Thursday, May 17, 2007

Frank, I read your FSBO blog, but still...

In all frankness (which I know from reading your blog you appreciate), when I first read your email telling me to go read your blog, that thought is what crossed my mind [A-Hole]. But after reading (and then going back and re-reading) your blog and seeing how much effort you put into writing it, I find I agree with you and that it makes sense for someone to read your blog first.

After reading the blog you really have me thinking long and hard about FSBO and now contemplating the possibility that you just might be able to come in and get a bidding war started that would result in a higher "net" for me - which is really what I am most concerned with. One caveat that keeps running through my mind however is that Fairlington seems to be a pretty efficient market due to properties selling all the time, with somewhat of a cap on the top end of what the market will bear. Since my house is on the south side, in a very desirable court off a desirable street (as pointed out by many others, not just my rosy
thinking) and I have done a fair amount of upgrades, I think it would sell near the top of the price range for its model. The question then becomes could you still drive the price high enough to offset the "extra" 3% or 6% so that the net was above what I would get FSBO? If you would care to address that I would not only be most appreciative but it would go a long way towards my full conversion to believing that listing with you would be the smart way to go and could potentially result in a new client for you.

BTW, I think your point about staging is well taken. And in fact I did have a professional decorator/stager come in about 3 months ago who I had make suggestions (paint, etc) and arrange things with an eye towards putting the house up for sale.
Best regards,

Answer/Reply email

Hey Rick,

I certainly would not hire an agent just in case the agent can get a bidding war. That would be a silly longshot, not worth it in any gambler's book.

As for the rest of it, it pretty much is covered in the FSBO blog that you read. If you don't even do the 3% offering to buyer agents, you are cutting out 90% of the potential buying market, and leaving those that are oftentimes bottom feeders that are looking for THEM to save the 6%, not you.

I would recommend that you call an agent's references too, to see what they did for their last few sales. You can gain some invaluable insight into the process.

Also while NET is important, are you putting ANY value in letting the hassle factor and details be taken care of by somebody else?

And the argument that your house being different than other houses, or at the top of the bracket, that doesn't matter. In my biased opinion and experience, a good agent will net you more, regardless of your house. We just had a listing in similar community. Just happened that that day 2 other listings came on with the same floorplan. Ours was a $10k higher starting price than those other listings (nicer too), we got 3 offers, we got it bid up another $5,000 (the seller actually felt bad and didn’t want to go higher) and the other listings got no offers. No shit, true story.

So to answer your question, would you net more? NAR says you will make 23% less, but that is hogwash. Nobody really knows for 100% certainty, or even 80% certainty. I would say that the risk analysis is equal in both directions. You CAN net $10k more with an agent, but you can just as easily net $10k less without proper exposure and a smaller buying audience.

While some might say "can't hurt to try," I disagree with that too. A properly marketed home has to put ALL of its effort into the first few days (the exact best day to list is Wed night or Thurs, and I have MANY reasons for that, maybe I'll blog on it). If you FSBO it first it is hard to properly list it with a Realtor and get the same level of excitement going.

I guess to a certain degree it is like an insurance policy. If you trust your agent to fight to get you top dollar, than you can sit back and relax knowing that you did everything possible to get the highest net.

Or you can take a gamble and see for yourself. You might come back with a "I told you I could do it." or a "You told me so." The gamble is with real money, but the gamble is yours.

I might repost this and remove your name on my , why let an hour long email go to waste!! ;-)


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