Traditional full-service, full-fee listings agents versus FSBO

When we launched our “FSBOs on Steroids” slideshow eight years ago, we began with the end in mind: helping real estate consumers save money by minimizing real estate transaction costs.  While other “alternative” real estate brokerages like Redfin are moving away from that core value, it remains our passion seventeen years after opening as the first real estate cybercafe in the world.
As fee-for-service buyer agents, we don’t represent sellers; however, we are eager to educate prospective sellers about their options, regardless of whether they want to try selling by owner orselecting a traditional full-service, full-fee listing agent.  So without disparaging their business model, we invite readers to compare the “Guidelines for preparing a home for sale” offered by a fellow blogger on Local.Boston.com and give thoughtful consideration to your options.

Rather than chosing a single option, we encourage homeowners — particularly anyone who thinksreal estate agents are overpaid or anyone lost home equity after the housing bust — to consider a five-phase listing strategy.  Here’s a quick overview:

PHASE 1:  Pre-listing phase: Be aware that proactive home buyers may be eager to buy your home “as is” without listing in MLS or reducing your net profit by the broker’s fee;

PHASE 2: For sale by owner: Even if you don’t list your home in the MLS you can still “syndicated” it across a variety of sites including ZillowForSaleByOwner.comMA4SaleByOwner.com, etc, and get help “a la carte” from fee-for-service real estate consultants like the Real Estate Cafe;

PHASE 3:  Listing Entry Only:  Pay a flat fee of approximately $99 to $499 dollars to have your home listed in the MLS, and offer a “traditional” or minimal BOYB (bring your own broker) coop fee to any real estate agent who represents a buyer;

PHASE 4:  Select a traditional listing agent based on our Listing Agent Report Card with a reduced real estate commission because you’ve already created and partially implemented a marketing compaign that might include a virtual open house, video, etc. (see options offered byFSBOSherpa.com and other vendors); and finally

PHASE 5:  If the property fails to sell during a specified time frame, let your listing contract expire; drop your price by the amount of the commission and still net the same profit as a for-sale-by-owner, again.

Our recollection (pending fact check) is that a study by the California Assocation of Realtors (CAR) revealed that 70% of first time home sellers CONSIDER selling “for sale by owner.”  If you’re open to that possibility yourself, The Real Estate Cafe is eager to go over the options above in more detail in person, individually or in a small group.  Watch this innovative new site for our next FREE FSBOs seminar, or schedule an appointment using the link below and will email you a sample screencast!
Email FSBOs on Steroids "Taste Test"
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