Brokerage

Sellers who tried to go it alone decide: ‘We need agents’

Takeaway from 'Hear it Direct' is to follow up with FSBO sellers

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. — After making an attempt to go it alone, sellers often realize they want to bring on an agent to settle the chaos of handling buyers and completing their home sale.

That’s according to a panel of sellers on a “Hear it Direct” panel held today at REvive, an annual conference put on by Glendora, California-based Citrus Valley Association of Realtors in association with six nearby associations.

All four sellers on the panel who had tried the for-sale-by-owner route said they had given it up when the hassle of taking buyer phone calls at all hours, coordinating tours in their homes and dealing with agents hunting for their business while running their lives became too much.

One seller told the crowd of approximately 500 agents that after trying to sell his home without an agent for eight weeks, the bother of holding open houses and the headache of dealing with lowball offers convinced him the process would be best handled by a pro. He brought on an agent.

Another FSBO seller said she gave up the solo route for much the same reason. She eventually chose an agent friend to help her family sell its home, though she was tempted to go with the agent who came back again and again to win her listing.

That agent left a fridge magnet at the sellers’ front door that had a slide tab that could be moved to indicate moods, happy or sad. The agent came back one day and slid the tab on the magnet, which was still outside the door, to “sad,” and wrote a note to the seller saying her mood was bummed by not winning her business.

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The seller said she thought the gesture was cute and remembered her.

David DiVito, an agent with Century 21 Rose Realty in Hesperia, California, attending the REvive conference, said that the stories shared by sellers on the panel inspired him to consistently follow up with FSBO sellers.

An interesting tidbit about ZTR and agents

While they went to the sites to find information, not one seller onstage said they found their agent through Zillow, Trulia or realtor.com.

In fact, none of the hundreds of buyers and sellers who have been on Hear it Direct stages across the country have said they found their agent on any of real estate’s most popular websites, Hear it Direct President Brandy Saldivar told Inman.

That struck Mark Peterson, an agent with Re/Max Masters in Glendora, California. He currently advertises on realtor.com, but he’s going to keep that info in mind when he evaluates his marketing spend going forward.

Email Paul Hagey.