ForSaleBYOwner.com Founder Sells Home- Using a Broker

J Philip Faranda August 4, 2011

Knowledge. The Wall Street Journal has reported that ForSaleBYOwner.com founder Colby Sambrotto has sold his Manhattan condo with a broker after failing for 6 months as a For Sale by Owner. 

Here’s the best part: The broker got him $150,000 more than he was asking when he was selling on his own. So much for saving on commission- he netted more even after the commission! 

The story is that Sambrotto went for 6 months selling “By owner” on the Internet, online ads, and the rest of the FSBO gig at an asking price of $2 million for his Chelsea condominium. He then gave up (as 90% of FSBOs will) and listed with Jesse Buckler of Bond New York, who took the unusual strategy of advising Sambrotto to raise his price by $150,000. Clearly, this is a move that only works if you know your market. The home is now closed for $2.15 million after going under contract in May.  

Some have said that the brokers control the market in Manhattan so much that buyers seldom look online, and that is why FSBO failed and the broker succeeded.

Bull.

Manhattan buyers are as savvy as they get, and sites like StreetEasy, Trulia and ResidentialNYC get huge traffic for Manhattan. The truth is that a good broker knows how to sell real estate better, faster, for more money and with fewer headaches than a website developer. 

It all goes to the old story about the plumber who is called in to fix a furnace and after tapping a few times on a specific pipe and getting the thing humming again, mails the owner a bill for $1000. Aghast, the owner objects, saying that he only tapped a pipe. He then got an itemized bill, $1 for tapping the pipe, $999 for knowing what pipe to tap. We are paid for what we know- not just what we do. 

If you want a do it yourself project, build a go cart. For the largest transaction of your life, hire a good professional broker. 

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