Why FSBO without putting it in the MLS?


Last week, a Seattle-area woman contacted us out of the blue asking if we advertise FSBOs and FSBO open houses on ShackPrices (we don’t), which led to a back-and-forth exchange that went sort of like this:

Me: Out of curiosity, why don’t you list your home in the MLS for $400 and get a lot more exposure? If you’re worried about the 2% – 3% commission, just mark it up that much.

Her: It’s sort of an experiment.

Me: Ah.

Me (in my mind):A $400,000 experiment that will probably result in significantly less exposure for your home and probably result in a longer time to sell (and result in continued payments during that time!) at the very least? Skip the experiment, list it on the MLS and buy yourself a new (if inexpensive) car with the money you are likely going to lose!

Yesterday an even better solution for FSBOs popped up: IggysHouse.com lets you list your house on the MLS for free. Experiments aside, it makes a lot of sense if you’re a FSBOer to get your property in the system that almost every home buyer looks to for listing information.

Do not be offended, dear real estate agent reader. This free listing service, which is apparently a slap in the face of real estate agents, is actually a backhanded compliment. IggysHouse claims to be offering this just so FSBOers will consider their buyer agent service, but it’s clear that they are convinced they can sell those FSBOers on other products and services and that a decent percentage of their FSBO listers will be convinced to work with an agent when they don’t find success going alone or have trouble getting through the close or negotiating with someone who has done it 100 times before.

Update: Greg Swann thinks Iggy’s House will make money from mortgages.

12 thoughts on “Why FSBO without putting it in the MLS?

  1. There’s certainly a difference between listing a home, and marketing a home. Unfortunately, there’s enough real estate agents that don’t do enough for the general public to see otherwise. The days, when an agent can expect to go no farther than plopping a sign in the yard and throwing the property up onto MLS are coming to an end.

    The MLS wall is coming down. Only agents who can market can expect to continue charging 3%

  2. I know a whacko agent named Iggy whom I call “the Igmeister” in Kansas City. Last I heard he was building a robot to mow his grass. I’m wondering if he is the “Iggy” behind Iggy’s House.

    Anyone know who Iggy is? Pretty sure it’s not the same Iggy that Galen used in the photo.

  3. If I go FSBO, I’m not planning on putting it on the MLS initially.

    Being new on the MLS is an important, fleeting, advantageous state and if I need to use the MLS I want to make sure both the listing and the property are in the best condition I can get them in given my restrictions. Going FSBO without the MLS lets me gauge potential buyers’ reactions and make fixes or updates to items I see bother visitors before there’s a debut on the MLS. Also, I suspect that there are some RE agents who will talk down a property listed on the MLS as essentially a FSBO. If I only go on the MLS if I decide to use an agent, those other agents are less likely to be biased against the listing.

    There’s very little risk in not putting my property on the MLS when I don’t have an agent. I’m going to list the house for a price that I believe to be fair market value and I’ll only accept an offer that I find satisfactory. The only risk is time and it’s a risk that’s completely predictable – i.e., I know exactly how many days have passed and when the next one will pass – and totally under my control. If I don’t get any acceptable offers within whatever length of time I find comfortable, then I’ll decide whether to take on an agent or list through a cheap MLS service. So, really, what’s the terrible harm in going FSBO without the MLS unless I’m significantly undervaluing the property? These are no longer the days of MLS listings in hot Seattle neighborhoods commonly getting multiple offers over asking or escalation clauses pushing the price past conventional notions of sanity.

    Also, by not listing on the MLS the buyers coming in are more likely to buy without an agent. In my case, that means there’s about $18,000(!!!!) we can play with to get the deal to go through. The small car you’re talking about getting by using a cheap MLS listing service goes right back to the dealership with the check to the buyer’s agent.

    One more reason, specific to my property, is that I have a highly desirable location in a very desirable neighborhood and even as a FSBO I should see plenty of foot traffic. I haven’t even listed my house and have already given a couple of tours to people who saw my “Make Me Move” price on Zillow. I’m not too concerned about being FSBO not delivering me enough buyers to ensure a proper price, I’m more concerned with whether there are particular turn-offs among the old cosmetics that will hinder the sale. If so, I can fix them and then decide to list on the MLS in as good a shape as possible.

  4. Hey

    Iggys’ is TOTAL BS ! it sucks !




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