If you’ve ever heard someone talking about a “fizzbow”, they are talking about the acronym FSBO. FSBO equals For Sale By Owner. Now let me start this post with a sort of disclaimer. I am not currently a real estate agent—I am not trying to list your property for sale. And though our company does currently have an incredible property for sale, I am not trying to convince you to buy or sell. I am writing based on my own experience. After all, that’s what a blog is.
First, let’s deal with the why. Why do some people try to sell properties on their own, without using a broker? Well, obviously, to save the broker’s commission. So does this mean that they give you an even better deal on the property? I would say no. As I said before, everything in this post is based on my experience. So, no, actually, I find that the properties tend to be priced too high. Is it an emotion thing? Quite possibly. But working with a real estate agent would definitely help with that. They provide a comparative market analysis to help a seller price their property appropriately.
Now, let’s deal with the how. There are real estate agents who will list a property for sale on MLS (yes, another acronym that most people know, that stands for Multiple Listing Service). This will be their only service, and it’s for a nominal fee. Is that ethical? I don’t know. If I was a real estate agent, I would never do that. My name would be associated with that listing regardless of my level of involvement, and I just wouldn’t feel comfortable doing anything like that. I believe, and I could be wrong about this because I’ve never personally tried it, but I think you can pay to list a property on one of the real estate sites, like Zillow or Trulia. Or you can list it for sale on Craig’s List, or just put a sign in front of the property that says For Sale By Owner, and a phone number. Okay, so the property is now on the market.
When may we come by to take a look? This part, I imagine, is tricky. With no real estate agent, the owner has to make him or herself available to show it. The first property we saw that was a FSBO, the owner took almost 2 weeks to actually give us a date and time to see it. She lied and claimed the reason was she was “out of town.” But she actually didn’t even live in the house any longer. Her brother, who claimed it was their childhood home (another lie—they were adults by the time it was built) was tasked with showing us the house, after leaving us waiting in the driveway for a half hour at dusk. Mosquito bitten, impatient and hungry, we finally, finally, saw some of the house. Right, not all of it. The master bedroom had a padlock on it. So that meant we couldn’t see the bedroom or the master bath. On the other side of the house, the owner’s niece and her toddler occupied a room, so that was off limits too. And there was an illegal renter in the garage, so we couldn’t see that either. The one question we asked the owner (via the brother’s cell phone), she lied about when the roof was replaced and by whom. A stupid, unnecessary lie considering the roofer filed a permit with the county. The air conditioning vent showed signs that at least one heavy smoker occupied the home. When we pointed that out, the tour guide stared at it, and said, there’s no smoking allowed in here. As if smoking in that house was a one-time misunderstanding. So I think you know where I’m going with this story. We didn’t make an offer on that property.
So wow, this wound up being a long post. I’m going to wrap it up. This is a situation where you are at your peril, so be cautious. Don’t go to see a property alone. Do your research first. You might discover things that make you decide not to even see a property at all. Or, if you are looking to sell, call us at McCoy Wyman, 813-489-9600. We will pay you cash for your property and close quickly!