If you’re not familiar with FSBO – it means for sale by owner – an arrangement in which the owner of a home does not contract with a listing agent to market their home. In a seller’s market, that might be considered a great saving of a listing agent commission, if you know all of the forms and contracts and this isn’t your first real estate rodeo. I’m stepping outside my Mueller real estate shoes for a minute and here are my relatively unbiased thoughts on Mueller FSBO, and a few tips on how to get your home in front of as many buyers as possible.
The Pros of FSBO:
- Potentially save money on brokerage fees – maybe as much as 3-6% of the sales price, or $14,000-$28,000 for the average Mueller Austin home
- Control over marketing and negotiations
- Not locked into any listing contract so you can test the market for as long as you like with only time invested
- If you subscribe to the Freakonomics viewpoint on Realtors, you may be able to achieve a higher list price without an agent. The author’s research states that agents sell their own homes for more money by waiting longer for better offers. If you don’t trust agents, then FSBO might be for you.
Here’s a video that shows the Freakonomics point of view and describes it far better than I can in a few minutes.
The Cons of FSBO
- There’s a lot of hassle – there are people calling you up to buy the home, and a slew of real estate agents calling you up trying to list your home. You have to let strangers into your home at a mutually convenient time.
- According to the 2012 NAR Profile of Buyers and Sellers (which is supposedly an unbiased research project, not one that aims to steer people towards agents), the biggest challenges facing FSBO seller survey respondents are:
- Understanding and performing paperwork . . . . . . . . . 18%
- Getting the right price . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14%
- Preparing/fixing up home for sale: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11%
- Helping buyer obtain financing: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6%
- Attracting potential buyers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6%
- Selling within the planned length of time: . . . . . . . . . . . . 6%
- Having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale . 1%
So stepping back into my Realtor shoes for a while, there are plenty of reasons that 88% of home sellers in the US use a real estate agent. You might argue that marketing to as many channels as possible taps into the active buyer demand and helps you achieve the most returns from a sale. On that basis here are a few non-traditional tips for marketing your Mueller home for sale FSBO, assuming that you’ve already got a good staging, preparation and photography plan, and that you’ve done this a few times before.
Mueller FSBO Selling Tips
1. Post Your Home Listing on Mueller Social Networks
Mueller is a very online neighborhood and has a very active social community. Some great places to start are on MuellerCommunity.com, The Mueller Facebook group (which is great as it is only visible to neighbors if you want to keep things private), and MuellerAustinOnline.com.
2. Market Your Home On National Real Estate Portals
If you’re going to reach the majority of Austin home buyers, you should list your home on a few key websites. It takes a few hours, but gives you exposure in some of national portal traffic. I recommend Zillow.com andFSBO.com (Trulia.com and Realtor.com are agent only portals). You can also get aflat fee MLS service to post your listing online. I would go for a local provider rather than the national ones – there are some well respected agents who do this for clients here in Austin. If you get in touch, I can share my positive experiences with a few – and I promise I won’t try to sell you anything!
3. Contact local Mueller Real Estate Agents
There are a few agents including myself who represent the bulk of the buyers and sellers here at Mueller, so these are a natural point of contact. I respect FSBO sellers’s wishes not to be hassled to list their homes (though I have helped three FSBO sellers in the past here sell their homes for more than they were trying to sell them for themselves after they gave up trying to sell without assistance). If you are considering selling your home yourself, please let me know by clicking this Get In Touch link – I’m happy to advertise it here and to my Mueller home buyer list. I’ll say that again. I’ll gladly post an ad for your home on my site for free. I do that to make this site more useful for buyers, and to let my clients know about everything that is going on here. Call me at +1 (512) 829-1351if you’re going FSBO and I’ll find you a buyer.
4. Set up an alternate phone number if you’re going to publish it
If you use something like Google Voice or a separate home line that will vanish when you move home it will allow you to eliminate annoying marketing calls. Often you get calls from agents who buy lists of FSBOs and tele-market to them to attempt to get listings. Which gets old after the 37th caller.
5. Market Your Home On Craigslist
You get the crazies on Craigslist, but if you can post an ad here a few times a week, it can generate significant interest. You have to post often and keep changing details to make yourself visible in the incredibly long lists of homes for sale. And also it makes sense to use that disposable phone number you set up earlier.
6. Consider Search Engine Marketing For Your Home
If you’re comfortable with Google AdWords, you might put an ad in for your home due to the large number of searches people are making for homes for sale at Mueller. Be aware that this is only advisable in my opinion in a seller’s market due to the cost involved.
7. Hold an Open House During a Popular Mueller Event
There are events in Mueller every weekend. For example there’s a farmer’s market at the Browning Hangar every Sunday. A few well placed signs and some online marketing will have more people in your home than you can ever imagine. I mean this. Given the density of the neighborhood and it’s walkable nature, you’ll have every jogger, trailer food eater, dog-walker and stroller in your porch for hours. If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you could always ask an agent to hold an open house on your behalf. They do the marketing and the people wrangling, and if they represent a buyer, you can pay their commission.
So I anticipate we’ll see a few more Mueller FSBOs before the market shifts. As an agent living and working here in Mueller, I help buyers with all types of purchase – FSBOs, silent market, MLS, move-ups, move-downs, new construction and everything in between – get in touch at 512.829.1351 if you want to live here or discuss if FSBO is right for you.