FSBO: Dealing With Realtors

As I mentioned the other day, my wife and I placed our house on the market. We went with Buy Owner partly because we lack the equity to cover a traditional 6% realtor commission. I thought back over the period six years ago when we were looking for a house. I knew a lot of Buy Owner properties were on the market, but we pretty much ignored them. I may not have understood how to buy a house without agents, but I also realized that a seller of a FSBO (For Sale By Owner) property probably won’t pay a commission. When we signed with Buy Owner, I began to wonder what I would do if I were contacted by a potential buyer who wished to be represented by a buyer’s agent (realtor).

Last night, I actually did get a call from a realtor who had a client who saw my house on the Internet. We spoke for a few minutes. She asked if we were listed with MLS (Multiple Listing Service), to which I answered no. Buy Owner does offer the ability to list with MLS, but again, commissions have to be taken into account. I had given thought to what I would say to a buyer with a realtor, and I came to the conclusion that I would suggest that the buyer pay the commission. The realtor said that is not very common in New Jersey, which is true. Traditionally, the seller pays the commission. After a few moments of discussion, I said that I have bought and sold properties before and I understand a little about how real estate works, and although we have our asking price and very little room to work, we will give consideration to serious offers. She said that she would pass that along to her client.


I can’t believe some people. Naturally, since we’re trying to sell our house, we’re trying to get rid of six years worth of clutter. Today, being trash day, we placed a lot more trash than normal on the curb. My wife called to say that somebody went through our trash. That isn’t a big deal in itself, but they ripped bags open and left a bunch of trash on the ground. My wife had to leave our children unsupervised to clean up the mess left behind by our dumpster diver. Whoever it is moves fast. She was carrying a torn comforter out to the curb while talking on the phone with me, and it was gone within two minutes.

I have nothing against dumpster diving. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, and obviously if we’re throwing something away we have no use for it, so if you do that’s fine; our last two couches were somebody’s throw-aways. But if you’re going to rip my trash bags open, make sure the stuff you don’t want makes it back into the trash can. I don’t care if it is kitty litter or dirty diapers. You opened the bag!

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