DIY home sale advocate can’t do it himself

The founder of a website that urges home owners to sell their property without an agent has been forced to give up trying to sell his own home and call in a professional.

Former CEO of, Colby Sambrotto, listed his New York condominium through online classified ads and FSBO sites last year. Six months on, however, he opted to hire New York agent Jesse Buckler.

Mr Buckler immediately advised a price change as the listing was not attracting the right buyer.

After giving up on the DIY route, Sambrotto’s decision to hire an agent led to the property attracting multiple offers, closing for $150,000 over the original asking price.

Mr Buckler stressed to Real Estate Business the value that agents can add.

“Agents can negotiate a better price,” he said. “I know what the competition is in the marketplace. I know what the buyer has seen. I have the skills to overcome their resistance. I am not emotionally attached.

“Negotiation is a very direct art and, at times, very indirect – not everyone has it in them.

“It is subtle and powerful and for me, it is not emotional, which is a nearly impossible aspect for homeowners to leave out of the equation, unless they have an agent to get them past that and keep them focused on the goal of selling.”

Mr Buckler said he does not care which home his client buys; he is only concerned with getting the best possible price.

“I always make it clear to my buyers that if this is the home you want, X amount of dollars is what it is going to take to get it. Yes, you may be able to get it for a slightly lower price, but do you want to risk losing it?

“This is where an owner has no footing, no standing with a buyer who walks in off the street. Developing a rapport of this calibre with a buyer is something good agents do rather quickly. What is on a seller’s mind at the first meeting is, ‘I paid X amount for that marble countertop so I am not giving my house away’.”

Mr Buckler also claims that paperwork and legal hurdles can make it too difficult for an owner to sell their home.

“An owner … without [legal] representation is undertaking what can be a long, difficult, and perplexing process. To learn as you go is risky business when you are dealing with the roof over your head.”

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