So you want to sell your home yourself?


You think you can save money by going FSBO?

(For Sale By Owner, pronounced “FIZZ- bow”)

Ok, let’s run through what you are going to have to do:

Are you prepared to pay up front costs of marketing and advertising? Agents that belong to their local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) network to hundreds, if not thousands, of other agents in their region to expose your property to. And those agents, in turn, have their own networks of family, friends, past clients and business acquaintances to tell about the property. MLS listings in most regions feed into numerous online portals as well. This means your home will be picked up by thousands of Web sites.

Show me the Money!
Recent studies have shown that 92% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 28% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an Internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?
whos at door

Do you REALLY know who’s at your door, wanting to look at your home? Do they have an agent? Have they been approved for a loan?

You’ll have a friend there to show buyers your house if you can’t? Hmm…talk to your insurance company about that one…


So you think you’ve got that covered, huh? Ok, say whatever you are doing to get exposure brings you some buyers that want to look at your house. Does a real estate agent represent them? Because good agents will make sure their buyers have talked to a lender and are pre-approved for a loan. That means they are ready, willing and able to purchase your property.

No? You’ve got somebody who wants to see your home anyway, so you will show it to them. Are you able to consistently be available to show prospective buyers your home during the day and evenings, 7 days a week? Your boss is just going to LOVE you constantly taking the time off from work to do that.

And the buyer does not have an agent, and you have no idea if they have the financial wherewithal to buy, but you’ll be there to show them anyway. Do you know this person? If not, do you have an idea of where they work, who they are, identification? Nah, you’ll let them in anyway. Really? How do you know that they aren’t casing the property to rob later, or worse? Good agents know who their buyers are up front, they have verified them through their own process and the lender has all the tax returns, identification and work history on file to qualify them for a loan. Do you? Not worried about that? OK… say you have a buyer without an agent who makes an offer on your property. Do you know the legal rules that govern real estate transfers in your state, such as who must sign the papers, who can conduct the actual transaction, and what to do if and when encumbrances are discovered that slow down the transfer of ownership?
Do you even know what documentation is part of the process? Do you know what legal paperwork is required to construct a legal sale and if there are any state-mandated disclosures as to the physical condition of your house? Do you carry Errors and Omissions Insurance to protect yourself (and you as your own client) should problems arise in the contracts? pileof papaer

Back to saving money… Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission. Do you realize that the commission is actually paid out of the proceeds the buyer gives you upon closing? Yep, that is money you are not going out of pocket for. Still think that you could net more if you didn’t pay a commission and use an agent? What would it cost you time wise and monetarily to perform everything discussed above?

Fact is, statistics show that selling your home with the assistance of a professional real estate agent will garner you a higher profit, enough to cover the commission as well as put more money in your pocket. According to the National Association of Realtor’s 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the average nationwide FSBO sales price was $174,900, while the average price for a home represented by an agent was $215,000, a difference of $40,100.

Bottom Line? Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.

You can pull your tooth out with a string and a doorknob, so why go to a Dentist?

Open House? *BWAHAHA*

So you want me to sit Open House for your property?

No. I will hold “Brokers Open” which is for Realtors to preview your property. But I will not sit an Open House where the general public has access to you home. Why? Let me ask you this: Do you want people you don’t know going through your house checking out your possessions? Sure, you’ve been told to hide your valuables or even remove them during the time your home is on the market. But what about that prescription medication in your bathroom? Hey, those credit card and bank account statements sitting in your desk look good to an identity thief! And that big TV sitting in the living room of your vacation home that is vacant most of the year?

The Cat Burglar does not want your cat...

The Cat Burglar does not want your cat...

Thieves do go to Open Houses to check out the opportunities to relieve you of your possessions. And if the home is your full time residence, don’t you just LOVE the inconvenience of hauling the family out the door, containing your pets, and vacating your house for hours at a time every Sunday afternoon? Again and again and again…

Show me the Money!

Show me the Money!

So on one hand, I don’t sit Open House to protect YOU, Mr. & Mrs. Seller. I only allow access to qualified buyers who are ready, willing and able to buy your home and are accompanied by a licensed Real Estate professional. You DO want to maximize the potential for the sale of your home rather than letting anybody off the street in, don’t you? Even if they are not “casing the joint”, Open Houses are used by many buyers to walk through homes in which they have no interest other than to learn the market or to validate a decision to purchase another home.
On the other hand, I don’t sit Open Houses to protect myself as well. Let’s just advertise the fact that I will be in a house in the middle of the day when no one else is around and there are even signs leading right up to the front door! Realtors have been raped and killed at Open Houses,  I have no interest in becoming a statistic. Sit with another agent you say? Well, the State of Hawaii prevents law abiding citizens from carrying a firearm for personal protection. Guess who carries firearms? The not so law abiding citizens with intent to commit a crime. Even if there are several agents with me, a can of pepper spray is not going to do anything to deter an armed intruder.

How long until the end of Open House?

How long until the end of Open House?

Most experienced agents pass off (yes, I said “pass off”) the duty of sitting open house to newer agents because they tell them “If you sit Open House at my listing maybe you will get a potential buyer coming in that does not have an agent!” Or I’ve heard agents say, “I’m sitting Open House this weekend and hope to get a buyer!” Or “Maybe I’ll get a lead on a potential listing!”

Sitting Open House is a very passive form of marketing your home. They are used by real estate agents to convince sellers that they’ll be doing everything they can to sell their home, and they disrupt the lives of sellers with little or no value added to their goal of selling their home.

Whoopty-Doo.  “Maybe” and “Hope to”are not key points in my Real Estate business plan… I know that Real Estate is local in its nature, and I’m sure there are areas of the national market where Open Houses do work to some extent to sell homes. And I know I’m going to get blasted as a heretic by those agents. So be it. Would you rather have a passive agent who sits around your house on a Sunday afternoon “Hoping” or an agent that is “Doing” by actively and aggressively marketing your home? I know which one I’d rather have if I were selling my home…

Aloha from Hawaii,



How to alienate customers and not support your tenants’ businesses

How to drive away business: Marketing Fail 101

I know, I know…In this robust economy you as an office/retail/showroom center and your tenants are doing soooooo well! All those overstocked showrooms with crowded inventory and huge tenant vacancies says “Who loves ya, Baby?’

And look how nice and open all the occupied tenant spaces are! No nasty clients cluttering up the pristine design space in this location!

I was planning on doing a nice Neighborhood Crusin’ Video and blog piece about Gentry Design Center; home to interior designers, kitchen and bath developers and miscellaneous furniture showrooms. Write up some nice background about the development in the ‘90s, a smart reuse of old Dole Cannery industrial space by developer Tom Gentry.

But much to my dismay as I was walking into the Center, a security guard accosted me and said “We don’t allow no pictures in this building!” (What, is this the Louvre? I was filming potted palms…) “Management has to approve all pictures first. Turn that camera off NOW!” Um…I walked right past this security guard into the Center with camera rolling, how courteous of them to wait several minutes to wake up and follow me down the hall! Nowhere is it posted that photography is not allowed.

I see… good publicity and positive word of mouth promotion about Gentry Design Center is not allowed, they are all doing SO well in there. Alrighty!  The Rocket Scientist Secrets behind the totem pole of showerheads in the middle of the hallway floor will remain safe with me!

And to top it off, I was hosting a @Bytemarks Lunch in the Private room at Eat, when the security told Chef Dave “Somebody needs to move a black Toyota or we’ll tow it”. Um, License plate? They didn’t know. Model? They didn’t know, but they were going to tow it!  The vast Mojave Desert expanse of empty asphalt was too much for one car parked wrong! Car belonged to our out of town guest from the mainland, here for a visit. How about that Aloha Hawaii Hospitality!  Yea, he’ll be back…NOT! Oh, and if you park for more than two hours, you will be towed. Seems to me it might take longer than two hours to meet with a designer to plan a new kitchen.

I don’t blame security, as it seems that they were just following orders from management. Hello, Management? This is a great example of not supporting your tenants and not encouraging the public to come in and spend money. *SHEESH*