My husband and I consider ourselves consumer savvy. We are reasonably intelligent and highly educated (we both have post-graduate degrees), but for the first time in our lives, we have fallen hook line and sinker. BuyOwner is one of the biggest scams ever. The initial agent promised us a write-up for the website and photographs. The write up was so generic as to be meaningless - competing properties had chunks of identical wording. Needless to say, we substituted our own wording.
They used generic photographs - the pool was not our pool, the tennis courts were not our tennis courts, the beach was not our beach. We excused that and got on with our job of trying to sell the condo. We had virtually zero response so decided to hand over our property to MLS Realty. Our initial contact had promised us (in writing) a deal whereby we would pay 2.5% commission if there was no buyer agent involved, 4.5% otherwise with a 25% rebate of the seller side commission. The MLS realty rep (who was also our BuyOwner Title rep) refused to honor the agreement.
Not only that but he refused to acknowledge that the standard 6% commission had any "seller side" component. After arguing with him till we were blue in the face, we gave in and accepted his terms. We're already regretting it - we doubt his competence, he doesn't have an office in the area, and if he sells our property the commission + BuyOwner fee will be around 7% of our selling price. We could have done one of realtor acquaintances with a local office and clients a favour by letting her list it and still have paid less.
The problem is that you lay out so much money upfront to BuyOwner. And when you fail to sell the house yourself, you feel trapped into accepting their terms for MLS listing. I think their services work very well for people wanting to BUY property, may work OK for sellers on a sellers' market, and they are a godsend for incompetent MLS realtors who get listings handed to them on a plate. But for the average Joe wanting to sell his house, they are sharks waiting to devour him.
My advice to anybody considering their services is this: (1) Don't sign any deal at the initial interview. That agent may make promises based on your signing immediately that hold no water. (2) Don't assume that agent will describe your property correctly - he is probably a relatively incompetent fish in the real estate pond. (3) Be prepared to be tied in knots by their deceptive wording on their agreements. Either my husband and I have lost our marbles, or our MLS Realty agent doesn't respond to normal logic.
Can you believe a company is actually making a fortune having us PAY THEM UP FRONT FIRST, before they get our house sold? I tried! It costs A LOT for a magazine (people just BROWSE through), and websites (they WINDOWSHOP from), and lookey lucys emailing silly questions to you! I have learned, Real Estate companies bring buyers in who they KNOW INFORMATION about. Not suspicious, nosey people that are probably just "casing" our place! I say Thanks BuyOwner, for taking my money! And NO SALE. Now I say NO Thanks, to me doing all the work and paying all the money too!
OAKBROOK, ILLINOIS -- I would not recommend BuyOwner (www.buyowner.com) to anyone. They promise marketing tools that aren't really available. This is what they charge: For internet and a magazine ad 1 page $900.00 down payment, 4 installments of $699.50. For the 2 page ad $1200, and 4 installments of 699.50.
They are no help and you get no calls or hits. The commercials are insane as if you really saved $20,000 using BuyOwner - your house would have to cost well over a million dollars! Don't use them! Use a realtor or just try on your own without their help when selling your house! Please pass on the word so other people don't have to suffer what I went through. I am not the first person to have problems with this company.