How do I find a buyer for an unlisted high-end home?
July 29, 2008 8:58 AM   Subscribe

My boss has offered me a commission if I find someone to buy his (super fancy expensive) home outside New Orleans. He doesn't want to list it with a realtor, so how does one find people looking for homes? Is there a website I'm not finding maybe?

This commission would be a lifechanging amount of money. I'm looking for (rich) people who are looking for (expensive) homes in the New Orleans area. It seems like there should be some kind of "seeking homes" type website, right? Or a section of some fancy periodical? Etc?

My first thought was the Saints or Hornets would be a great place to start, but I don't have any real contacts with those guys so I'm going by word of mouth. It's not working very well, on account of I don't really know the kinds of people who buy really expensive houses. Any ideas on how to find the kind of people I'm looking for?

(Followup question: Wanna buy a house?)
posted by ultraultraboomerang to Home & Garden (10 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: poster's request -- jessamyn

craig's list? has a "make me move" feature where he can name a price and people who are interested can contact him through zillow. maybe you could run that for him?
posted by jrishel at 9:05 AM on July 29, 2008

86% of buyers on the market use a buyer's agent, especially people looking to buy "super fancy expensive" houses. If the house isn't on the market, the chances that you'll find a buyer are ridiculously slim.

That said, there are ways to get on the MLS without paying a full commission- see flat fee mls.
posted by baphomet at 9:14 AM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Find a discount realtor willing to list it for less then the commission. Don't expect much help beyond the MLS listing.
posted by GuyZero at 9:15 AM on July 29, 2008 ?
posted by boyinmiami at 9:27 AM on July 29, 2008

The Robb Report lists super fancy estates both in its magazine and on its website. The magazine definitely caters to the type of buyer you are looking for. Not sure on how much it costs to have a house listed, but might be worth looking into.
posted by Ugh at 10:01 AM on July 29, 2008

Put an ad in a magazine that caters to the target audience? My father-in-law is planning on selling a high end house in FL that would cater to well off fishing junkies. He plans to run ads in the Bassmasters magazine. Also, do a simple web site, or use zillow, and buy the "new orleans estate" and other associated key words on Google so that the ad always shows on those searches.

Getting it into MLS is still going to be the easiest route to find buyers though.
posted by COD at 10:10 AM on July 29, 2008

You might want to check Louisiana state law before you mention this sort of thing on a public forum.

Not only is it illegal to act as a real estate broker without a license, you won´t be able to enforce payment from your boss.

D. No person engaged in real estate activity without a currently valid license shall have the right to receive any compensation for services so rendered. In addition to any other penalties imposed under R.S. 37:1455 and 1458, the commission may require that any person engaged in real estate activity without a license return any fees collected for engaging in real estate activity.

You will probably encounter some licensed real estate agents in your attempts to sell this house, who have gone to the trouble and expense of getting a license and won´t be favorably inclined to keep your activities a secret from the State of Louisiana.

You need to have a mod anonymize this question.
posted by yohko at 10:28 AM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Yeah, yohko has it. What your boss is asking you to do is illegal as hell. And you gave enough identifying info to make it very likely that someone will be keeping an eye on this.

Plus rich people didn't get rich by being stupid. They will go thru a realtor who will be looking out for their interests in the deal-or at the very least a real estate lawyer. Your boss could sell this as a FSBO but you still would have no right to any money. Sounds like your boss wants this to be an under the table unless it's enough money to make it worth your while to hurry up and get a real estate license, you need to leave this ALONE.
posted by konolia at 10:45 AM on July 29, 2008

Response by poster: Wow, thanks, it didn't even occur to me that it would be illegal, since it's a for sale by owner thing, and it would just be a finder's fee if I find a buyer. I guess I thought the whole appeal of FSBO is to sort of go outside the system, and he's under the impression that he's free to do what he wants with his money if the house isn't listed with a Realtor. I'll have to make sure he's had his lawyers look at this.

I'm not smart enough to tell if FSBO/finder's fee type things fall under the clause above, but I will play it safe. If by some miracle I do find an interested party by word of mouth, we'll consult a lawyer to see if a finder's fee is feasible.

Thanks to everyone, very helpful as always.
posted by ultraultraboomerang at 11:00 AM on July 29, 2008

FSBO will be legal because the owner doesn't pay himself any fee. Of course, real estate agents would like it to be illegal, but excluding competition is hard work.
posted by grobstein at 11:29 AM on July 29, 2008

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