Yesterday clients of mine who are targeting a specific neighborhood with very low turnover and no inventory contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to reach out to a home that’s a for sale by owner. We’ve driven past the home before, checked it out online but, they have passed on it for weeks because it’s overpriced and a FSBO. Average days on the market in this neighborhood are 3 and it’s been on for 90+ days.
I never mind reaching out to a FSBO. They’re not part of my business plan in terms of contacting them to try to get a listing. If I call it’s because a buyer of mine has expressed interest in a tour. Fortunately, we don’t see a ton of them in this area but, the few that I’ve ended up in a transaction with have always needed guidance on next steps, providing forms they don’t have, or even meeting an appraiser. You name it, I’ve had to do what an agent representing them would typically do but, like many of us in the business if it’s for the benefit of my client that’s what I’ll do.
I’ve seen a lot but, not one time have I had a FSBO not want to show their home. Typically the minute I say I have a buyer and would like to bring them for a tour their guard goes down and they are happy to answer questions and arrange for us to come.
When I called the FSBO yesterday I got yelled at for a few minutes. It started with that fact I called on a Sunday and then for calling at all. This owner was irate that I had disturbed her and said my clients can see everything they need to online. Real estate is 7 days a week and if you opt to list your own home you need to be aware you’re committing to that. The insults were flying and I just sat and listened in shock. How can someone expect to sell a home without allowing potential buyers to come see it?
After this homeowner had unloaded on me I asked if she had toured the home before she bought it. I’m not sure why I decided to tempt fate and ask, I had nothing to lose at that point. There was a long pause and possibly steam coming out of her ears on the other end but, she admitted that yes she had toured it…not once but, TWICE!
I explained they’d simply like to be able to do the same thing she did and that while the 10 photos she has online give a sample of what the home looks like they don’t do enough to make my clients comfortable to make an offer sight unseen. She went round and round about how busy she is, she doesn’t have time to entertain calls from agents like me much less show the home, and she doesn’t want strangers in her home. Even stating that she knows it’s a seller’s market and buyers should know they need to just make an offer when this is the only house for sale in the neighborhood.
At that point, I had already offered for us to come at her convenience so I told her if she changed her mind to please call me and then made the call to my clients to let them know what had happened. I suggested they try calling to see if it’s just the fact that I’m an agent that set her off but, at that point they were done. They have zero interest in pursuing this house because they know in the off chance a deal is put together it will be a nightmare to get to closing at best and at worst the seller will wreck the deal.
I don’t know what happened to her in the past to cause her to feel this way but, even if she despises “low life’s like me” she is never going to sell her house if no one can see it. This is just one of many reasons For Sale By Owners fail. Nothing else is going to matter if the door isn’t opened for showings. I don’t care how strong of a seller’s market we’re in, buyers want to see your product in person. They want to touch it, see if it feels like home and walk through every inch of it. If you’re selling your home without an agent be prepared for calls, welcome those calls, and be ready to arrange showings. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to selling a home. If you can’t execute those few steps you can kiss the thought of a sale goodbye.