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ForSaleByOwner.com / Bad customer treat

1 United States

ForSaleByOwner.com sounded like a good thing when we decided to sell our high end waterfront home. $50K+ for realtors' fees didn't sound attractive. Ouch. We received a fair amount of inquiries in the first several weeks from our ForSaleByOwner.Com listing. It started to peter out and they recommended we use the MLS. We even used their MLS listing agent which after discussions with the "owner" I felt actually was part and parcel of them, as an MLS listing is quite expensive, and it was peanuts through them. (Two companies scratching each other's backs.) We received calls from potential buyers before the MLS subscription for a while before it petered out, and received more from the MLS listing, including from realtors who saw it listed on the MLS. But they didn't like the 2% commission.
Then after a month with MLS it became obvious that selling a high end waterfront home yourself rather than with a licensed realtor was impossible. We were blackballed and realtors told their prospective clients when the client saw the FSBO sign, "Don't bother. It's overpriced and a shambles." Nothing could have been further from the truth. This info is from a realtor who spoke with me on the phone about letting them list it. "We'll do a better job." There were two realtors who had the guts to show our house for the 2% commission anyhow. I eventually hired one of them and she sold our home within a month.
After we picked a realtor we cancelled our ForSaleByOwner.Com subscription and MSL service through ForSaleByOwner.com because many people driving by had a realtor and were afraid to negotiate directly with an owner on a high end home. They would ask their realtor to show them the home, but the realtor said no (it was a shambles) which translated to "because there was only a 2% commission for them."
I don't review my credit card statement often, which I should, but four months after cancelling ForSaleByOwner.com and MLS I see a bill of $86.00 from ForSaleByOwner.Com that has been put on my credit card monthly. I cancelled both the ForSaleByOwner and MLS on the same day. One begets the other. Interestingly, from the day I cancelled both I received not one further inquiry on the property. I was successful in my cancellations.
When I called today to ask why they were still billing me, they said I hadn't cancelled the ForSaleByOwner.Com portion. Hmmm. Somehow they are affiliated. In fact, when I asked how that could happen, I was informed I had cancelled the MLS portion but not the FSBO portion for $86 per month and she could tell me for sure the MLS was cancelled. Go figure. If she COULD TELL ME I'd cancelled the MLS portion for sure, how could she tell me that the ForSaleByOwner.Com, (same computer system) wasn't cancelled? Logic says you'd cancel both, having your paperwork in from of you for both, and do it at the same time. They were scratching each others backs. When I then asked how it was that from the day I did cancel both of them I received not one further inquiry, she said, well, you only cancelled MLS and perhaps that's where ALL your leads were coming from. Hmmm. I had leads that petered out before the MLS listing. What she was implying was that a listing at $86 per month with ForSaleByOwner.Com was useless, had no draw for sellers, provided not any leads until I signed up for THEIR MLS affiliate, which was actually the real draw. So why would someone sign up for ForSaleByOwner.com at $86 a month if the MLS was the ticket? Sounds like ForSaleByOwner.Com by their own admission is useless and that it takes a Multiple Listing Service contract to attract potential buyers.
They refused to remove the $86.00 per month from my credit card and have an extra $258 in their pockets. Just as surely as they have thousands of FSBO customers, I'm not the only one this has happened to. They'd rather have a person leave with a bad taste in their mouth, never to return again, and have that person tell her story to friends thinking about selling their own home without a realtor, rather than remove the charges from a credit card. That's a company who doesn't value its customers nor their public image, a company who does not care whether a person with multiple homes returns to do business again or not, a company who uses a scorched earth policy, "Once we've been there we will never return so we don't have to TREAT THE CUSTOMER RIGHT."

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