The Running Realtor: Buying or Selling a Home on your Own

A blend of ramblings about Real Estate & Running around New Haven County and the Connecticut Shoreline

Buying or Selling a Home on your Own

Who really wins when a buyer seeks out a FSBO home without the guidance of a real estate agent?

We all know the theory,  a savvy seller can place a little classified ad or a free on-line listing to save thousands of dollars in real estate commissions.  From the brainy buyers standpoint they are confident and capable of using all the resources to negotiate a great deal and pocket the thousands for themselves.

When I was traveling through Massachusetts last weekend a catchy jingle played on the radio quite often for I Sold My House Dot Com.  As often happens I found my mind wandering while driving north to Maine and wondered how many people really believe this propaganda. I never run into any real success stories.

This post is geared towards consumers with some experience.... I'd like the truth!  You can comment below and just sign the response as Buyer or Seller if you want to remain anonymous.

  • Does the Savvy Seller find Success?  
  • Does the Brainy Buyer get a Bargain?  
  • Is it a Win-Win Deal for Buyer & Seller?                     

I have always advised my buyers that in the event they notice a FBSO that they must see let me know so I can arrange to see it with them.  In Connecticut we have buyer agency agreements that deal with commissions but many FSBO's will consider covering the agents payment if it gets their home sold.  The sellers realize within a few weeks that just planting a sign with an little ad doesn't bring a stampede of ready, willing & able buyers.

Since my real estate office is located in GUILFORD I decided to take a look at the offerings listed for sale on I Sold My House Dot Com.  Of the four homes showing as active the two lower priced properties decided to list with a traditional Real Estate Agent and both closed in July. 

The two more expensive homes are presumably still on the market. Doing a quick search revealed the house on Bluff View Drive has already had 3 owners since it was built 5 years ago. With a list price of $719,000 it is priced 10% higher than the most expensive sale on the street.  Not exactly a bargain for an unsuspecting buyer.

If you are planning to buy a house along the Connecticut Shoreline there are are a variety of Homes For Sale. For a custom search just email your criteria to  or give me a call (203) 672-2455.

Sellers interested in assistance can Contact Dan Cummings - The Running Realtor for a consultation.


Comment balloon 8 commentsNo Longer Active • October 08 2007 03:35PM


Dan, neither the Buyer or the Seller makes out in a FSBO sale.  The Seller thinks that he is going to make more because he does not have to pay a commission, but the Buyer thinks that they should get the house at a cheaper price because the Seller does not have to pay a commission.  In the end neither one makes out, and end up getting a lot of headaches in return because neither one knows what they are doing.  There is a reason why Realtors make what they make on a transaction, and both sides benefit from the representation.

By the way the correct icon is back for you .......... I kind of liked the other one better ...... LOL 

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 12 years ago
George... Your take is correct from what I have always seen.  I never understand a buyers logic of not working with an agent since they rarely pay any commission.  Typically in our area the selling side absorbs the cost.
Posted by No Longer Active (Real Estate) over 12 years ago
Dan, I have heard of court cases in our state that resulted from FSBOs. We can go on and on telling people the consequences, but they are like children, once they have been burned they won't make the same mistake again.
Posted by Mana Tulberg, Real Estate Agent - Camarillo CA (805 County Real Estate) over 12 years ago

Hi Dan,

I have not heard of a success story myself....One recent FSBO informed me they spent over $1500 a month to be on the cover of I sold my house magazine....that was about six months ago! In the end trying to do it yourself FSBO ends up costing more. Good post!


Posted by Suzanne Sands, Somerset MA Real Estate (Pavao Real Estate) over 12 years ago
Dan--The only FSBO success stories I ever hear of are the ones where the people actually knew the people prior to buying the home....But even then you hear about "problems" that crop up at closing as there are unknown fees etc that can cause bad feelings. Sounds easy...but WE know that things crop up at closing...As professional Realtors, we can better anticipate any issues before they become problems.
Posted by Teri Eckholm, REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro (Boardman Realty) over 12 years ago

I actually bought my first home FSBO - it went ok... but it was a $25,000 sale - and there were not nearly the disclosures and so on - of course that was a long time ago. :o)

When I sold I did So with a REALTOR(R)

Posted by Thesa Chambers, Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon (Fred Real Estate Group) over 12 years ago
I haven't seen anyone win with FSBO's down this way.  They still have to "be available" to show the house and that's less often than not.  IF a realtor leads a buyer to this home -that agent-does twice the work with one sided still being uneducated as to how transactions traditionally go.  It stays interesting...if it ever closes.  I personally have NOT dealt with any thank goodness. 
Posted by Susie Roscoe, Real Estate Specialist | Brandon, FL (Signature Realty Associates) over 12 years ago

Mana... Disclosures are another reason some sellers go the FSBO route... They think they can ignore the rules.

Suzanne... $1500 is real steep for one of those magazines.  Haven't seen any recently but when they first started it appeared more listings were from areas far from the location where I'd pick up the booklet.

Teri... That is true... Didn't think of that but I do know people that sold to friends or relatives.

Thesa... What that a house on wheels?  Then again I shouldn't talk, my first house cost $50,000 and I saw it for sale 20 years later so we stopped in the open house... Nothing changed and the price was pretty low.

Susie... The sellers do have the own learning curve and at times are to emotionally attached to know a good offer when they get it.

Posted by No Longer Active (Real Estate) over 12 years ago

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