“No Matter How Many Times, FSBO are a Problem”

“No Matter How Many Times, FSBO are a Problem”

I have written about this topic many times, but it just seems folks don’t get the message. A number of months I got a call from someone that was planning on selling their home without a Realtor and could she give out my card to folks that come to see the home.


We spent about 10 minutes on the phone and during the conversation I recommend that a Realtor marketing the property would be a much better idea. The answer was, there is nothing they can do for me, that I can’t do myself and no one knows my property better than I do.


I told her that she needed to understand, that even though a prospective client would be sent my way, they are my client and not the person that sent them. Her answer was, that is no problem.


Sure enough, a prospective client was sent to me, so I began the pre-qualification process and they qualified just fine. They really didn’t know or understand the process so I discussed the offer process, the home inspection process and the mortgage process. These folks told me that the seller told them a home inspection was not necessary. We spent some time talking about why a home inspection was needed and that seemed to satisfy them.


Within one hour the owner called me, a bit upset, telling me that I may have blown her sale. I asked her why that was, she told me that she had never met an honest home inspector. I wished her luck with the sale of her home, but I would want the client to have a home inspection done as with the loan that was being done, as inspection would be required.


Not sure what will happen from here, but I see all kinds of headaches with the potential home sale. What would you do?


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Joe Petrowsky, NMLS #6869

Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS #2709

110 Main St.

Manchester, Ct. 06042

Office: 860 647-7701 x116

Fax: 860 647-8940

Cell: 860 836-9294

Email: joe@righttracfg.com



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Joe Petrowsky does not guarantee nor is in any way responsible for the accuracy of the information provided herein, and provides said information without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied.

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Comment balloon 30 commentsJoe Petrowsky • September 15 2015 05:33AM


Oy vey.  I can't believe she said a home inspection wasn't necessary.  I think we know where the issue is.

I would have been tempted, after the person said they never saw a home inspector they could trust nor a realtor they could trust, that I've never seen a FSBO I would trust.  But, I wouldn't really say that.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 4 years ago

This has happened with my own family.....they all think they are professionals in every field and tried to sell Mickey's house on their own.  It took almost five years for it to sell and ultimately it was sold by a Realtor®.  It did rent twice before it was sold, but they asked about half of what they could have gotten for rent.  

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) over 4 years ago

Good morning Joe,

I bet she is either a government employee or elected official!

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) over 4 years ago

Joe, clearly in this forum no one is going to tout the virtues of FSBOs! We see and hear problems all the time from those individuals who think they know everything about real estate. I cringe when I hear that they proudly sold their house themselves...at what I know is $35K less than they should have. Ouch.

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) over 4 years ago

Good morning Joe, I can't imagine trying to fix my own car as I am not the expert in that field, instead, I would go to a professional. It is proven that FSBO's do net less than they would have by listing their home with a Realtor® but as you and I both know many become experts when it comes to selling a home only to regret their decision. 

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) over 4 years ago

There's a FSBO seller-to-be whom I've been watching. He's been fixing up his house now for over a year, all by himself and a handyman occasionally. Now he's painting, possibly covering up the "fixing" that he did. When he's done he plans to sell it for what he thinks it's worth including  what he put into it plus HIS time (after all, a contractor would have charged too, right? They charge too much too!). Oh, and he (pretty violently expressed to me) doesn't think he needs a real estate agent either, why should he pay them all that money when he can do it himself? Good luck to the buyer. And I mean that sincerely.

Posted by Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®, Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea over 4 years ago

Good morning, Joe Petrowsky  that's the type of homeowner that we do not want to deal with....we need to call the shots...we don't have time or patience to play those dangerous games...

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 4 years ago


Like Beth Atalay said, it is like fixing your own car.  There is a segment of the populace that does that. and a segment that is attracted to this type, and they make a great mess together...Amen.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) over 4 years ago

Good morning Joe. I think that the buyer's lawyer would require their client do a home inspection too. Maybe CYA but important anyway.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) over 4 years ago

Joe Petrowsky , Those darn home inspectors are the root of all evil :)

FSBO can be a can of worms. Really though a good Realtor really can help handle a lot of issues that can arise that many just do not know about.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Joe Petrowsky You did the right thing when you told her they would be your clients, AND you did the right thing when you advised the client that they MUST get a home inspection.

This lady is going to be a source of continuing problems.

Bill Roberts

Posted by Bill Roberts, "Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner (Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Gee, I don't have to wonder why she told the buyer a home inspection wasn't necessary. This is proof that hiring a Buyer Broker to work for the Buyer is a must!

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) over 4 years ago

Sounds like a nightmare to be avoided. She doesn't trust, why should anyone trust her????

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) over 4 years ago

Joe this Seller has trouble written all over them, and your Borrower needs to be VERY careful with her!!!

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 4 years ago

Joe, I feel sorry for the buyer, especially first time buyers that don't understand the process and that a home inspection is definitely a MUST!

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty) over 4 years ago

I think you know the answer to your question, Joe Petrowsky ... these buyers are lucky to have you and your expertise at their side, should they proceed with this transaction.  Telling prospective buyers they don't need a home inspection is a bright red warning flag ...


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) over 4 years ago

And that's why buyers who are thinking a FSBO should be working with a Realtor who can guide them through and help them with the process!

Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) over 4 years ago

The potential buyers are very lucky that the seller referred you Joe Petrowsky. There are so many ways a FSBO can blow up for both sides. 

Posted by Nancy Laswick, Your REALTOR® For The Valley Of The Sun (United Real Estate) over 4 years ago


Your insight is right on point . . . . It takes a more then knowing the home . . . . to create a successful real estate transaction . . . . That expertize is what the real estate profession bring to the table in a real estate transaction.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 4 years ago

In your shoes I would do what you did for your client.

Today I got a call from a person I sold a home to. I also sold his in laws a home. I am the REALTOR® for this family. I love them and they love me. Today this guy tells me he's buying some land with the owner carrying the note. It's a 300K purchase. The county declined to file their paperwork. He called me for advice. I'm glad I got involved. The seller won't deal with an agent, so my guy never called me until today. I'm glad the county wouldn't file their paperwork. No title work was pulled. I recommended my guy see an attorney to make sure he's covered in this transaction. 

Posted by Debbie Laity, Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO (Cedaredge Land Company) over 4 years ago

What a frustrating situation Joe, this person sounds difficult to say the least.

Posted by Noah Seidenberg, Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917 (Coldwell Banker) over 4 years ago

Hi Joe.  They have never met a honest home inspector.  Wow!  I guess that happens when you only sell one home a year.

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) over 4 years ago

Hi Joe Petrowsky , I would wish her well and continue recommending a home inspection to all my clients.

Posted by Larry Johnston, Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN (Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC) over 4 years ago

Yo have to woder what the Seller may have been hiding...here in Wisconsin we have to...FSBO or not furnish a condiion report with known conditions of the house...present and past...no secrets allowed.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 4 years ago

Good morning Joe.  As I see it your responsibility is to your client.  The home owner is not your responsibility.  Good call sir.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 4 years ago

I hate FSBO's... haven't sold but a couple of them in all my years in real estate and they were the most difficult sales before, during, and after! Thanksfully, in Charlotte, 94% of FSBO's end up listing with an agent after a few weeks as they get to understand that they can't do it as well as an agent.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) over 4 years ago

I just don't think FSBO's understand the legal liability they are exposing themselves to by not hiring a Realtor.  They do not go through vigorous hours of education to make sure they know exactly what they are doing.  Stupid lady.

Posted by Belinda Spillman, Colorado Living! (Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado) over 4 years ago

There will never be a shortage of poorly informed FSBO home sellers.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 4 years ago

Hi Joe - What were the seller's expectations in this process?   It hardly seems very realistic.   Doesn't trust agents.  Doesn't trust inspectors.  I can only imagine what she thinks of appraisers.

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 over 4 years ago

Joe- you did the right thing.  There's no way you can control everything, only what you do.  If the seller wasn't willing to take your advice then it's a shame but still you did the right thing. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 4 years ago