Buying a “for sale by owner” home, should you? From time to time, you will bump into these listings online or classified ads of your local newspaper. You should remember that buying a FSBO is somewhat similar to buying any other types of property. However, someone has to take the responsibility of a missing real estate agent.
So, do you need a real estate agent?
The seller went out by herself and did not hire a listing agent for her property. Yet, many owners are still willing to pay the buyer’s agent.
Now if you have a buyer’s real estate agent, she’s going to deal on your behalf, so you might want to hire one instead of having the real estate transaction by yourself.
On the other hand, a buyer’s agent are not very thrilled working on an FSBO without the seller’s agent. For one, it only means more work for them but more money isn’t guaranteed. Some buyer’s agents don’t also want the liability involved. What happens is that that agent will have to do the work of the missing listing agent of the seller.
Having an agent by your side is beneficial especially in terms of the documentation required and the entire process itself. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the agent’s commission because the seller will pay for it. You should not go alone without an agent because you simply don’t have to.
The home isn’t different
Even if the home is FSBO and not listed by an agent, it is not to treat differently.
For example, when you find a great home that suits your needs and budget and in a nice location, you should just remember that you would see the owner personally.
You will meet him or her, something that might make you feel uncomfortable because a home sale is more personal and emotional than selling a piece of gadget is.
Don’t feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable. Try to focus and keep your eye on your dream home. Talk to your agent and give yourself some personal time to think about the property alone.
The laws still apply
The FSBO will still have to cooperate and comply with the laws. For example, the seller has the duties to disclose problems, perform repairs and maintenance and inspect the home.
However, most sellers don’t have the expertise in going through the procedures and processes even if they want to do the selling on their own.
You should take note of the things that your agent is telling you especially if the seller is not taking care of her duties. Trust your gut. If you don’t feel right, go and find another great property.
More: For sale by owners should not hide material facts because they should still comply with the laws governing sellers with a real estate agent. So in all cases, these sellers should give you disclosures mandated by the federal and state laws, and these include all material facts about their properties.
The FSBO seller will work with you real estate agent
Just as any seller would, the seller will work closely with your agent. One knows that you have been working with one for weeks, months or years to find a property to buy. If you have bumped across an FSBO property, you should ask your agent to contact the seller on your behalf before touring the home.
Watch out for overpricing
FSBO sellers or not, sometimes they cannot detach themselves from the home and tend to overprice. Many also do not listen to agents’ opinions and thoughts about their properties’ real value.
Remember that many sellers meet with real estate agents before listing their property, but then neglect the pricing strategy of these agents. They do the listing and set the pricing by themselves.
So even if you love a property but its price isn’t realistic, don’t settle for it and look for another home to buy whether it is agent listed or not.
In all cases, an FSBO property is not a bad idea when it comes to home buying. Just be sure to work closely with your agent, ask his opinion about the listing and treat the property as the same ones listed by a real estate agent.
Your real estate agent must be able to tell you his thoughts about the FSBO property. He or she must represent you in the sale. You should buy with clear and fair judgment and be willing to accept that the deal may or may not push through.
Bottom line, an FSBO is just like buying a property listed by a local real estate agent, so you don’t have to treat it differently. The laws also still apply to these properties. Just remember to work with your real estate agent, trust your gut and accept the fact that the negotiation may or may not work. If that happens, move on to the next listing.
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