For Sale By Owner Help from Realtors?

My second week in the business I went to lunch with some experienced agents who each gave me their advise on how to be successful as a rookie and unanimously I was told to stay away from For Sale By Owner (FSBO) sellers because these were people who were very different. I was told these people were mean to agents and even when they did eventually list they were difficult to work with. I asked these agents how many of them worked with FSBO sellers trying to get listings and none of them did. They all stayed away from them and worked other sources.

I saw an opportunity. I figured if these agents weren’t talking to FSBO sellers then I should. Over the years most of the listings I took have been FSBO sellers who eventually got tired of trying to sell on their own and listed with me. And I have learned to understand them, and their challenges, more and more. Most people who attempt to sell their own home do end up listing with an agent. Why is this?

To begin, almost all the buyers are working with an agent, and why not- it doesn’t cost the buyer anything for this representation- and most real estate agents won’t show FSBO homes. They don’t show these homes for a few reasons.

First, it’s much easier and effective to go to the MLS and do a detailed search of exactly what their buyers are looking for.

Second, with the MLS the agent knows they will be paid a commission by selling a home and with a FSBO they have no idea if the seller is willing to pay them.

And pride is a factor- Realtors want to support their trade.

It can also be costly to sell a home. According to the National Association of Realtors, here is how FSBO’s market their homes.

Yard sign: 63%
Newspaper advertisement: 44%
Open house: 33%
Friends / neighbors / relatives: 25%
Internet: 24%
Direct mail (flyers, postcards,etc.): 6%
For-Sale-By-Owner magazine: 6%
Television: 1%
Other: 9%
Source: 2004 Profile of Buyers & Sellers, (NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® – Research, 2004).

Some of these numbers are changing now with the internet becoming so dynamic and accepted as a marketing forum, but it can be an expensive (and tedious) task.

So where does this leave the buyer who hasn’t been able to find the right home with their agent? Many times they settle for something they don’t like as much, other times they look without their agent at FSBO properties and end up having to go through the process alone, and some times they can find a FSBO home with an agent, and then the agent needs to worry about whether or not they’ll be paid for their time.

BlueRoof can help. We have every listed property, from every brokerage- and all the virtual tours that are posted on the MLS. And we also have FSBO homes. We also allow FSBO sellers to identify if they are “Agent Friendly”, meaning they are willing to pay a buyer agent a commission if they bring the buyer.

And the service is free.

This can help the FSBO sellers by exposing their property to more potential buyers, it helps the buyer by giving them more homes to see, and it helps the agent by giving them a searchable database of homes where the seller has already agreed to pay to a commission. And to place a home FSBO a seller only needs to register (for free) with an email address. We don’t require you to committ to anything like ZIPRealty (who just started their new FSBO program) and other FSBO sites do.

When a buyer makes an offer to buy a FSBO home on the BlueRoof website- that offer is sent directly to the seller, who can then respond to the offer, which is sent directly back to the buyer. Once acceptance occurs, the offer details are sent to BllueRoof and an agent will contact both sides and ask if they would like our representation coordinating the transaction. If they do, we will help both sides all the way through closing for only $1000 total. If an agent brings a buyer to a FSBO property on our site, we will also represent that seller from offer on- for that same $1000.

In the market that Utah is in right now more people are trying to sell FSBO. Sure, most of them will probably end up listing with an agent, but until then we’ll help best we can.


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