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Anyone sold their own home? Or used a flat-fee MLS service?

When I moved to Fredericton, NB in the summer of 2004 having a realtor was a great help. She sent us a list of houses for sale, including a few that were not yet on the market that her contacts advised would be soon, and then picked us up at the airport and spent the whole two days with us touring houses. When we finally bought our house, it was for $190K, so she made $4,750 or 2.5% (split 5% commission with the seller's agent). IMO, she more than earned that $4.7K.

Without a realtor, it would have been far more difficult to find the right house and to negotiate the purchase out of province.
 
Realtors have access to this type of information. What I've done with friends is just go to some realtor and tell them you're considering selling your condo/house, and get them to give you a printout of units over the last year sold in your building (or houses on your street).

Then just tell the realtor you've changed your mind or something. Just make sure to not sign anything with them.

Great Idea. Call up an agent and waste their time chasing business that will never amount to anything so you can access information that they get by paying substantial MLS access fees. That doesn't sound quite fair, does it?

And remember, any buyer looking at a for sale by owner will want to save the commission just as much as the seller does.
 
I thought the thread creator wants to find someone who has sold his house privately. Well, I am one.

I got an offer within 10 days. I saved about $22,000 on commission. I estimate that I and the buyer got half of it each. So I saved myself about $11,000, and same as the buyer, who is also very happy.

As for getting information from the agents, you can try this: Call up a few agents and tell them up front that you are considering selling it privately first, then if you fail, you will find an agent (which should be your plan anyway). You will be surprised to see that many of them are willing to give you the CMA report for free with no obligation. It is only a few clicks to print it out from the MLS. They know that if they don't provide it, their competitors will.

I have created a new blog and put my testimonial there. I am also going to post what I have learned from my experience there in the future.

(fsbogeek.blogspot.com)

PM me if you need more advice.
 
I have created a new blog and put my testimonial there. I am also going to post what I have learned from my experience there in the future.

Nicely put together. Great read.

I've looked at a handful of FSBOs and found that the seller is typically a really bad salesperson. Often they're pushy or they draw your attention to things they find important but the buyer (me) couldn't care less about -- the recently upgraded deck railings which they're proud of because they did it themselves, and upon close inspection looks non-professional.

Had a home owner tell me the hardwood floors were recently installed by a friend of theirs. First thing I do is jump up and down -- damn things moved and squeeked -- not a good comment to make.


Second thing many FSBOs do is dink around on the contract over the last 1% gap in an attempt to get the last word. Many people are poor negotiators but they will follow advice if given.


When you do try to sell your own home (or car or anything else) try not to fall into either of the above traps. fsbogeek doesn't seem to have had either difficulty, though 2 weeks to negotiate a contract seems like a very long time.
 
Thanks, rbt, for your appreciation.

I know about 4 other neighbours who are also doing FSBO. So far I am the only one who made it. One neighbour started it about a month before me. Then he gave up after a month-or-so and hired an agent. The house is still not sold today. In this case, the problem is surely not because of the absence of an agent or not.

Another neighbour saw my Sold sign and called me. I gave him a lot of advice. He put the sign up and it has now been 3 weeks. He got a few showings but no offer. Tonight, I am going over to his house and see if I can give me some additional advice.

I don't want to paint the picture that FSBO is easy. I did put in a lot of effort and time. But then you also need to put in effort and time even if you hire an agent.

____________________
fsbogeek.blogspot.com
 
... One neighbour started it about a month before me. Then he gave up after a month-or-so and hired an agent. The house is still not sold today. In this case, the problem is surely not because of the absence of an agent or not.

Another neighbour saw my Sold sign and called me. I gave him a lot of advice. He put the sign up and it has now been 3 weeks. He got a few showings but no offer. Tonight, I am going over to his house and see if I can give me some additional advice.

I'd suggest that your neighbour #1 is almost certainly overpriced. You are right when you say that the involvement or non-involvement of an agent is probably not the issue, given that he has tried it both ways. If his property were realistically priced, he would have had offers by now.

Your neighbour #2 should probably not panic; three weeks is not long in this market. The average "time on market" for listings on the Toronto MLS has been running between 30 and 35 days. Again, though, he might want to double-check his price to be sure it's realistic. Check competing listings in the area.

Whether with an agent or on the do-it-yourself basis, proper pricing is crucial. You don't want to be sitting there with a "stale" listing, which can turn into a kiss of death.
 
About my neighbour #1, this is exactly what I think, just that I did't want to be too direct.

My neighbour #3 is even more interesting. He started selling his home privately. He could not sell it for weeks, so he lowered the price. He still could not sell it, so he turned to an agent. Now his asking price was even higher than the original one!

Both neighbours started selling privately, and later involved agents, but then they still could not price their properties right.

I don't think doing a private sale is complicated. It just requires time and effort, and a lot of common sense. On the other hand, it is not uncommon to hire an agent who does not have much common sense.
 
fsbo is the way of the future. i'm hoping more people will consider this as an option and mls opens up to the public or the mishmash of fsbo sites consolidate or one becomes the industry leader.
 
For a while I tried FSBO on my Condo downtown. It was an insane hassle because every visit had to be arranged with the building security and to have an open house we had to hire a security guard.

Most people that came seemed to be more interested in just looking then as serious buyers.

Then we turned to an agent. While yes we paid out 20k to the Agents we sold our unit for $511 a square foot. We were able to get this profit because:

1. The agent will post ads in the newspaper and MLS getting a very high visibility rate.
2. The 5% will encourage the buyers agent to bring his clients to the site.
3. The professionalism of the agent to be able to properly sell the property and close the deal is head and shoulders above what we could have done.

Using the agent also removed wading through phone calls and trying to schedule appointments around our schedule. It removed the need for weeding out the chaff.

Overall too some agents can't sell properties for months or never sell it at all so the percentage on other buildings helps make up that loss.

Er.... not to be totally negative towards FSBO . It's just there can be definite bonuses to using a Realtor especially if you know that having more eyes on your property can get you a better price.
 
... every visit had to be arranged with the building security and to have an open house we had to hire a security guard.

As far as condo units are concerned, I only have one FLBO (For Lease by Owner) experience. My condo regulations did not required me to have special security arrangement. I just met the potential tenants in the lobby, and brought them to my unit.

Most people that came seemed to be more interested in just looking then as serious buyers.

In fact, this is more true for the people brought in by the agents.

I got my unit rented out in 6 weeks. But then it involved a lot of work. I only saved myself one month rent. So not many people would like to go this way.

I agree that doing FSBO on a condo unit is harder. The commission saved is also relatively smaller than that of a house. The incentive of doing FSBO is much lower.
 
It's funny because when I thought of doing it it seemed to me the opposite would hold true because of the stigma of people thinking that houses might have something wrong with them if they are FSBO.

I think the roadblocks I ran into with the condos rules really made me want to put it in someone elses hands.

I might try again if the rules are more lax or I have more time.
 
flat fee mls

Hello, longtime lurker, first-time poster.

My wife and I are probably selling our upper-beaches bungalow in spring 2009, and we recoil at the thought of paying 5-7% commission. On the other hand, there is some comfort in handing the whole process over to an agent; furthermore when you sell on your own or use a flat-rate MLS don't you have to often pay the buyer's agent's fee anyway?

I'm thus curious and anxious to hear any forumers' experiences with selling (or buying) their house without a full-service agent.

I am not an agent or otherwise connected to the real estate industry. And I'm not particularly interested in responses here from people who are connected to the industry with vested interests.

I recently used www.snaplistings.ca to purchase $110 mls listings and a home website for $30. They have an easy to use website and I had my MLS listing in place after a couple of days.
 
There is a Toronto company that puts your house on the MLS and Toronto Real Estate Board for 499.00. You may even get a private buyer and not pay any one. Flat Fee Anthony, I am not sure if he is the cheapest, but he is local...
 
One problem you'll run into selling private is that Buyers are also trying to 'save' that fee, and many times, aren't as 'serious' in buying.

Like any DIY, there iwll be mixed stories.


I think if you're generally 'serious' about selling your property, then list with an agent, if you're just looking to put out 'feelers' to see if you can make money, then list it private and see where it goes.

Heck, in this market, an MLS listing might even get you a bidding war.

p.s. Any comparables you're provided should be taken with a grain of salt. unless you know the agent personally, those comparables might be only be on the one side of the price spectrum. So i'd be cautious not expect the exceptional prices. How else do you perpetuate the price buble?
 
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