Leavenworth FSBO (For Sale By Owner)
Leavenworth real estate searches can be tricky in this day and age.
As a consumer you have a multitude of choices – The Big Boys – Remax.com, Windermere.com, Johnlscott.com, or Realtor.com
You can use any number of newer online tools like Roost, Zillow, Estately, Craiglist or Trulia
or you can search local newspapers like the Wenatchee World and the Leavenworth Echo.
You can also use the big search engines which have real estate sections like Google or Yahoo or MSN.
Of course, I’d prefer that you used the Leavenworth real estate search on IcicleCreekRealEstate.com, but I’ll admit that a handful of listings don’t end up here either.
Here’s the dirty real estate secret no one will say out loud. None of these websites has all the Leavenworth real estate for sale!
It’s true. There are a number strategies homeowners use to sell a property in Leavenworth (and many of them don’t work). If a homeowner is selling FSBO or For Sale By Owner – they might have an ad in the paper or on Craigslist, but they might just have a sign in the yard. Perhaps they have brought a few flyers by to each of the real estate offices in Leavenworth to let local real estate agents know about their home. Sometimes, FSBOs won’t advertise at all! They just tell their friends that they would sell if the right buyer comes along.
But it’s not just FSBOs that are “sorta trying” to sell their property.
There also home sellers that list with limited service brokerages or flat flee listing companies. Some of these won’t show up on your normal MLS searches because the seller chose not to pay extra to have it listed on the MLS. Or they have paid to have it on the wrong MLS. (Here in Leavenworth we use the NCWMLS which is local to the Wenatchee Valley, very few homes in Leavenworth are sold using the NWMLS which serves the Puget Sound and Seattle.)
There are also home sellers who are taking a break from selling. It’s common for properties, especially land, to be pulled off the MLS in Leavenworth or Lake Wenatchee for the winter. If everything is under 5 feet of snow it may be difficult to see. If the landscaping at your Leavenworth house is the prime feature, you may get a better price come Spring. Your real estate agent can help you find these homes by searching the Expired or Withdrawn listings on the MLS. This isn’t a feature any of the search engines or real estate sites offers, but is something your agent can help you with.
If you aren’t finding exactly what you want on a real estate search site, don’t despair. There often are more properties to see than meets the eye. Ask your real estate agent to help you find them. Talk to your agent about Buyer’s Agency Agreements or Buyer’s Representation. Some FSBO sellers will pay your agent’s professional fee or you may need to pay the agent yourself.
I recently helped a family buy a condo at Kahler Glen like this. When they first contacted me I told them that it had been 9 months or so since the last condo at Kahler Glen had been on the MLS and I educated them about what I thought the price should be. With a little luck, I found a willing seller and we put together a contract that worked out well for both parties. There was no advertising of the condo, no sign, no Craigslist, no MLS, no Zillow.
In Leavenworth there are plenty of opportunities that don’t show up on Realtor.com or Craigslist. Not all of them are good opportunities, and some of them are just plain atrocious, but a great real estate agent can help you open many doors that you didn’t know existed.