Part 2 of 3 on Selling Your Houston Home By Owner.

The selling of Houston homes for about 15 years. I currently sell mostly within Houston's 610 Loop and close-in neighborhoods like Timbergrove Manor, Oak Forest, Garden Oaks and especially Houston Heights in blue world city. I've dealt with a variety of Houston For-Sale-By-Owners. They are generally a pleasure working with. Some do very well on their own. Most don't. This article will share my personal experiences. I hope this is of use to you.

Houston FSBO's can sell independently for many reasons. The most frequent are:

  • They're lacking equity, which means they cannot afford a commission. That's not surprising.
  • They are looking to cut costs. They'll collaborate with Realtors however, they don't want to pay a complete commission for listing. This is okay too.
  • They have an attitude of: "Let's give it a try. How difficult can it be? If I don't sell it, I'll list with a Realtor". These people are fun to work with. They appreciate any information and tips you can offer.
  • They don't want Realtors and aren't willing to pay anyone a commission! All right. Let's not disturb these people. There are plenty of other properties worth displaying.


Here are some of my first-hand experiences with Houston For Sale By Owners:

  • I was also an FSBO. I had 2 properties I was looking to sell. A rental house in Bear Creek and a Galveston beach house. I set myself a time limit of 2 months to sell both when I would post them. The beach house I sold pretty quickly (that shocked me because I was thinking it would be a pain meeting people who live who live an hour away to present). This Bear Creek house though didn't sell within the timeframe I set. I listed it on MLS and another Realtor offered me an offer within one week. I was thrilled to pay the 3%. I wish I had done it 2 months earlier.
  • Buyers usually don't want to play with the FSBO's. They are afraid of being victimized, or they don't have enough time to deal with it. They would like their Realtor to research it and decide whether it is a good fit for their needs.
  • Most Realtors don't want to get involved with FSBO's. Even if they do, they'll need to spend lots of time finding out more about you, your house and terms of sale. This isn't about personal issues; it is simply not efficient to handle. Even if we do collaborate in conjunction with you (as I do often) we will never remember your house. When I make appointments to view 4-6 houses, I usually don't remember that FSBO even if it's not on MLS
  • Buyers gain the experience, expertise and expertise from a Realtor without cost. Why would they want to hunt down FSBO's that are not on the market?
  • NAR (National Association of Realtors) states that only15% of FSBO's are successful. The rest 85% of FSBO's take the property off the market or sell it to a realtor.
  • FSBO's aren't answering their phones! They don't always return calls or they call back a few days later. I'm sorryto say that, but this is too late. In the course of my third trip with a couple from Rice Military, I made appointments for five homes. There was also an FSBO I tried to show. The moment the Mr. FSBO called back the next day, to say that we could look at it but it was way too late. We had already made an offer. Would he have sold it if he'd shown it? We'll never know.
  • Buyers are aware that you're also saving commissions and they want to save money. They expect you to come cheaper than average. Since you're getting a reduction of 36 percent?
  • Buyers are pleasant and won't harm your feelings. They will say, "It's nice, we'll get back to you", but they won't. They'll share with a realtor what they think (It stinks of dogs, It's too expensive or it's too cluttered to see clearly, and so on.,) but they don't tell the owner. It may help you feel better however it won't help to make the changes you need.
  • It is necessary to kiss several frogs. I'd say I show the typical experienced buyer around 20 houses before they select the one they love and purchase. They are knowledgeable because they are familiar of the market and have done their Internet homework; they have a good idea of the things to look for and where to buy. This can be said for listings too. If a house is shown 20 times, it should be an offer or serious inquiries, or something is wrong. There must be a change for the sale to take place. I'd imagine your numbers would be a little worse since buyers aren't as familiar with your house compared to one being marketed professionally though. Therefore, you need to get those 20or more people there! Let's hope that your situation is better than this!

A Couple of Examples: I've got a new friend whom I first met when he was a FSBO. I was unable to be able to convince James at the time to allow me to help him. It took some time, but he sold his home to the builder. He saved 3-6 percent commission, however the house he sold to a builder was Houston Heights home for 10-15 percent less than he would have earned for it. He also tortured himself for a long time before it was sold. He's now aware and recommends me to his friends. It is a great thing to get advice.


I called another Spring Branch FSBO that I am aware was on the market forever. She was thrilled! She was the owner of the house on contract and she had completed the work herself! She told me it took 2 years, and for the past 6 months, she had been driving to Conroe to display her Ridgecrest house! I asked her if she was content with the purchase price. She replied that she didn't know or care; she was just glad to move out of that horrible house! Make an action plan before you go into this procedure.

Story of success:

I have several close friends (investors or landlords) who have sold numerous houses. I assist them in pricing in the hope that if they get frustrated, or give up, they will list with me. That's fair. They are aware of what they are doing. They can seek advice from me. They have me recommended to their friends. We get lunch for each other once it's finished.


Make sure you are armed with information and confidence. Just be aware of what your competitors are doing (100's of realtors, all pushing Buyers around) and determine how you can fit into the picture.