Found An Interesting FSBO? Tips For Prospective Buyers

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You have been searching through all the houses for sale in your area for awhile now, with the help of a great buyer's agent. Over lunch, your best friend tells you about a great house for sale in their neighborhood and gives you the address. When you drive by later, your realize that it does seem to be perfect for your family, but then you spot the For Sale By Owner sign on the front lawn.  

Do you know how to proceed in such a way that you continue to have the counsel of your trusted real estate agent, while also getting the cooperation of the seller? Here is some advice you need to help you manage this potentially tricky situation. 

Call your agent 

The first step in this situation should be to place a call to your agent and inform them about the home you have found. Most agents work with FSBO sellers on a frequent basis and many of the homes they have listed may have originally been marketed as a By Owner sale 

Your agent will contact the seller on your behalf and get permission to show you the home with a one-time showing agreement. Most sellers will agree to pay a commission to your agent in this situation, should you decide to buy their home. In the rare event that the seller does not agree to do so, you will still have the option to pay your buyer's agent fee, if you purchase the home. 

Do your own research 

When a home is marketed without the representation of a licensed agent, the buyer may not receive the benefit of standard listing documents and information, such as the widely used standardized seller's disclosure document. To make up for this lack, buyers should be prepared to do their own research to find out important details about the home's past, including: 

  • having their agent look for past listing or sales info in the MLS system
  • contacting their local community development office to get copies of any building permits or code enforcement violations 
  • visiting the local recorder of deeds to get copies of property deeds, and any legal documents that may pertain to the property
  • obtaining tax records and property information from the assessor

Most utility companies will also provide a year of the utility history that can give you a general idea of the average bills for electricity and water usage. 

Use a title company 

If you make an offer to purchase a FSBO home, and the sellers accept, your agent will be able to use industry forms for the purchase contract and amendments. Once these have been completed and signed, your agent will submit them to the title company and to your lender to begin the title search, loan underwriting, and closing processes. 

Purchasing a FSBO home can seem awkward and perhaps a bit scary, but working to navigate the process with the help of a trusted real estate agent will provide the support and guidance you need to succeed. 

For more assistance, you will want to contact a professional at Coldwell Banker Innovations.