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5 Things to Know About Buying a Home that is “For Sale By Owner”
Posted by Christine Owens on June 1, 2017

5 Things to Know About Buying a Home that is “For Sale By Owner”

new-home-1530833_960_720The most typical home buying scenario is one in which both the buyer and owner are represented by their own realtors.  In that scenario, both the home buyer and owner communicate with their realtors and then the realtors communicate with each other and handle all of the technical and legal requirements of buying/selling a home.  But, occasionally when house-hunting, a buyer may encounter a home that is “for sale by owner.”  In that scenario, the seller is not represented by a realtor and they will handle all negotiations.  When you encounter this scenario, it may seem strange but it should not necessarily be a deterrent.   Below are 5 things to know about buying a home that is “for sale by owner.”

  1. Don’t Write Off the Seller as Lacking Knowledge and Motivation
    • Many people mistakenly think that all “for sale by owner” homes must be owned by a seller that is not motivated to sell the home quickly or is a real estate novice. While that can sometimes be the case, it is often not.  Some “for sale by owner” homes are owned by realtors or individuals with a comfortable working knowledge of real estate transactions.  They may be motivated by a desire to reduce the cost of selling their home.  Don’t underestimate the seller or write them off without considering their listing that may be the right fit for you.
  2. You Will Save Some Money
    • Because the seller is not represented by an agent, you will not have to pay seller’s agent fees. You will only have to pay your realtor’s fees if you are represented by a buyer’s agent.
  3. There May Be Wiggle Room on the Price
    • Because the seller does not have to pay seller’s agent fees, they may be more flexible when it comes to negotiating the price of the home. Or, if not as flexible on the price, they may be more willing to make repairs or improvements to the home as part of the contract.
  4. You Still Need to Get Everything in Writing
    • Because the seller is representing themselves, they may be less experienced in real estate transactions than a realtor would be. Never assume that the seller has your best interests at heart, even if they are nice.  Any time you negotiate or discuss anything, make sure you get it in writing.
  5. It Is Still Best to Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
    • Though negotiating with a seller that is representing themselves may seem more laid back and casual, it is still best to get a mortgage loan pre-approval. This is important because it will help expedite the home buying process and make closing on the contract quickly far easier.
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