Thursday, August 02, 2007

Several days ago I was driving through Georgia when I stopped to run in Savannah. I found a nice subdivision on the run and as I ran around the lake I had a chance to read many of the real estate for sale signs. Most of them had a sign rider stating: PRICE REDUCTION. No great surprise in the current real estate market. You could say it is a sign of the times in real estate.

The sign that grabbed my curiousity and would not let go for the balance of the sultry run (humidity had to be 100%) was the FOR SALE BY OWNER. Not the FSBO sign itself; that would be unremarkable. The note scribbled on the bottom of the sign pleading for a buyer and prohibiting realtors-that grabbed my imagination and held on tight. The hand-written note on the bright red FSBO sign stated, "MUST SELL IMMEDIATELY, ABSOLUTELY NO REALTORS!"

My first thought:

defined by Wikipedia as - An oxymoron (plural oxymorons or more rarely oxymora) is a figure of speech that combines two normally contradictory terms.

That sounded about right to me but (in full disclosure) I'm a licensed Realtor in Pennsylvania. So as I continued to pound the pavement and have the blanket of humidity squeeze my lungs, I wondered what may cause a rational person (probably a professional) to be desperate to sell a house but prohibit Realtors from assisting him? That would be akin to needing a root canal but refusing the services of all dentists. Heart surgery but declining the help of all physicians, etc., etc, you get the point.

The story gets better. It bothered me so much I drove back to the house after my run and caught the owner at home. He saw my PA plates and Penn State Nittany Lion Club sticker and thought it was safe to talk to me. Long story short. He is facing foreclosure but had a bad experience with a Realtor once so he thinks we are all evil. He is going to show us (Realtors). He would rather lose his house to foreclosure than seek out the assistance of a professional Realtor that may just bring him the buyer he so desperately needs.

So, I continue to ponder the original question, "ARE THEY CRAZY OR JUST UNEDUCATED?" I have my own biased opinion of course but I've never filled one of my own cavities.
What do you think?


Albuquerque real estate said...

I used to take real estate pictures and there were people who were anti-realtor until they realized that the only they were going to sell their house was WITH a realtor. Thanks for the article!

Anonymous said...

This interesting as there seems to be a recent national trend with more and more houses being sold by owner. For the record the few people that I know that have bought house without a realtor have suggested without reserve it was the best and easist house buying expericene they ever had.


Anonymous said...

BTW, there are a few houses for sale by owner in our happy vallay area and as I buyer and am going to start looking at them. I can agree with you on the fact that a seller really should have a realtor in our local market, but a buyer is better offer buying directly from the owner. As an agent would you ever help me by a house below the locally accepted market value?


Tim Rogers said...

Thanks for your comments relating to the FSBO post.

Let me first tell you this. I would be happy to show you two homes tomorrow that will sell at least $20,000 below their appraised value. So if you would like to see the two houses give me a call. Let me explain buyer agency. As a buyers agent I represent you in the transaction and I have a fiduciary duty to get you the best deal possible. The seller has a sellers agent that attempts to get the seller the best deal in the transaction. If you work directly with the seller or the sellers agent you will be at a disadvantage.

Recently, I represented a buyer in a transaction where the seller was a FSBO. By the time we were done, she told us she would NEVER sell another house without a Realtor because I managed to get so much for my buyer at her expense. She insisted on selling FSBO and kept telling us that her attorney would take care of things. He sure did but not to her benefit. Call me and I will give you her phone number so she can tell you the story.

You mention a recent trend of more houses being SOLD by owners. Actually, the real statistics don't show that at all but I don't want to argue statistics. The numbers do show more sellers attempting to sell their homes on their own. Statistics show that most of them are unsuccesful and hire a Realtor. Call me and I will provide you with the real statistics.

The point of the post wasn't that a seller would attempt to sell on their own (I sold two homes on my own prior to becoming a Realtor) but the amazing thought that a seller would rather lose a home before hiring a Realtor.

What do you think is behind that thought process?

Tim Rogers said...

Thanks for your comment. I run into them all the time but most of them have had a bad experience with a Realtor so I try to educate people about the market.

Many "bad experiences" occur because sellers have unreasonable expectations and don't listen to the advice provided by their Realtor until their house hasn't sold after many months on the market. Of course the sellers forget that they didn't listen to their Realtors advice at the beginning and now they are mad at the Realtor because their house hasn't sold.

I have recently made a decision to no longer accept unreasonably priced listings unless the sellers will agree at the beginning that after day 30 I call all the shots relating to price. Otherwise, I will walk away. Why should I spend large marketing dollars to promote an overpriced house that won't have many showings and the result will be angry clients. It doesn't make much sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Your right, I actually ment "being offered for sale by owner". I just mistated my point.

The fact is buyers are starting to get more jaded in this area about over priced homes. The local price bubble cant last forever and at some piont it has got to break. Even if the recent national mortgage cruch will have no affect here something will evetually break. Houses can not contiune to rise in price every year for the next 100yrs. Since local owners believe they have to make money on the sale, the only way to try to save is to cut out the middle men, and 6% is something saved. While it may be risky, it is no more risky than some of thoes sub-prime mortgages and I do not hear too many realtors telling sub-prime buyers you would be better off renting. It is not just the lender's job to tell someone if buying a home is right for them.


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Anonymous said...

One has to be careful picking a real estate agent. I like professionals who are honest, friendly, diligent, and very, very smart about their business. Many real estate agents fit that bill. Others are lazy, careless, and will say anything to make that sale.

When home sales are brisk and agents are busy, it's hard to find a good one, because they don't have much time to spend with you. I am using the slow sales climate to my benefit. Right now I am looking for a home to buy 2 years from now. Meanwhile, I am interviewing and visiting realtors in the areas where I may want to live some day. When I find the right agent for me, I will buy from him or her.

By the way, what's with this "Realtor" (capital R) thing? What's wrong with "real estate agent"? I'm a manager. I don't insist people spell it with a capital M.