usually take months more time to sell any place than in other time periods prior to the recession. There is no magic formula, just exposure to a wide marketplace, and eventually, that buyer will show up and the realtor will facilitate the sale. You can sell it on your own, but I'm just explaining the advantages of a realtor since many people don't really understand the value of the multiple listing services. The cost of running a newspaper ad constantly (some local papers just don't get much of an audience, either) can run into the thousands if you keep it up for a couple of years--it's really taking that long for many properties to sell, or longer even.

    There are FSBO websites that will allow you free ads--I'd go that route over a newspaper. Put a For Sale sign with a flyer box out front and make up a sale flyer for your home and keep that stocked. The first big batch will be taken by curious neighbors, trust me.

    7.5%? Never heard of anyone charging that much. That's too much. Companies work differently and some have their set commission rate (though by law, it is negotiable), some let their agents negotiate more.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You are not alone, and better off than most. Virtually anyone who bought a house in the mid decade, 2002-2007 has seen their values disappear anywhere from 30% to 50% of what they paid. Most places are still losing value, as the bottom is mushy and may not have been established yet. Add to that what people invested in updates and remodeling, and there's no way, in this market, in most places, to recoup the shrinkage. Mortgages in that famous period were also granted with 5% down or less. Thus, the equity is simply not there. This issue dwarfs the different sales methods. FSBO vs Multi-list realtor. Yes, it is a shame.
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    A shame, indeed. My dad keeps telling us to sit tight for about 5 more years and he thinks the market will rebound quite a bit by that time. I'm not so sure, though there has always been an ebb and flow in these things.
  10. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    DH and I have just spent the last few months looking at real estate so we're on the opposite end of the spectrum. What I will tell you is that we did all of our research into properties on This is a website that has all houses currently on the market - those listed with a realtor, FSBO and even foreclosures. I'm not sure how you get your property listed on trulia if you are not listed with an FSBO but it bears looking into. The other place I looked on a regular basis is Craigslist, and it is free to place an ad there.

    To be honest, as a buyer, we worked with a real estate agent but she did not "find"a single house for us. We did all the legwork to find properties we are interested in, then told her the address and asked her to set up a showing. Its not that she didn't try - its just that we knew what we were looking for far better than anyone. One time she printed off a list of properties she thought might meet our needs and gave it to me to look at. I had so thoroughly researched all the options that I recognized every one of the 15 or so addresses on her list and was able to go down it saying "this one won't work because of this reason" or "that one looks nice but we're concerned about...." and so on. I think she kind of gave up after that and just let us find the house.

    I found the combination of Trulia and Zillow ( to be invaluable. On Trulia you can search by city, zip, neighborhood, county, MLS ID and so on. You can put in all the criteria that a realtor uses on the MLS to narrow search - price, number of bed/bathrooms, lot size, amenities and so on. And you can do it anywhere in the country!

    With all due respect to SpeckledHen's experience as a realtor, the internet really has changed everything. I can remember shopping for houses in the 90's, when our realtor was the only access to information about properties. Unless we happened to see one as we were driving around, we were completely reliant on the realtor finding and showing us houses that might interest us. Now, as a buyer we can do it all ourselves. After finding a house on Trulia, we looked it up on Zillow to find out more about it. We also used Google Maps to see it both in an aerial photo and in street view where we were able to "walk" past the property from any direction to see things that might not be mentioned in the listing. It is just a whole different world now.

    As a buyer, my biggest concern about a FSBO would have been not knowing enough about contracts etc. However it wouldn't have stopped me looking at a FSBO if we'd found one we thought might work, and DH pointed out that the title company would make sure all of the correct paperwork was completed, as part of their role in the closing process.

    Good luck!

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