Why FSBO has not sold…

by Maureen McCabe on October 12, 2007

monopoly game pieces

After writing  ’Where the heck is _____ County, Ohio?“  My curiosity got the better of me.  I had to look at the price, size, amenities of the house  and where the heck ______ County is.  This seller is willing to pay a hefty commission to the agent who has the  buyer for her home….  She is marketing it herself with a FSBO Company, the kind of company that sells a homeowner a sign and a website that shows pictures of the home.  She is emailing real estate agents in more populated markets to get them to sell her home now.

Where is ______ County, Ohio? Over two hours from my office. Will I drive two plus hours away to show a home?  Five hours round trip to show a ______ County, Ohio house to a Columbus buyer (because we all know how people are clammoring  to move to counties without jobs….) 


We probably have homes in our Columbus Board of Realtors multiple listing service that are two hours away from my office.  I would not show those, outside of my area of expertise.  I would refer a buyer to someone who knows the area. 

I know an agent on the east coast who is licensed in states and drives hours for showings because his niche is historic homes.  More power to him!  I am not saying those who have  a business model like that are wrong… but to me real estate is local. 

The house in _____ County is priced at $215,000.  It’s looks like a very nice little house, I’m sure you get a lot bigger lot down there…than you do in Columbus. It may say something about lot size, home size on the FSBO (expensive sign) Company website, the site kind of locked up on my computer while I was trying to get around so I left.

The photos of the property show a nice big kitchen with lots of cabinets but there is clutter all over the table and counters.  The shot of the master bedroom that room was not ready to show when the photo was taken either.  What would lead me to believe once I got there with my Columbus buyer who wants to move to _____ County that the house would be in showing shape? Of course I could call when we left Columbus and they’d have two plus hours to straighten things up. 

There is a problem with the Google map for the property.  It is not the FSBO (expensive sign)  companies problem it is a street name spelling Google kind of problem but a Columbus agent could end up in a county NW of Columbus rather than in _______ County because of the map.  Technology!

Thinking outside the box here because this homeowner obviously is.  Some ideas…

Mail gas cards to all Columbus agents that might have a buyer who wants to move out to the boonies.  How you determine which rural area (boonies) in Ohio I don’t know.  You want to pinpoint the buyers who want those particular boonies as opposed to the boonies N.W. of Columbus or the boonies N.E. of Columbus… or the boonies straight east from Columbus…  The FSBO paying for gas for the two plus hour trip (almost five hours round trip)  could motivate real estate agents to take a two plus hour drive to show her home but that’s still a chunk of time. 

Clean the clutter off the table and re-shoot the photos of the property. 

List the house and believe the listing agent on price and what you need to do to  get the home ready to show (the FSBO was listed and blames the local agent for the fact that the house did not sell.)   Take advantage of the local mls where agents who have buyers looking for homes in the  county. 

I got a call from a seller (not a FSBO) who has a home in a rural area of Ohio.  He was listed with a Cinci area agent. The house was on the market with a real live agent who did list the property in the MLS (multiple listing service, a broker to broker system) not a FSBO (expensive sign) company and did not get one showing in a year.  His market is half way between Columbus and Cincinnati.  I told him I thought  he ought to be listed with a local real estate brokerage. He had  thought he’d have better luck finding a buyer for his rural home in either the Columbus or Cincinnati market.  No showings in a year? I guess not. 

His house is a historic home.  The home is large.  It was priced over a million dollars.

Maybe I am wrong about real estate being local, an agent in my office recently listed a property out in the boonies with a relationship with the local Real Living franchise to handle showings.  She and our manager felt like although it is conventional wisdom to list locally that they ought to do what the seller wanted and he wanted to list his out of area home with a Columbus brokerage.  Thinking outside the box? Only time will tell…

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