YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Selling by Owners

April 08, 1990

In his letter, "Paper Work Scare" (March 25), Russell Connors wrote that "as long as you place a simple ad in the paper, keep the house clean and presentable, show it to seemingly sincere lookers only, and work with a local escrow company, you can sell your own property."

First of all, is the property for sale by owner at least lower in price than other exact comparable properties reflecting no commission? If not, why would a buyer even consider not being represented by a realtor so that his interests are fully considered in all aspects of the transaction?

Second, is the owner home at all times to permit showings whenever a buyer wants to see the property?

Third, is the person at the home who received the call or knock at the door able to differentiate between a "seemingly sincere looker" or one who is perhaps a thief, rapist, murderer or whatever?

I am certain that the for sale by owner has only one ulterior motive, and this is to make a real estate commission but give the impression the buyer is saving that much by dealing without a broker involved.

I doubt if any buyer has saved any large sum of money buying from a for sale by owner than he would have through the efforts of the many diligent and knowledgeable realtors out there who are able to get him the best deal possible, in many cases lower than what the seller would sell for directly.

Unless one is knowledgeable or fairly sophisticated in real estate transactions and is really up-to-date on all the innumerable things that are involved in purchasing a specific home, I believe they should realize it is about the most foolish disservice one could set out to do to himself and/or his loved ones.


Westlake Village

Manos is on the boards of directors of the Conejo Valley Board of Realtors, the California Association of Realtors and the National Assn. of Realtors.

Los Angeles Times Articles