Are FSBOs for the Dogs?
This has been an interesting week. We just got a new puppy, Etta. Someone found her behind a commercial building and we decided to try to help find her a new home. Personally, I hate the dog pound and shelters and would never dream of handing over this adorable dog to them. The bureaucracy and high fees, the holier than thou attitude, the policies about who should or shouldn’t have a pet, and their overall stranglehold on the pooch market I find distasteful. Boy do I have my reasons! And right now in Santa Maria, there are too many chihuahuas in shelters anyway (we speculate that Etta is a Chiweenie), so I decided I would try to find her a new home myself. Hell I market houses in a down economy, I can for sure market a puppy, right?!
I started with the people I know, neighbors and friends, but none were really prepared to take on a dog right now. And of course, the folks that really loved dogs already had too many. So, I put an ad on Craigslist and my facebook page and instantly got an overwhelming response. I set appointments with 3 different people and they all cancelled! Then a dog loving friend told me about a local pit bull fighting ring that was busted a few years back, in part, because they were using chihuahuas to get pit bulls used to the taste of blood. I couldn’t believe it -- I had no idea! I could have easily handed over this dog to someone who would use her for pitbull food. He advised that it would be better to charge for her than give her away for free. Since you can’t charge for animals on Craigslist, I thought it best to pull her ad and advertise her elsewhere. But not before I got one last call from a woman I will refer to as Simone.
Simone convinced me that she was different and really wanted a dog like Etta. She was going to drive down (over an hour trip) to see Etta the next day. She seemed mature, experienced with dogs, and knew what she wanted. However, since her husband was going to be in town on Monday, I told her to wait for Monday and then I would be able to see if her husband was on board too. I was getting attached to the dog, but we already have two (and another that lives with my parents) and it was getting a little crazy, so if I could get Etta a good home I was willing. However, on Mother’s Day I received a text from Simone saying that her daughter just gave her a lab puppy. Labrador, Chiweenie, same thing, right? So, I suppose Etta is my mother’s day gift.
During this same week, I had calls from three potential sellers who tried to sell their homes FSBO at one point or another. Hearing their tales of woe at this time highlighted the similarities for me. Let’s face it some people hate Realtors as much as I hate the dog pound. However, many of the serious potential pet owners are going to try their luck at the pound. That’s just the way it is. The folks I was dealing with had crazy situations that probably wouldn’t make it past their elaborate screening process. Weeding through potential pet owners is tough -- there is definitely an art to it. And there are pitfalls and challenges that even a well meaning person may fall into because they have limited experience and knowledge. And, because I was emotionally attached to the dog, it was difficult not to take the entire process personally. In fact, it was so emotionally draining, that it was easier to decide to just keep the dog then to continue.
And, of course, these former FSBO sellers had decided to do the same thing...
Tni LeBlanc is a Real Estate Broker, Attorney,Short Sale Agent, Certified HAFA Specialist (CHS), Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource (SFR), and Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) serving the Santa Maria, Orcutt and Five Cities area of the Central Coast of California.
* Nothing in this article is intended to solicit listings currently under contract with another broker. This article offers no legal or tax advice and is for information purposes only. Those considering a short sale are advised to consult with their own attorney for legal advice, and their tax professional for tax advice prior to entering into a short sale listing agreement.
Copyright © 2012 Tni LeBlanc *Are FSBOs for the Dogs?*