FSBO – I have a buyer, list with me!
If you are selling your house by owner (For Sale By owner/FSBO) you will have a lot of traffic at your door – no doubt they will be real estate agents who would like to list your home and sell it. Sally one of our fantastic agents called me yesterday to tell me that one of the FSBO’s she has been talking to told her another agent stopped by and ‘had a buyer, so the seller should list their house with them’.
This is the oldest trick in the book. “List with me, I have your buyer just waiting to buy your lovely home.” I explained to Sally that there are a number of issues with this approach and more discussion and education with the seller would clearly identify how listing with that agent who has a ‘buyer’ is a really bad strategy.
1. The home is already ‘Listed’ – For Sale by the Owner, so it is already on the market.
2. If this ‘other agent’ has a ‘buyer’, they should arrange a deal with the seller and get paid a buyer’s agent fee for bringing the buyer – I think this should be in the 2-3% range, but all commissions are, of course, negotiable.
3. There is an agency issue here. If this ‘other agent’ has the buyer, then don’t they in fact represent the buyer’s interest? This ‘other agent’ should take a lot of care in explaining dual agency to BOTH parties to insure everybody understands that they are representing BOTH sides of the transaction. I of course dislike dual agency and I post about it regularly.
4. Referring to number 3. above – this seller should have some advocacy of their own and it sure wouldn’t hurt to have a selling agent work for them and represent their interests. Some sellers don’t need this, I talked to a very savvy FSBO seller in State College earlier this week and they were quick to offer us a buyer’s agent commission if we sold their home.
Many people however, need the skills we as Realtor’s bring to the table. So this was my recommendation – List with Perry Wellington Realty (you saw that coming) where our total rate is 4.5% split 2% for the Listing side (us) and 2.5% for the Selling side (buyer’s agent). This accomplishes two things – advocacy and representation for the seller AND it enables this ‘other agent’ with their ‘buyer’ to get paid for bringing the buyer.
Most importantly, this achieves the objective of the seller, which is to SELL THEIR HOME. This is what we are all working towards.