Frequently Asked FSBO Questions...
Here are a few questions we get asked frequently. Please e-mail your question.
What if an agent brings a buyer to my FSBO property, do I pay a 3% commission?
The answer is NO, you are not required to pay a buyers agent a commission. But, most buyers agent will ask you to pay! See how to easily handle that in the next paragraph below. The fact is, the term "buyers agent" was coined from the new real estate laws in MO and KS. The new law, Brokerage Relationships in Real Estate Transactions Act (BRRETA) was passed to help consumers know exactly who works for who in a real estate transaction*.
It's true, the seller is NOT under any contract to pay 3%, or include that expense when pricing your FSBO property. You have a huge advantage in today's market by pricing your property at net market value. Your property is now much more attractively priced than every other agent-listed property in your area. Buyers are smart, they do the math too. You sell faster and net more of your equity, your buyers get a much better value. It is win - win for both parties when buying and selling privately.
Where the confusion comes in is when the buyers agent appears on your front porch with a potential buyer. The agent will always ask you to pay 3% (or some amount) if their buyer buys your property. The American Dream is not necessarily home ownership, but your right as an American to buy and sell it privately, without third party interference or laws. This right is protected by the Constitution of the United States.
In January 1,1995, the Brokerage Relationships in Real Estate Transactions Act (BRETTA) became law in the state of Kansas (similar in MO). This Act clarifies relationships between real estate brokers, buyers and sellers. BRETTA calls for full disclosure of the working relationships and legal obligations between agents and their Clients or Customers.
Agents are now required by state law to disclose to you who they are working for. The buyers agent is hired by the buyer. The buyer signed an agreement to compensate the buyers agent...not the seller! This disclosure must take place early in the relationship with the agent. So, when you hear "buyers agent" now you know who pays who and who is really working for who. You can read the KS Act here and pay particular attention to line F about Buyers Agents:
Bottom line: the listing agent works only for the seller and her duty is to get the best deal for the seller - not you the buyer. And, the 6% commission never goes away from the final negotiated price. If you are looking at agent-listed properties, call us first at 913-498-3726, before you call the listing agent, with the property address and we'd be happy to "simplify" these agency relationships for you.
Can I be FSBO and on the MLS? Agents say I can.
There is certainly no shortage of discount real estate brokers offering to slap your FSBO property on the MLS for what appears to be small amounts like $295 or $595 or whatever. But be very leery of these offers, as your true cost will be much higher than you would imagine!
When its all done and over, you can figure on it really costing you more. Seems most discount brokers "forget" to tell you some vital information. For example, when you go on the MLS, you must pay two (2) commissions...one to a listing broker and one to a selling broker. You must pay for all your advertising outside of the MLS which is very expensive. The MLS is not available to the public. Your property will NOT be advertised on any major local broker sites.
Most important, is today's home buyers are very smart, and they know if any home is listed, and if it has an inflated price to cover agent fees. Study both the advantage, and the disadvantage of this listing. We suggest you sell FSBO, our customer's 16 year track record of success speaks for itself. Sell fast, pay no commission, buyers prefer FSBO.
What is the difference between you and some of the other FSBO companies in the area?
Actually, there is only ONE FSBO company with a Storefront in the Greater Kansas City Metro area; The FSBO Store in Overland Park, KS. Don't put a middleman between you and your buyer. Our mission is the fast sale of your home...with no middleman.
What makes us different from other FSBO Services?
The other "FSBO" companies are "Web Only!" and you do not have a live person to call and talk to or ask questions as them come up or just stop in The FSBO Store during the selling process. Before you pay to advertise with an internet only FSBO service ask questions. Who are they? Are they local? What do they really know about KC real estate? Can you contact a real person? Do they know local laws and customs? Are they available to answer your questions? What is their experience level? Feel free to talk with our current customers. Our sellers are always happy to talk with prospective sellers. Ask them about us and our services. Our experience in the FSBO business is unmatched. Nobody does it better, our customers really do sell fast.
Here are just some of the many reasons successful homesellers have chosen us over the competition.
- Buyers call YOU, not a call center, not an agent. Phone numbers are always posted in your ad, and buyers can also email you securely. Companies who don't publish your phone number and redirect buyers to their business are more interested in THEIR phones ringing, not yours. Some websites only allow email and sell the addresses to other companies for profit. You end up getting more junk.
- Our photo ads are current, not filler to make a website look successful. Companies, especially national FSBO websites, that offer free listings, or one-time payments are LOADED with outdated and expired properties. They don't take them off because it makes them look bigger. Buyers soon figure out they're wasting their time however and move on to other websites, like ours, www.fsbo-kc.com that take care of their inventory. We also include Zillow, Yahoo!, & HomesByOwner.com and other major national real estate and social sites!
- We post your Open House events and give a Google map link for directions. Many websites don't allow location or time sensitive information, again because it's seldom removed making the ad look stale. They also don't want anyone to have direct contact with you. When you make us your first call, we will give you free use of your AD# to use in any other advertising you choose to do.
- Need signs, information holders, open house supplies? We've got them all - many are included with our All-inclusive package plans. Visit our convenient KC FSBO retail store, The KC FSBO Store Location or call us. We're stocked full of everything and anything you need to buy or sell your own property! The largest selection of signs, directional arrows, forms, contracts, disclosures, how-to books & banners, shoe covers, flags, info boxes, info tubes, radon & lead paint test kits, for rent signs, estate sale sales and much more!
- Have questions? Wonder how to work with agents to your advantage? We've got the answers. Because we're local, we know the local market. We know that things may come up during the process and sometimes just a few marketing pointers can make a difference. Our motto is, "No commission & plenty of assistance!", so don't be afraid to call and ask questions along the way.
- We provide the best Virtual Slide Show tour with color photos and descriptions. Many call this the absolute best home tour available in KC, no fished lens distorting photos, no waiting for pictures to load, simply the best presentation of your property to active buyers. This is way over what other sites offer.
We noticed some area real estate companies have FSBO sounding names but they charge commissions and a lot of money upfront - what's up with this?
You are correct. Some companies have recently popped up offering to help you sell your home in non-traditional ways. Some use the words "by owner", others tout a low commission. We welcome having you compare us to any other program out there. We're confident we have the best program. Only through our great exposure will you get top dollar for your house fast, and keep more money in your pocket where it belongs.
Due to our customer's 16 years of success of selling FSBO properties, many start-up real estate companies have named their business with FSBO sounding names...trying to mooch off our customer's success. From them, you can expect very high pressure and forceful "salespeople" trying to get you to list immediately. Forget the pressure and stop in The FSBO Store today.
When should I put my house for sale?
We recommend that you begin marketing your home for sale before you start looking for another home. A good rule of thumb is at least 90-120 days prior to your desired closing date, start selling. Do not try to "time" your sale with the purchase of another property - timed sales seldom work! If you are leaving the area or are building a new home, start advertising six months prior to the date you expect to leave or your new home will be finished. Also, do not assume you must move out within 30 or 45 days upon reaching a deal with a buyer. When you sell you negotiate 2 main items: 1) price and 2) closing date. So you can start selling in say, January and close in August, or September or March - whatever you negotiate!
How effective is your service compared to other free or less expensive web site only companies.
Extremely effective. The fact is, since 1996, our KC FSBO customers sell fast, competing with agent-listed averages, and they net more money. Plus, we save our customers in closing cost fees ($100 to $300). The whole beauty of our proven FSBO marketing packages is that most of our customers actually save more money than they invest in our packages...not to mention thousands in commission savings. We are local, we know the business, we answer the phones, we answer your questions, we know the laws, we are honest and fair. Ask any of our thousands of satisfied KC area customers. No brokers, no commission, no excuses, no kidding!
Be careful - if you go with other internet only services, you may be very disappointed when you don't get the exposure and assistance they claim you'll get. Assume nothing. Do your research first before you spend a penny or sign anything. Ask some questions...
- Are they a web-based company in some other part of the country - or are they based in the KC metro area so you have local representation?
- Do they know local real estate customs and laws?
- How extensive is the advertising exposure and assistance will you get?
- Will you be listed on just one website or many?
- Will your phone number appear in your ad so you get calls directly from buyers, or are you paying to generate calls to a mortgage company or to a real estate agent? Think about it - if buyers have to go through a lot of trouble just to get your phone number they won't bother buying your house. Without the buyers you won't sell!
Do I have to be a member of FSBO, or a marketing package customers, to shop in your stores?
No, we have no memberships and welcome everyone into our retail stores. We carry the area's largest selection of professional FSBO yard signs ($7 to $100), directional arrows ($4 to $20), how-to-sell books, voice mail, banners, forms, contracts, disclosures, St Joseph statues, shoe covers, Home Warranties, seminars and much more!
Do you recommend advertising my home in the local newspaper?
We believe in advertising. Classified newspaper advertising is expensive. Assuming a time on market being between 60 and 90 days a small classified ad, run just on Sundays for 2 months, can cost you $500 or more. Of course this is for 3 to 4 lines and no photo. If you advertise in the newspaper, we suggest you include our internet web address of your listing from our web site (see line 4 below in example). Now, you can show off your home with color interior and exterior photos! The following example has been used very effectively by our customers and helps your home standout from the other classified ads:
FSBO - 2 Story, 3 BR, 2 BA
finished walkout, $145,000
Open Sun 1-4 000-555-1234
PLACE YOUR 4 DIGIT ID # IN PLACE OF ZEROS ABOVE! (after = sign)
When I’m taking pictures, are there any special requirements?
The best photos are taken when it is raining or foggy outside. Photos taken in sunlight have too much glare and harsh shadows. We accept photos in the following formats: color prints on photo paper, digital .jpg or .tif. Do not embed the photo(s) in any other software or program, i.e. MS Word, PowerPoint, PDF, etc. Try to back up far enough to get the whole house in the shot with some space left on either side. Do not crop photos prior to sending them or bringing them to us. If you are using a digital camera, use the camera’s highest resolution or quality setting. We’ll take care of the cropping and resolution requirements for publication in the magazine and on the internet.
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