September 11, 2007

Open Thread: Have you ever bought or sold a home without a REALTOR? Tell us about the process here

Since REALTORS are dinosaurs, never to be trusted or used again, this thread is about For Sale By Owner, Zillow, real estate lawyers, google, craigslist, discounters, getting your home on the MLS for cheap, Redfin, buying foreclosures, and anything else regarding buying or selling a home without the six percenters.

Never again Americans. 6% REALTORS and the NAR are toast.


edd said...

What are good ways to connect
potential buyers with debtor's
facing default on their mortgage ?

Anonymous said...

What are good ways to connect
potential buyers with debtor's
facing default on their mortgage ?

September 11, 2007 2:24 AM
Internet clearing houses where the site makes its money from advertising and a reasonable 1% finders fee split b/t the seller and the buyer.

devestment said...

I bought a house in Bullhead City with no realtor. I got a real estate contract at the stationary store and filled it out with the seller. Neither of us wanted any contingencies so we wrote it as is. I walked it to American Title and Escrow, wrote a check, and it was done. I gave the seller a clean cash deal and he gave me a nice discount. I kept the place for a year and then sold it to a scumbag realtor who tried to collect double commission and tied me up forever. I hate realtors and feel they are completely unnecessary. The last few houses I have bought by searching the MLS on line and then going straight to the seller’s agent representing myself. I prefer FSBO’s so I don’t have to fill out all the paperwork that protects the agent and broker. I figure if I do it again I’ll just pay for the form at Nolo press

Anonymous said...

If you do not mind including land, than definately, yes. I owned a parcel of land in Northern California with an absolute killer ocean view, that, on its own, may not have passed the acceptable county building regulations, due to a slope average of approx. 28%. I used the assessor's office to locate the owners of the parcels which were contiguous to this parcel. By simply contacting five separate owners by phone, I was able to negotiate a purchase of each one of the pieces at a HUGE discount to the inflated retail price. This was done in 2001. I am absolutely positive that by 2004 or later, this process would have been impossible, because by that time EVERYONE thought they had "a gold mine located on their land"

Anonymous said...

Oh, and on the land parcel purchases, it was so extremely simple to define the purchases.
The deals were all cash, and Fidelity Escrow took care of the entire process for me and the sellers. All I needed was a letter of intent, which I wrote and the sellers signed.... A real no brainer, considering I work in retail making $15.00/hr approx.
Wow, what was I thinking, I should have become a REALTOR.... just kidding, I promise.

Anonymous said...

I sold a fixer house on ebay a year ago for $6000. Bought it for $2000. Mind you, this is in the rural midwest, Nebr. Guy from TX bought it sight unseen, except for pictures.

Stuck in So Pa said...

I have bought and sold with a realtor, bought and sold without a realtor. Have great stories and horror stories all four ways. If I ever buy or sell again (older and definitely wiser, real estate wise)
I'm leaning towards DIY, but will still leave my option open! Lots of time on my hands, and no complications in the sale, NO REALTOR. Not so much time, and/or problems arise, let the a##hole earn his/her 3%!

Anonymous said...

I sold a house in Phoenix in 2007 FSBO.

I interviewed 7 listing agents; they all had the same story.
Only they, could market my house correctly and save me from utter ruin. I didn’t get a good feeling from any of them.

I put my property up on the MLS through a discount broker who charged me 199.00. He had all kinds of other ala-cart options for house signs, lock boxes flyers and for another 200.00 he would handle any paperwork or legal stuff if I got into trouble.

I offered any buyer’s agent a 3% commission if they brought the buyer.

I had spent most of 4 months getting the property ready. It was almost a complete remodel. I spent over 35K in new flooring, hardware, landscaping and complete kitchen and baths tear out and re-install. The house was repaired and repainted and had nice curb appeal.

I made my own yard sign and flyers.

I used and other Internet resources to come to my asking price of 350K.

I found every necessary contract, disclosure etc.. documentation on the net. I put ads in every free Internet site I could find and paid for an AZRepublic ad in the newspaper. I put up flyers in grocery stores and churches. I paid for an ad in ForSaleByOwner mag.

I held my own open houses, at which the eventual buyer showed up, without any buyers agent.

Not one buyer’s agent showed up with any prospective buyers. Not one.

I sold the house for 347K and paid the buyers closing costs.

All in all, I put close to an additional 18K in my pocket by not having any agents in the deal and the buyer got a nice property at a realistic price for the neighborhood.

The funny thing is that there are 4 other properties on the block that were comparable to my property, all with big name listing firms. None of them has sold yet.

The bottom line is that a motivated seller and savvy buyer are always a better match up than having 2 agents trying to line their pockets. I would never consider a home with an agent as any kind of competition to the seller who has done his homework.

Anonymous said...

I bought my home without out a realtor, Now Im in the process of closing on the same home with out
one. Saving a grip ,I just use some guy in out town that does all the contracts, escrow etc for a flat $500 fee. In this computer age, realtors are way over priced, imho.
Make MLS public and free..

Greenleaf said...

I've been quietly lurking around this blog for months now, and this is my first post. Spouse and I have sold two homes FSBO, most recently in May of 06. Both houses sold within 3 weeks. We did our own comps and listed for a reasonable amount. Of course, this was before the general public or MSM acknowledged a housing bubble about to pop. The paperwork is simple enough for a 5th grader to do it. Recommend buying book at Amazon, etc. on FSBO; many books include required legal forms that can be photocopied. Both parties go through escrow, so title is transfered correctly. Spouse strongly feels that many people in the market to buy, do "drive-bys" in preferred neighborhoods to search out homes for sale. No need to buy expensive advertising, it's a waste of money. Be prepared for REALTORS to knock on your door to tell you "you'll never sell this on your own, you need me." Au contrare! LOL

Anonymous said...

help u sell is a good way to go. They have the paper work and do bring buyers and some advetising etc. Their fee is cheap. Just know the deal you want and stick to it. Some buyers think if their is no agents they can haggle more and make you jump through hoops. So cut the deal and don't deviate from what you say. Agent are a waste. I have a friend who built a house costing a 900,000 or so and he sold it through an agent for 9 something the agent made more then he did and he ahd the hassle and liablity.

darkstar said...

Long time lurker here. We just sold a house (closed 8/13) in the Chicago area to move to Des Moines for a new job. Did it through Craig's List. Being painfully aware of the market, I decided upon a really good (i.e. competitive) price, and then knocked 20K off for "drama." Had it under contract w/i two weeks! Got a little sticky 'cause a close family friend is a realtor and really wanted the listing. Let him make a presentation & the low-end price he came up with was (after realtor fees) 20K more than we were asking. So we showed his figures to the buyers, offered to kick in all the lawn and garden equipment - who wants to move that stuff anyway? - and the buyers came up the 20K. Hurray! We were really sweating it when the mortgage market imploded, but it all went smoothly, thank heavens! BTW, our lawyer said we were lucky to find a buyer 'cause nothing was moving - as slow as he's seen it in 30 years . . . .

Anonymous said...

Bought my first house from a couple selling FSBO. It was a very simple process. They gave me their bottom line and I either had to take it or leave it. They had a contract that we filled out. Afterwards, I took it to a real estate lawyer to have it looked over. Once given the okay, I broght it back to the seller and they took it to the title company to open escrow. 30 days later it was mine.

Jimbo said...

I sold my last three houses on my own. I priced them right and got a form with all the disclosures. I put an ad in the buyers guide for about 11 dollars and once we signed all the papers and addendums the lawyer took it over and it never cost me more than 550 dollars so to sell a 200K house cost me 561 dollars. and I did it three times between 1996 and 2005. keep havings kids or I would not move so much!!!!!!!!!!!!

SEC said...

We bought our first starter home in 1993 for $129,000. When we went to sell it in 2000, we put several directional "For sale by owner" signs, including one in the yard. We noticed that the directional signs kept disapearing. We found out that the realtwhore who sold us the house kept pulling the signs up because he was mad because we didn't list the house with him. (Another realtwhore told us!) My husband wrapped razor wire around the stakes and then drove them into the ground, then wrapped more of it around the frame of the sign. In addition, he put black grease all over the frame. The signs didn't get pulled up anymore and worse yet for the Realtwhore, the signs stayed up for many months after because we were renting back from the new owner. Money saved? About $8,700.

In the mean time, we had looked for two years to find a beautiful lot to build a house. Found one--1 1/4 acres on a cul-de-sac, very private, loaded with trees, backed up to 10 acres of forest preserve area. Lot was at the end of the street, off a pipestem--extremely beautiful and private. Some lots in the neighborhood were wide open, and backed right up to the main highway with no trees or buffer whatsoever. --I was always amazed that people would actually buy those lots.

We built a beautiful custom home, not the biggest in the neighborhood but definitely the nicest in terms of custom finishes, etc. (mahogany floors, gorgeous kitchen, marble bathroom, etc) for $378,000. (Settlement date January, 2001)

On March 17, 2006 we listed the house for sale by owner. The Realtwhores called, pretending to be prospective buyers. Then they started to call us to scare us--telling us we couldn't possibly sell by the season because we were "running out of time before the summer". Also telling us we wouldn't get enough money for the house. Well, little did they know that I had been doing my homework--Looking at comparables in the area and the real estate asessments, etc and being honest with myself about what made my house worth more or less than the comps. Even had some Realtwhores with the nerve to pull into our driveway and call me from their cell phone to ask if they could show my house right then!!! Our house was very beautiful from the street, with beautiful plants and flowers also--I knew it was an easy sell. I believe that even in a down market that house would sell because it was a unique house, beautifully finished and on a beautiful, private lot. The people who bought our house looked at the house 10 days after we put up the sign. I showed the house a total of three times. I sat down with the buyer and reached an agreement over coffee of the price, when settlement would take place, what items conveyed with the house, etc. I sent this information to my attorney who then drafted a legal contract based on the info I sent him. The buyer remarked at how nice it was to deal with us, considering they were having all sorts of problems with the incompetance of the realtwhore selling their house!!

We went to settlement on June 30, 2006. I had told the buyers that I was not paying any closing costs, points or anything else (another thing the Realtwhores try to get you to do so that it doesn't effect their commission) I received $750,000 for my home.

My total out of pocket costs:

Attorney fees--$1,300
Yard sign--$15
Pissing off the Realtwhores-- Priceless

And do you know that same nasty Realtwhore who tried to scare us had the nerve to try to call me after we took the sign down! I didn't answer the phone ( we moved shortly thereafter) and she had to wait until the county records were updated sometime in July to find out what we got for our house!

As an addendum, there have been three homes for sale on our street since we moved in June, 2006. The first one (which overlooks a major highway--first house in the neighborhood) was originally listed at $739,000 (ugly cookie-cutter house with no trees or landscaping and you can see and hear the highway)and eventually was reduced to $649,00 at which time he ended up renting it because he had already bought another house at the peak of the market! The second house listed for $799,000, a little better and much bigger than the other house (typical McMansion), but still nothing special. Noone came to look, so they took it off the market. The third house (not too bad and a far superior lot) originally listed at $684,000 and is now down to $579,000. I am still not sure it will sell because there are just so many houses on the market right now.

I still feel confident that even in this down market, my house would still have sold--maybe not for quite as much--but because of it being a custom house, the superiority of the lot and the finshes. Even my buyers commented that they coudn't find as beautiful a house as mine anywhere, even in the "model" homes. It just goes to show you that it's quality over quantity that matters.

Lost Cause said...

You know that they are going to fall victim to their own hubris and greed. So what are you complaining about?

Anonymous said...

My Mom sold all their homes by owner when I was growing up, so when it was time to sell my first home, she gave me some pointers. I did exactly what she said & it went very smoothly. The only exception being all the realtors that came and harrassed me. They told me horror stories about how difficult it would be, and how much I would regret doing it this way... They all left their cards, assuring me I would at some point need to come crawling to them for assistance. We had a realtor come before we listed (at the request of the builder we were buying from), who gave us the absolute highest price she said she could get. When we figured out the final amount we would walk away with after closing costs and realtor fees, it just didn't work. I knew what things were selling for in our neighborhood, so we went ahead and put it up for the same amount the realtor said we could get(but with us making all the profit instead of her). We sold for full asking price. I wrote up the contract myself & got a great title and escrow person to work with. She walked us through everything. So, I put up "sold" on our for sale by owner sign. 1 realtor had the nerve to come and tell me that this was when things got really difficult, and for a small percentage, he would be willing to take care of all the paperwork for us. I laughed out loud when he said that. I said "are you serious? The title person basically does the rest from here!" He left his card with the same assurances that all the others had. Everything went as smoothly as possible. I still laugh about that conversation I had with him. Then, when all was said and done, I started hearing from my neighbors that the realtor that had talked to us about the asking price, was going around telling the neighbors that we had undercut the neighborhood by selling too low. was the price she had set, and more than she had sold any other house in the neighborhood. That's pretty much where I lost all respect for realtors. That was 5 years ago, and I know that it has only gotten worse since then.

Anonymous said...

I still use realtors unfortunately.

Most of us still need professional representaion. The purchase/sale of a home is usually the most costly single purchase people will make in their entire lives and most go through this once or twice.

It is a complex legal process that to me, requires an attorney, not a 50 year old lady who drives an import car.

The problem is the stupid attorneys. I have approached real estate attorneys to ask if they would represent me in a purchase. Instead of just agreeing to charge their normal hourly rate, they alwasy seem to estimate the total cost at just below the 3% that an agent would take anyway.

Seems to me a smart attorney would set up a business that specializes in representing buyers and sellers of residential real estate. It would be a mill. Work mostly done by paralegals. Charge only for hours worked.

I think it could be a win win. Consumers would get way better representation from a real lawyer than a high school graduate with a nice personality real estate agent and the lawyer would be very busy I would guess.

I don't understand why there aren't Lawyers specializing in this type of work and charging FAIR rates??????

Anonymous said...

This is why Dave Ramsey has so little credibility for me. He gives good advice about getting out of debt but I think there are big biases and holes in his advice.

As a realtor and broker he usually advises to use a realtor.

I haven't heard him give any advice on protecting yourself from a dollar meltdown or a stockmarket meltdown.

Joel said...

List your house on the MLS for free at

Andrew said...

i sold my home in october 2005 in a private sale. i knew someone who was looking and i wanted to leave. it worked out great. saved myself $17,000!! think of how much you have to earn to save $17,000.

Anonymous said...

My mom sold her house in suburban Milwaukee (non bubble zone) and got a square deal from her realtor. Her place sold, while others languish. He basically helped her with getting everything ready to sell (i.e. bringing everything up to code and getting her to put in new carpets, paint, etc.), hired a good photographer for the listing, and spent a number of months showing the place.

Sadly, the folks who bought her house have installed a satellite dish in the front yard, and have let the place go to hell. My mom is just so sad with how the new "owners" (i.e. debtors) have let her home of 30 years go to hell, and she really feels bad for her former neighbors.

Some people should never have been given mortgages. Real trash!

It is so sad.

Debbie said...

Does it count if I'm out of the country? I live in the Netherlands. We decided to relocate to a city called Zwolle. After touring the town several times and deciding on a neighborhood, we looked for homes for sale on the Dutch equivalent of ebay. Saw a house that looked promising. Called the owners. Made and appointment. Cae and saw the house and expressed our interest. We then hired a professional to check the structural status of the house. When that proved good, we negotiated the price and got a 30 year loan at 4.5%. It was that easy. And infact, we were able to purchase the house at about 30,000 euros less than other comparable houses and the previous owners also came out better because neither of us had agents. Just that simple.

Girl Guide said...

I didn't realize how many people think they HAVE to have a realtor to sell their home.

I have sold homes on my own. Nothing to it. In Georgia, the buyer and I hired a real estate attorney and split the cost. In Missouri, we used a title company.
In both cases we saved thousands of dollars, a major incentive for the buyer.

I find realtors try to cause problems between the buyer and seller, turning the sale into an adversarial event. I guess this helps them justify their existence.

Maybe I am missing something. Why, again, do some of you think you need a high school drop-out
to guide you through the process of selling a house?

Didn't you know? Any hottentot can be a realtor.

SEC said...

I forgot to add this:

Amount saved on Realtwhore commission: $45,000

Closing costs: At least $10,000 (Realtwhores told me that typically sellers must share in 1/2 of these costs) Buyers closing costs/points and transfer taxes were over $26,000

Buyers took out a $675,000 mortgage--Unbelievable!

We would have been out of pocket for at least $55,000!!! And for what?

David in JAX said...

I have only bought and sold one home.

We bought the home without a realtor and the seller was FSBO. It was very simple. We called his number, set up an appointment, wrote out a commitment, had the home inspected and appraised, and the title company did all the paperwork. The seller paid for all of the costs except for the inspection and the appraisal. It was very simple. I would never use a realtor to buy a home and I don't really see the value of hiring a buyers agent.

Then we sold the home with the use of an agent. This being our first home, I didn't have confidence that I could get it done myself. I should have realized that it was much easier to go FSBO when we had such a good experience buying the home. The realtor actually did do a good job placing the home in local magazines and publications, but he was very lazy when it came to actually showing the home and having open houses. His thought was he would just put it in local publications and on the MLS and then it was the buyers agents that were responsible for having someone buy the home. We finally sold the home in the last week of our contract with this guy after six months on the market. When it was done, I realized I could have done a bettter job myself and I would have walked away with more cash from the sale.

I will NEVER use a realtor again.

real estate 101 said...

Real estate agents are NOT going away and they've been around longer than you think. The local Board or Association is there to facilitate the "common lockbox", so you don't have to pick up keys from each agent. The Board also places ground rules for stepping over each other for business. The commissions are negotiable. Stop whinning!

YOU DON'T HAVE TO USE A REAL ESTATE AGENT! Go FSBO, if you're not happy! More power to you!

The reality is a good agent provides convienence, not a magic wand.

Anonymous said...

Bought and sold. Seller might have done a bit more research, as we got a good price, then the bubble took off (he'd already been waiting a long time for that, and just missed it by a few years). So a realtor might have helped him. I should add, I don't recall having that clear an idea of comps, either - we were moving to a new city and a relative who lived there told us about the place. The seller retired happily to a house he had his eyes on out on the bay where he could go fishing. There was a feeling of mutual trust in the deal that you don't get with two intermediaries. Of course we still had a lawyer at settlement, and we had been "pre-approved". Seller did not entertain any more bids after ours - how about that?
The sale was to sister-in-law, so I don't know if that counts.

MarkIFC said...

There will always be Realtors.
I am not a Realtor but I work for a bank. I can tell you that most of the home buyers we deal with want someone to take them by the hand, coddle them, and tell them where to sign when the time comes.
I have suggested many times to family and friends that I would assist them in selling their homes FSBO. I get the same response-- I don't want the hassle, I'd rather let someone else handle the whole thing.

oneclickplus said...

I've done FSBO four (4) times: 1987, 1997, 1998, 2001. Each and every time, I found the buyers myself. Each and every time, I told Realtors to take a hike when they told me they had buyers (I figure the buyers will find me themselves). I figure I've SAVED $60,000 or more in unnecessary commissions.

Anonymous said...

I tried. Had open houses, ads in the paper, you name it. After 4 months I gave up, bit the bullet and hired a realtor. Negotiated the commission to 4% and sold in 2 months.

My parents sold a house in the 90s FSBO. I was in college at the time so I don't know the details, but if I recall correctly everything went pretty smooth.

Anonymous said...

Four letters - NOLO.
They're the best legal guide for buying and selling a home - also divorces, wills etc. !!!

Anonymous said...

I sold my house in '05 without a realtor. I used a service to list it on the MLA (a service owned by a very nice man who was constantly being harrassed by new state "laws" redefining what he was allowed to do). I learned a lot, but mostly how weasly realtors could be. Early on in the process, our "for sale" signs were being stolen regularly. I assumed the teens who lived at the end of the block were doing it for fun, only later to be told by a neighbor that a local realtor was driving by in the middle of the night to grab it. Nice, huh? We ended up doing fine and put 20 percent down on a house that we bought at a decent price (even in bubbleland) from a couple who were also selling on their own.

Montpellier said...

Yes, my last two RE purchases did not involve a REALTOR. In fact, I'm 40, have bought 4 properties and sold one since I was 20, and only two of those transactions involved Realtors; one because I was 'obligated' to list with a family member who was trying to get started, and the only because the house was listed and the listing agent represented a couple in nursing care w/ senile dementia - I went for 'dual agency'.

The only really significant issues are:

- marketing the property - if you're a seller, advertising where you will reach a lot of buyers; if a buyer, knowing where to look to find what's available - more on special cases for the latter at the bottom. This used to be an issue for lay people because we were dependent upon the Realtors as "Market Makers" with their MLS. They didn't do anything special or wonderful, but they did swap mimeograph sheets and lists of 'inventory' among themselves, and required anyone wanting to participate to pay high enough dues to constitute a sufficient barrier to access/entry for 'lay' people. The internet has changed all that though...and the MLS is really kind of unnecessary now. If you're a buyer, search the classifieds, and drive around the neighborhoods you are interested in...look for properties that meet your requirements, and don't be afraid to "cold call" may be very surprised.

- Market Knowledge - some people feel the Realtor will have 'expertise' on neighborhoods, etc., and be able to match you up me this is kind of like buying a car by having someone else test drive for you. Screw that. Live someplace and rent for a year or more...check the neighborhoods out for yourself. Ditto the schools.

- Transaction negotiation/details. This is of some real value, though hardly the 6% cut. Moreover, very few are seriously conscientious enough to really look out for your interests - they are incentivized to 'close the deal'. Instead, hire an attorney - you'll likely need one for closing anyway...and so this is not an add-on cost, though this varies from state to state. The Realtor has a fill-in-the-blank "form contract" from their state Assn. of Realtors, generally drawn up by lawyers anyway. They just 'fill in the blanks'. That really isn't that hard. Find a RE lawyer, they have the same forms, and are far better educated in the law and capable of customizing to your needs better.

On finding good private deals: some of this will sound ghoulish, but if you don't do this stuff, a Realtor or someone like that will:

- watch trustee sale ads for foreclosures (arranging financing for this kind of deal is def. in the 'advanced' category, not for beginners typically).

- watch for death notices/obits. Heirs/relatives are generally interested in minimal hassle liquidation - best to find the executor and approach them.

- Watch court filings - NODs, Leins, etc. can give you good pointers to distressed owners.

- Word of mouth - if you have cold-called anyone in a neighborhood, you may be very surprised to find the 'private' referrals you get. Split some of the price difference w/ the seller for that 6% savings

My last two buys were private deals...and I covered the 'closing costs' (by requiring in the contract/offer that my attorney be used and stipulating I wouldn't cover any other fees), but my closing costs were quite low by just using the closing attorney and arranging my own appraisals, inspections, etc.

I won't say "never" about using a Realtor, but it's HIGHLY unlikely I will ever use another one. $DEITY willing, I won't be moving ever again though.

Realtor(TM)? What's that? said...

A friend of mine is a builder of custom spec houses. he got his RE license cause he got tired of paying for the commisions.

A house he has built was just "sold". The RE scum representing the buyers put in an offer 60K less than the full price asking $780K. The other RE scum told him that he ought to counter with a meet you half way offer which he did. the seller will now be stuck owing 430K more just because "his" agent wanted a larger commission check.

Unreal. I will NEVER buy or sell with one of these parasites.

Realtor(TM) Shmealtor(TM) said...

I sold my little house in FL by owner to a friend. Just get the form contract, put in the terms, get a title company and presto - deal done. Saves both the buyer and seller good money, which a smart seller will share with the smart buyer.

turdly said...

We bought the house next door with no Realtor. It was really hard to convince the seller. She went to church often and of course every goof without a job wanted to 'buy her house'. Anyway....I paid for the appraisal. The appraiser said it wad the first real appraisal he haddone in years and he was releaved he didn't have to hit a price. House looked like bears had sex in it, and the appraisor was proud [for the first time in a long time] to be able to do his job and point out all the problems with the house.
The seller tapped me for 15k over the appraisla because they had used the atm heloc and wouldn't have the money to move.
I walked into a title office, said I'm paying 175k cash for the house, what do I do? That was my last question for about $800 they did everything. i wrote the check, Peggy signed the docs, I signed the docs, updated payoffs were called in, title was searched again, and we closed. two day close. Polite, friendly helpfull. At least title clerks still have some pride.

Anonymous said...

There is absolultly no need for Realtors.
It is disgusting to have to (pay) a middleman when buying property.
6% on a half million $ house is a great incentive to lie, majority are liers.

Shakster said...

F2ck yess! Saved Millions ,and Millions on two properties.

Shakster said...

Kieth- Best Thread Ever right here.There really are smart people in America.

William said...

A week from closing:

Seller and I agreed on a price and terms. He'd used an attorney in the past and spoke with her again: $ 250 an hour, $ 3,500 total, she thought.

I said, "Wait, let me look into this."

The entire transaction is being handled by a title company for a $ 75 closing fee.

Anonymous said...

I sold 36 acres of lakefront on a which is high on the google ranking. First page. The ad cost me $35. for six months. I had over a thousand hits and lots of success. I sold the property and avoided paying a realtor 10%. This saved me thousands of dollars. With the internet there is no reason to sell with a realtor. Save thousands and do it yourself. Get a lawyer to do all the paperwork after you've found your buyer. $ave thousands and get to laugh at the monkey realtors. They will have to flip burgers or mow lawns. ha

Keyser Soze said...

I've also bought and sold without realtors. The last time I sold, a realtor, whom I knew, came by with a qualified buyer...and I agreed to pay him the 3%. He said he enjoyed working with FSBOs because he hated dealing with realtors. He almost had a coronary when the closing agent called him a few weeks before closing to inform him that I owed 30K more than the selling price due to a 2nd mortgage. He frantically called me and I told him I used a 2nd mort. to expand my business and had the cash in the checking account, ready for the closing. That was many years ago and I'ved been renting ever since.

Anonymous said...

Prior to getting my RE license I bought all 20 of my investment properties without the help of a buyers agent. Some where FSBO's in which I created no money down, creatively financed deals. Some where listed by a Real Estate agent. Instead of using a buyers agent, I worked directly with the listing agent. I convinced him to pitch in 2 of the 6% commision to my closing costs, and once again created no money down deals. Trying to explain what I was attempting to do confused the listing agents, since it wasn't included in the PAR agreement of sale. I recently sold 2 of my multi family buildings. I did it without ever putting them on the MLS, and created some creative financing for the new buyer to get in with no cash. All that being said, the MLS is a very important tool to get a home sold. I notice 9 of 10 FSBO's end up with realtor signs within 60 days. Having a Realtor is not so important, but the MLS greatly increases your odds of finding a buyer(and will cost 2 to 3% to the buyers agent) Funny story, One of my wife's best friend is a cosmotologist(she cuts hair) In the state of Pa. You need to have 1250 hours of apprentceship and education to cut hair. In order to get a Real Estate license you need only 60 hours of education. The level of proffessionalism in the Realtor field is scary, but at least you can feel good about the fact that you can get a good haircut in PA.
Bottom Feeder in Philly

Garth said...

Yes, twice. All you need is a Title company. Total fees are only a few hundred dollars (pending the level of surveys and inspections and title insurance that you want). Easy and fast.

Anonymous said...

I sold a house in LA to my neighbor 2 years ago ... Fair price, as is, no inspection, etc. His motivation was the fixed price - without listing the house or generating competitive bidding from buyers.

However, I don't think it would be that simple today, flipper neighbors don't come by asking for your house anymore.. the house would have to be listed for 6 - 12 months (I think I would be forced to list with a realtor today)

DOPES...Not said...

"6% on a half million $ house is a great incentive to lie, majority are liers. "

What a DOPE!

A real Realtor adds value to the transaction. A bad real estate agent takes value. Know the difference.

If you are smart enough, or unemployed then go ahead and sell it yourself. For the majority of the population, they need the help of a GOOD Realtor.

The Good Realtors will stay. There are still good travel agents who add value or work niche markets. The BAD travel agents are gone.

Oh, did I mention...DOPES!


Anonymous said...

Sold my house about 10 years ago FSBO. I placed ads and staked signs for about a month. A stripper with 2 kids ended up buying it for full asking price. Actually 3k over because I had to pay off some of her debt so she could close the loan. She still owes me that 3k!

Anonymous said...

I bought a preconstruction condo in Hoboken in mid 2005. Saw things were getting bubblicious and that the rent on my loft was like half the price for a bigger place. did the math and decided to dump. Put it on Craigslist and got 4 offers in first 2 weeks. Went to contract with a buyer before it was finished, closed in Jan of 2006 and handed over the keys. Made about 3 years worth of rent(it would be more like 6 years anywhere else but Hoboken has pretty high rent like NYC). Now the guy I sold to is underwater at least 80k or about 12%

John said...

I bought a house without a realtor in Massachusetts. The house was listed on MLS by a flat fee service and I got 5% off the list price without any negotiation.

Anonymous said...

I've sold 5 homes (all five I've ever owned) without a realtor. The only time I tried to use one, he turned out to be unethical... long story there, but I've had great success with FSBO and will ONLY sell that way.

Anonymous said...


I'm a Realtor, and I happen to agree with many of the sentiments expressed here.

Reasonably educated and motivated people are completely capable of carrying out a real estate transaction without a Realtor, especially if they already have interested buyers.

Having said that, there are a great many people who, for whatever reason, are incapable of handling things on their own or don't want to.

The main value I add to a transaction is my experience. You would be surprised at how many problems can occur in a property sale that can cause serious harm to one of the parties or needlessly derail the sale. The value I add is in having experienced so many of the pitfalls, and dealt with most of them successfully. I have routinely been commended by title companies for catching title defects (such as ungranted easements or unrecorded liens) they missed, or for coming up with creative solutions to complex issues. Things that even an attorney would miss, things that protected my clients from future problems that would never have been anticipated.

At all times, I remain focused on protecting my client's best interest. My philosophy is if my service is good, and my ethics untarnished, my reputation and thus my income will be augmented.

I would bet that 80%-90% of Realtors are indeed Realtwhores - bad, incompetent, lazy, flaky, money-chasing, and stupid. I deal with them every day, and I'm amazed that so many of them are able to make any money at all. It is too easy to get a real estate license. Having witnessed the incompetence which is the norm, day in and day out, I can see why Realtors get such a bad rap. They deserve it.

The rise of the internet, of discount and flat fee business models, and increased competition they will bring (in addition to the housing crisis) will hopefully clean out a large swath of incompetent and ineffectual agents.

I personally am very flexible with my compensation, and work with my clients to tailor my services to their individual needs. I give it to them straight, no fluff and no empty promises. I tell prospective sellers up front, "My commission is negotiable", and then we negotiate. All you hear from the industry is, "stick to your guns, don't cut your fees, you're worth it," because they know the traditional model is being slowly chipped away. I use variable compensation models, where my commission is tied to specific performance objectives. I will even just charge a fee for service, for example handling the paperwork for a FSBO for a flat fee. The key is to remain flexible and understand that each client's needs are unique, and setting fees on an individual basis that accurately reflect what I am going to do for each client.

On behalf of the few of us Realtors that actually do a good job, I'd like to say "CLEAN OUT THE REALTOR PROFESSION!" When the freeloaders are ridden, the rest of us will have more business at a lower cost and higher value to each consumer.