Skip to content

April 3, 2012

2

Buy a FSBO and Avoid Multiple Offers

by mark mclean

I had an interesting conversation with one of the agents in my office yesterday. He is a strong producing agent who is feeling rather frustrated with all the multiple offers going on. Since January he has been in ten such scenarios and lost all ten. If it weren’t for his listings I’m not sure I would be able to talk him off the ledge. Multiple offers seem to be the focus of a lot of discussions around the office (see today’s article in The Star on winning a bidding war, http://bit.ly/HBlh7b ) and while we often talk about Buyer fatigue, the new malady might just be Agent fatigue.

I might just have the answer for winning more offer presentations. It is so simple yet so genius. Sell your clients a FSBO property. Let’s face it, Agents stay away from FSBO’s. They’re not supposed to, but we all know they do. At our company we devote part of our training to dealing with private sellers because, while still a very small segment of the market, agents will come across them from time to time and need to know how to negotiate with a private seller.  We should also recognize that, for the most part, FSBO’s aren’t flying off the shelf. Personally, I’ve passed the same three large round blue and green directional FSBO signs for the last 2 months. (Interesting how FSBO’s don’t need to adhere to city bylaws regarding open house signs isn’t it?).  It reminded me of an interesting situation one of my agents had a few months ago. She had been working with a buyer for a few weeks and after several failed offers they found the perfect home for sale being offered privately. My agent talked to the sellers and managed to organize the showing with her clients. The house was for sale for $749,000 but her research showed that it was easily worth $850,000 and that under normal conditions (read; massive bidding wars) the house could reach into the $900k range. The sellers said they were trying to get a bidding war going. The instructions clearly stated that all offers were to go to the Seller’s lawyer.  My agent’s clients were interested in the house so she called the lawyer to ask if there were any offers registered. His response was “yes, we have an offer on the table for $745,000”. Fabulous.  Well it turned out perfectly for one buyer. Sadly it was not ours. That’s a story for another day. The point of this is to illustrate that it is not always in a Seller’s best interest to go it alone.

Let me state unequivocally that I am not against people selling homes themselves. There are lots of situations where involving a Realtor just doesn’t make sense. In a 2010 NAR survey of buyers and sellers, about half of the FSBO sales typically occur when the seller knows the buyer. Here are some other interesting points from the survey;

• Over 60% of all FSBO’s sell for 10% or more below the market than if they had they had sold after obtaining the services of a Realtor®

• Over 65% of FSBO’s end up in some sort of litigation or legal dispute ending up in court or arbitration and costing them more than the expected savings of selling on their own

• Most FSBO’s take  longer to sell than if they had listed with a Broker

What’s the take away here? While the NAR report talks specifically about a very difficult U.S. real estate market, there are some interesting things to talk about with potential FSBO sellers and buyers;  namely pricing and future litigation. Remember, if you are offering on a FSBO or mere posting listing it is extrememly important that you offer no advise to the seller. To do so puts you in an assumed multiple representation role. If the Seller asks “what should I sign it back at?” your response should simply be ” I am representing my client and as such I cannot  offer you any advise”.

Naturally I would love to hear any stories you might have regarding your experiences with dealing with FSBO’s or mere postings.

About these ads
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Apr 8 2012

    Thanks for this, Mark. I will be using those stats. We have a lot of local people that think they should sell their home themselves. And you’re right, sometimes they have to for financial reasons. But often it’s just greed, pure and simple.

    Reply
    • Apr 9 2012

      You’re welcome Christine. Glad I could help. Keep up the good work!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,418 other followers

%d bloggers like this: