For Sale By Owner and Security

By
Real Estate Broker Owner with J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY

I have blogged about security and home sellers before; I debated how to approach this subject today, because I don't want to give any wing nuts any ideas. But bad people will do bad things anyway, and good people will be good anyway. And I don't think any creeps read me. So here it is.

I got the following email from one of my agents: 

Hi Phil,
 
I just called up a FSBO.  This one had paid some company to list it on MLS but the appointments are handled by the owner.  The property is vacant.  The owner gave me the code before verifying my name and agency.  She never asked for a phone number, or any other identifying information.  She really has no idea who is going into her house.  I think this should be a blog -  this is why everyone needs a listing agent.  They do not have the tools to verify, over the phone, who is entering their house.  I don't know if it is worse because it is vacant (easier to steal stuff) or would be worse if it were occupied - might be personally at risk.  Of course, they are not at risk from an agent, but what if someone is just using our name ... Then we <and they> are at risk and we could never have even heard of the house.

Let's do the math. The home is vacant. The seller does not verify the identity or licensure of the agent calling to show. An imposter COULD steal an agent name from a directory as a matter of fact. If there is an issue with the house, the owner really doesn't know who has been there or when. This is a recipe for disaster. 

Let me stress that I am not knocking hybrid/flat fee or FSBO assist models that do an MLS entry only with no or limited service for a flat fee. I am knocking inattention to security. Whether they are on the MLS or not, FSBOs have security risks that agents do not have. 

For example, we put our listings on CSS, or Centralized Showings. They verify the agent's identity via a non-public showing code. The homeowner and agent then get a confirmation email. If the agent did not make the appointment (never happened) they now know someone is using their name. This is one of the many things a good broker will do, and why we are worth every cent we are paid. If you are selling by owner and think you are saving the agent's "cut" and nothing else, you would be well advised to understand the many things we do that you haven't even thought of.
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Topic:
Home Selling
Groups:
40 Somethings
Active Rain Newbies
FOR SALE BY OWNER - MARKETING(FSBO)
Independent Brokerages
Running a Brokerage
Tags:
fsbo
security

Comments 13 New Comment

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Rainmaker
149,936
Kristen Ueckert
Real Estate Pro in Keller, Texas
Ueckert Realty LLC

The part in purple is so true. I often wonder how the consumer perceives the part of my speech when I say DO NOT OPEN YOUR DOOR FOR ANYONE! Let them use the keybox so as to record who's been in and out, seeing as so many of them do not obey my rule :( which is there for the protection of all parties.

September 07, 2010 11:01 PM
Rainmaker
1,490,288
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring
Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT

Interesting.  I'm sure most FSBO's don't even realize or consider this.

September 08, 2010 06:39 AM
Ambassador
1,268,960
Loreena Yeo
Realtor® | Frisco TX Community Ambassador
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Frisco TX Real Estate Co.

There are so many things that FSBO do wrongly.... Gosh, it's scary how easy you can get information from anyone.

September 08, 2010 07:05 AM
Rainmaker
814,125
J. Philip Faranda
Broker-Owner
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY

Jon, it is the tip of the iceburg. 

Liz, a FSBO doesn't have that level of access or the resources to even know that. 

Craig, it is a very long list, and that is just security never mind the actual sale.

Deborah, we have our hands full with all our tools, believe me. FSBOs have none.

Deborah- case in point!

Charita- it happens every day all over the country.

Fran, they are NOT thinking. That's their problem. 

September 08, 2010 07:44 AM
Rainmaker
814,125
J. Philip Faranda
Broker-Owner
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY

Kristen- think how much easier it would be if people actually took our advice. For us and them. 

Debbie- they don't. 

Loreena- it is scary, and if you bring it up you are accused of being an alarmist!

September 08, 2010 08:22 AM
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Rainmaker
814,125

J. Philip Faranda

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Additional Information

Phil Faranda is broker and owner of J. Philip Real Estate LLC in Briarcliff Manor, NY. Since founding the firm as a sole practitioner in late 2005, the team has grown to over 30 agents & closed 350+ transactions valued at $140 million. He is in his 4th term as Vice President of the HGMLS. This blog commentary is geared toward consumers and industry colleagues alike. You can reach him at (914) 723-8900.
Warning: *Sarcasm and irony advisory at all times.*



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