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Old     (helinut)      Join Date: Apr 2007       02-19-2010, 8:28 AM Reply   
The wife and I are considering selling our house to move a bit closer to my work. We were curious how difficult it would be to sell without using a realtor.

We aren't in a hurry to get it sold. I haven't done much research on the subject yet, but was curious if anyone here has done it and what to look out for. Our home isn't a high dollar home, maybe around $230K. It would be nice to save that money that would be spent on realtor fees and possibly knock a little off the house if needed and still make it out with the same if not more money.

Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       02-19-2010, 8:40 AM Reply   
Let me start by saying I think most realtors suck. The work they do does not correspond with the fees charged.

With that said, I'm in a similar situation and am using a realotor to sell my home.

I'm basically making my realtor my errand boy b*tch with regards to my house .His company stands to make $15k off me.

I'm not lifting a finger to sell my house.

Maybe it comes down to being lazy, but I don't really have the time to mess with selling a house and dont' want it to consume my weekends.

Based on recent sales my house will proabbly sell in 60 days or less at it's current listing price.

Just the thought of 4 people making close to 120k off me in a matter of months ( buy/sell) seems really high for what they actually do.

(Message edited by acurtis_ttu on February 19, 2010)
Old     (nauty)      Join Date: Feb 2004       02-19-2010, 8:44 AM Reply   
It probably depends on what state you live in as far as what forms, etc are needed, but I sold mine a few years back and it was simple. I also bought my current house without a realtor. The seller was a friend and I handled all of the paperwork myself. Your state should have a realtor website where you can download all of the forms. It's really a matter of what the title company requires to fund the loan.

When I sold my old house all I did was plop a for sale by owner sign in the front yard. I had a buyer within two weeks. She not only bought my house, but all the furniture in it as well. She didn't have an agent, so I handled all of her paperwork as well. I saved myself about $7k in doing so. I doubt I will ever use a realtor again.
Old     (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       02-19-2010, 9:57 AM Reply   
You don't need a realtor if you don't mind showing it and advertising it. Get a contract from a title company, make sure you disclose any potential problems/lead based paint. Once you get a signed contract(make sure the buyers have a preapproval letter)take it to the title company. Any title issues will be worked out between the title company and the bank. Realtors don't get involved. Have the property inspected, close loan and transfer at title company, get check.
Old     (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       02-19-2010, 10:18 AM Reply   
We didn't use a realtor on our most recent purchase. Like everybody said... Do your homework, cover your bases and you'll be fine. Don't let things like inspections slip through.

The title company does most of the work. The realtors just collect fees. I'm sure there are some exceptions to this, but I've seen both sides having come from a family of realtors.
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       02-19-2010, 10:21 AM Reply   
You can get your real estate license in a weekend, jsut do it like that.
Old     (sdub)      Join Date: Jan 2003       02-19-2010, 10:42 AM Reply   
^^^thats what is amazing. We trust the sale of our most valuable asset to somebody that takes a class to learn how to pass the RE lisc. exam in ONE WEEKEND.

I am amazed at how successful Realtors have been in making us believe that selling ones own home is too difficult.
Old     (dcdave56)      Join Date: Jun 2008       02-19-2010, 10:51 AM Reply   
Do it yourself! I've done it twice, it's easy, just go sit down with the title company and put an add in the paper, easy squeezy lemon peezy.

Anything you need to know is on the internet. It sucks dealing with the buyers realtors if they have one but one time, they even did all the paperwork and I just signed their stuff...
Old     (pierce_bronkite)      Join Date: Jul 2003       02-19-2010, 11:08 AM Reply   
I agree that most, not all realtors dont do sh#t for the commissions they make. Its more a less get the house sold in X amount of time and collect a fat check for doing minimum work.

However, consider that if you are selling your home you do not get an MLS listing which may or may not be a big deal to you. More often that not people are going to browse online before they step outside of a door. I am sure the housing market is probably still flooded so houses that have an MLS number and are available to viewed on line will have an adavantage.

Having said all of that I used a realtor for the sale of my last house and it was nice having my realtor deal with it all.
Old     (nauty)      Join Date: Feb 2004       02-19-2010, 11:12 AM Reply   
It's been a while since I've messed with selling a house, but I recall some websites that will list your house on the MLS for a flat fee of $500 or so.
Old     (kickflip_mj)      Join Date: Apr 2007       02-19-2010, 11:45 AM Reply   
god a hate realitors..... i am taking a class in college on top of my construction degree just so i can get my own license and save my but some money... hey when i get my license i will just show you guys all the listings in your (for free)
Old     (jeffr)      Join Date: May 2002       02-19-2010, 11:55 AM Reply   
I went back and forth when selling my previous house on using an agent or selling on my own. Seemed like a big cost to me too! Food for thought....

Not sure why, but there seems to be an expectation on the part of buyers that if the house is “for sale by owner” that it means a discounted price. I don’t think I ended up with much less that I would have had I sold it on my own.... and I did not have to waist anytime showing the house.

It reminds me of people being ok with paying a higher price for a used car if they get a ‘certified’ sticker on the window from a dealer vs. buying a used card from the original.

Agent cost is only part of the issue... there will be other fees and taxes to consider too.

There are more tools available today to get better comps and make sure your house is priced correctly if you do decide to sell it yourself.... and you don’t need a real-estate license to get the info.

If it’s just the idea of paying a real-estate agent for hanging a sign and getting a photographer to get pics for the MLS listing and just waiting to get paid... Check out online options like Selling on Craigslist also seems to be common these days.

Depends what price you place on your time if you decide to use an agent or not. I don’t like selling used cars myself either.
Old     (greatdane)      Join Date: Feb 2001       02-19-2010, 12:14 PM Reply   
With the amount of money we pay realtor's we should be getting hourly personal servicing!
Old     (nauty)      Join Date: Feb 2004       02-19-2010, 12:15 PM Reply   
Since the advent of the internet the REAL need for a realtor is a thing of the past. Before the early 90's unless you used a realtor you really had no way of finding listings other than classified ads in the paper, greens sheets, or just by driving around.

Much like the yellow pages and porn magazines, realtors are slowly dying off thanks to the internet.

(Message edited by nauty on February 19, 2010)
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       02-19-2010, 2:16 PM Reply   
My dad does real estate and 95% of the time its easy as can be, but I see him with those other 5% and it seems awwwwwwwwwwwful.

If you're selling on your own just hope to god you don't get that 5%, you'll know pretty quickly
Old     (mattkrull)      Join Date: Apr 2004       02-19-2010, 9:05 PM Reply   
We've done it twice before we moved to WA and it was easy. Just find a service that finds a flat fee and puts it onthe MLS. Paper work is easy to find through title companies, and you will still end up spending way less than paying a listing agent that does basically nothing for you.
Old     (wakeriderixi)      Join Date: Jan 2004       02-19-2010, 9:26 PM Reply   
You all crack me up. "REALTORS do nothing" and "REALTORS don't do the commissions they earn."

Would you rather buy a car with a warranty or without?? If you were being sued for something completely ludicrous would you still try to represent yourself instead of using a lawyer?? If you were buying a property (NOT selling), would you rather purchase a property represented by a licensed and insured company or by the owner solely?? How about this one.. God forbid you had trouble affording your monthly mortgage payments and the bank was going to file lis pendens on your property. Would you rather try your luck at selling your home quickly enough or would you prefer having a REALTOR guide you through the short sale process??

If you feel that you can do a better job at pricing, marketing, and staging your home for sale then a professional, then go for it. If you can do a better job showing your home, qualifying prospective buyers, interpreting sale and purchase contracts, and negotiating the terms stated within these contracts that's even better. Heck, at this point you might even want to consider a career in real estate. A REALTOR will handle all of the things listed above, and countless more. A REALTOR will also be able to market your property within the MLS and be able to share your property with an extensive network of professionals who work daily with hundreds of potential buyers.

If these reason are not enough, say you already had a buyer with a suitcase full of cash ready to purchase your property, there is still an extremely important reason for using a professional. As much as any other reason, the security and accountability a licensed professional provides often times proves invaluable.

Whichever way you view it, the sale of real property is facilitated through legal contracts that are complicated and "gray" enough for real estate lawyers, let alone the average homeowner. If professionally handled, all liability is taken from buyer and seller, and placed upon the professional and company. This gives buyer and seller legal avenues in such an event to prevent losses of any kind.
Old     (bigdad)      Join Date: Apr 2002       02-19-2010, 10:33 PM Reply   
If realtors are so wonderful, then why are they paid via commission as opposed to a flat fee? Are you telling me that the amount of work to sell a $750,000 home is that different than a $250,000 home?
Old     (stanfield)      Join Date: Mar 2004       02-19-2010, 11:32 PM Reply   
Lol@Paul. Go pound sand. Realtors days are numbered and they know it.
Old     (kickflip_mj)      Join Date: Apr 2007       02-20-2010, 3:22 AM Reply   
ahahaha good old boys club.. realitors half the time don't know jack about the listings they represent, its a joke.. thanks for saying sign "here" and "here" so you can take you 20 grand.

here's another one, how come i trust someone with all my money who took a few simple tests and now acts like Vanna White when they show me a random home?
Old     (wakeboardingdad)      Join Date: Aug 2008       02-20-2010, 6:52 AM Reply   
When I sold my last house, it was a stand out and at the top of the subdivision. I was willing to co-op, but the realtors were too greedy. In 3 weeks, it sold itself and for what I wanted. I was not going to give my equity away. When I try to sell this house, right now, it is just like all the others. I'll prolly need help, but I have no plans to sell. When I do sell, if ever, it'll most likely (unless the eco goes completely belly up) just like the other. Highly upgraded for my subdivision.

A while back, I met a realtor and got to see the inside workings of the business. It is not all the roses and profit that it appears. Unless you're a broker. She paid for advertisements and business expenses out of her pocket. She paid for her assistant (when she could afford one, before the bust) out of her pocket and then paid the broker their share. She worked odd hours at the whims of customers and then had to buy her own insurance. As you can guess, she sometimes wished she was back in the corporate world.

While I do not agree with the pricing structure, i.e. commission, (and that it is a good ol'boys network) it is how it works and when you see a realtor selling a $50K house, and making jack, perhaps it helps even the month out if you can move a $250K or better.

What bugged me is how a lot, an empty lot, can have such a higher commission rate than a home. You take the persepective buyer to the lot, walk around and you go. There are no multi-room pics, no calling, no open houses and no coordinating a time to see the house and then "selling" a house. I ended up selling that myself too in about 3 months and about 3 hours of my time.
Old     (nauty)      Join Date: Feb 2004       02-20-2010, 7:07 AM Reply   
Hey Paul... to each their own.

Some people also feel the need to pay a marine mechanic $175 to change the oil in their boat. Other people (myself included) are very comfortable changing the oil themselves because they realize how simple it is to do, not to mention that it costs under $20.

I understand you points, but they are from a standpoint of self preservation. It's no different than your boat dealer scaring you by telling you that your boat warranty could be voided if you screw something up while changing the oil yourself. Perhaps this is true in both cases, but let's not be ridiculous.... If you do your homework selling your house yourself is not any harder than changing the oil in your boat.....seriously
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       02-20-2010, 7:10 AM Reply   
When I bought my house, I picked a realtor based on recommendation from a co-worker. This guy actually worked hard, took me to all sorts of houses (LOTS of driving around) usually after work or on the weekends, and was really helpful with the paperwork. I'd say he earned his money, and I'd consider using him again when it is time to sell.

I think the hard part is finding a good one that will really be worth the money. I am definitely not standing up for all realtors, because I also feel like MOST of them aren't worth the money, but if you find a good one it can be a great help.
Old     (sdub)      Join Date: Jan 2003       02-20-2010, 8:01 AM Reply   
Paul quite kidding yourself. Ever read that sales contract realtors use. I mean, read the entire thing. The one written by realtors for realtors. Ya that one. Nothing in that contract protects the buyers or sellers first. Only thing protected is the Realtors position and their beloved 5-6% commision.

As far as the lisc. goes, come on. You take a w/e class and its all good. One weekend and you are an expert. Ha.

I will give you 5% of realtors are worth the money. IF you get one of the other 95%, you might as well do it yourself.
Old     (greatdane)      Join Date: Feb 2001       02-20-2010, 8:21 AM Reply   
An average NorCal house is $1M. How can a buying+selling sales commission of $60K make any sense?

$30K for someone to drive you around and help you fill out paper work? Even if they spent 100 hrs on the exchange, that would be a billing of $300/hr. Meanwhile, people of equivalent talent work in retail for less than $20/hr.
Old     (jason95gt)      Join Date: May 2006       02-20-2010, 6:04 PM Reply   
As a Realtor, I would recommend at least listing your home on the MLS through a flat fee service as over 90% of homes sold are from the MLS and not FSBO sites/signs.

As far as commissions go, NorCal is a bit different from the rest of the US but just think of how many homes are listed that never sell and the Realtor drops $2k-$15k+ worth of advertising and time. For some, it is a lot of money for what they do, but that is what will separate the Realtors over the last 7+ years, minus the last 2, from the Realtors that are still strong and still around doing business. If you have any questions, shoot me an email. I love helping others.
Old     (zo1)      Join Date: Aug 2002       02-20-2010, 6:16 PM Reply   
I would recommend at least listing your home on the MLS through a flat fee service as over 90% of homes sold are from the MLS and not FSBO sites/signs.

Agreed, the MLS is what it is all about.
Old     (greatdane)      Join Date: Feb 2001       02-20-2010, 7:22 PM Reply   
"just think of how many homes are listed that never sell and the Realtor drops $2k-$15k+ worth of advertising and time"

I think you are suggesting that we should accept paying them handsomely for their other failures -- we are not just paying for our sale, we are also paying for all of the other non-sales.
Old     (zo1)      Join Date: Aug 2002       02-20-2010, 8:12 PM Reply   
I think you are suggesting that we should accept paying them handsomely for their other failures -- we are not just paying for our sale, we are also paying for all of the other non-sales.

Yepper, but that is biz 101 after all, it should be expected
Old     (wakeboardingdad)      Join Date: Aug 2008       02-21-2010, 8:20 AM Reply   
Realtors are about as necessary as travel agents and car salesmen...

You could say that about every job including lawyers and doctors, lawn servicing, auto mechanics.... I mean every single job on the planet. However, people either cannot or will not educate themselves to be able to do all jobs. Selling a house is the same. There are some folks who simply cannot see that the lime green wall, in their den, and worn out carpet with dog poo stains and pee smell will not help their house sell.
Old     (jason95gt)      Join Date: May 2006       02-21-2010, 8:20 AM Reply   
Just because a home that is listed doesn't sell does not mean that the agent didn't do everything in their power to get it sold. Some people think that their house is the White House and is worth more than the market is willing to bare. If you get several offers on a house and they are all lower than asking price, who's fault is it that it didn't sell? For those who are more hands on may not need a realtor, but it is just like anything else as stated above as if you want someone that knows the rules and regulations or not.
Old     (wakeriderixi)      Join Date: Jan 2004       02-21-2010, 8:39 AM Reply   
I have read those contracts and I have used those contracts. If they seem simple and straight forward to you then it is because you've never had to use them in the capacity they were created for. They are in shambles and so much legal verbage needs to be added to prevent miss-interpretation. No one is condemning anyone for wanting to sell a home themselves, but to say Real Estate professionals as a whole are useless is completely ignorant. Each and every one of you are perfect and will never have your home foreclosed on, but there are PLENTY of people who would lose MUCH more than their 5% if they had to go at it alone.

Try doing the job for a living instead of selling your own home and moving on.
Old     (wake77)      Join Date: Jan 2009       02-21-2010, 8:47 AM Reply   
I think wakeboardingdad said it best. I think what is important is the time you have available to sell your home. If surrounding homes in your area have been selling quickly, then it may be in your best interest to sell it on your own. I play golf on Saturday mornings and a couple of summers ago, one of our regulars, well became not so regular. He was in the process of selling his own home and his weekends were pretty much devoted to selling his home, showings, open house, etc. Finally, after 8 months of a few leads, but none solid, he got a realtor. His house sold shortly after that. I'm not saying he was doing everything/anything right, I'm just sharing his experience. (And no, I am not a realtor, nor is anyone close to me). If there are several homes in your neighborhood that have been on the market for awhile or your life is very busy, a realtor may be best. Determine what may have to go into selling your home yourself, determine how much your time is worth, and go from there.
Old     (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       02-21-2010, 12:47 PM Reply   
While bashing what you pay real estate brokers in a successful transaction, here's what you forget: In a situation where no transaction results, you don't pay anything. So, if you list your property and offers don't come in at a number that you expected or are willing to take, all you say is "no" and everyone walks away. It costs you next to nothing. In such a situation the broker has still put in time & effort to market the property, qualify offers and negotiate them. This work, essentially telling you where the market is, ends up being free to you.

So it's possible to have a choice; pay the broker no matter what happens, or only pay if a mutually agreeable transaction happens. Most people who end up using a broker seem to prefer the latter. Or, of course, a third option that many of us here use with our boat maintenance, use your own time and do it yourself.

It's far to easy to demonize any profession (mechanics, construction contractors, doctors, boat dealers, lawyers, etc., etc.). Admittedly, some in the real estate brokerage industry, especially residential, give the profession a bad name. But there are many good professional people in real estate brokerage who are plenty worthy of their compensation and who provide added value. Otherwise, the profession would have been long gone by now. (We've had the internet for at least 15 years now and it has yet to substitute for professional brokerage services). Just like lawyers, some are only worried about their pocketbook and bill, bill, bill. But the good ones are worth their weight in gold and can save your ass.
Old     (zo1)      Join Date: Aug 2002       02-21-2010, 6:10 PM Reply   
^^^ Agreed, the thing about it is the fact that the net has put the MLS at anyones fingertips. My pops owned a real estate firm back in the day. I remember when the MLS was provided to people on 4x6 index cards with one TINY black and white pic on it. The accessibility has come a long way.
Old     (wakeboardern1)      Join Date: Aug 2007       02-21-2010, 8:56 PM Reply   
So, there is a lot of hate on here for Realtors, but seeing as how I watched my mom go through hell as I grew up acting as a realtor, I feel like I should clarify some things.

The majority of realtors suck, they really do. Then you have people like my mom who wind up having to pick up the slack from them and bust their ass to make things work, and to do things honestly, unlike the rest of them who lie, cheat, and connive their way to the top of the sales in an area. Since becoming a broker, my mom has run two realty companies (one she created herself, and one she bought a franchise of) and until the housing market collapse, they were successful as hell. But that came at a cost, the office rental came out of pocket, all of the furniture in the office, out of pocket. All of the expenses involved with secretaries and office supplies, out of pocket. She spent countless hours driving to every listing of hers and taking all of the pictures herself. Her and my dad were always finding lotlines in properties that were heavily wooded and destroyed. She was constantly helping fix up homes to sell, out of pocket. All advertising costs, all gas expenses (and those rack up when you're driving around to different homes all day), out of pocket.

She worked at the whim of every one of her customers, doing everything for them when they asked. I hardly ever saw my mom growing up because of that job, since she was constantly gone, or in her office in our house doing research and working with the agents under her to get things done. The majority of her customers had no clue whatsoever about how the system worked, and they literally had to get her to do everything. It's not a 95 percent of people are normal when it comes to this stuff, its more like the 10 percent are good to work with when you're a Realtor. And of all these potential buyers who put her through the ringer, she had maybe 25 percent of them wind up actually buying a house.

So, the next time that you all feel the need to bitch about realtors, maybe you should think about the ones who really do work for their money, who easily work a solid 80-90 hours a week, forgoing family and a remotely healthy lifestyle to make that 100-150k a year. This is a personal subject for me, and you all calling all realtors worthless pisses me off a lot. If you are an honest person, and think that realty is easy, why don't you go try to make a living off of it. Good luck. It seems like this forum consists of people who are generally savvy, and I feel like a lot of the people here are in that 10 percent of sane people who would be good clients to work for, but at the same time, with the way some of you talk, I'm not so sure about that.
Old     (wakeboardsam)      Join Date: Jun 2008       02-22-2010, 8:00 AM Reply   


By Nick Schrein (wakeboardern1) on Sunday, February 21, 2010 - 8:56 pm:
So, there is a lot of hate on here for Realtors, but seeing as how I watched my mom go through hell as I grew up acting as a realtor, I feel like I should clarify some things....

I couldn't agree more, but I'm a broker...
Old     (wakeriderixi)      Join Date: Jan 2004       02-22-2010, 9:00 PM Reply   
"I couldn't agree more, but I'm a broker..."

Old     (wakeboardern1)      Join Date: Aug 2007       02-25-2010, 12:27 AM Reply   
Thanks guys for backing me up at least to some extent. Sorry I got so angry for everyone ripping on realtors, because it is a personal subject to me, and unless you see the kind of hell good realtors go through, you wouldn't understand why it's so annoying to read you all ripping on realtors for being useless.
Old     (vette74)      Join Date: Jun 2008       02-25-2010, 5:33 AM Reply   
I have done the MLS flat fee thing 3 times. IMO it is the way to go. You type up the description, take pics ect. But that stuff only takes about 2 hrs or so. I hung a lockbox on the handle and they call to make an appointment and let themselves in. The old style realtor is going away every day. Looking online a lot of realtors take pics of the house leaning out the car window with the mirror in the corner. I would say my description and pics are better than 95% of the houses on MLS, it is a sham. The only way the realtors still have the upper hand is that you cannot look at the hidden spots of MLS like they can it is a friends protecting friends thing.
Old     (fatsac)      Join Date: Jun 2004       02-25-2010, 9:52 AM Reply   
I remember my first realtor back in 2004. She was an out of work divorcee. I only mention that because her days were spent poolside at our apartment.
Anyway, she offered to help find a home and handle the paperwork, which was great to me since it was my first time and had no clue what to do.
The one glitch we had in approval sent this woman into a tailspin. It was all too obvious she already spent the money to be made on our home. You would have thought a bomb went off! We smoothed it over but I told her we would walk away and use someone else if she didn't shave a point off her commission. A friend suggested I do this, so I can't take all of the credit.
After that experience, I did the leg work on my own.
Old     (wakeboardingdad)      Join Date: Aug 2008       02-25-2010, 6:07 PM Reply   
"A friend suggested I do this, so I can't take all of the credit."

I'm glad you can blame part of screwing over a out of work "friend" on someone else. Seriously, you waited until the end to tell her this?


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