While searching the market for the ideal home, it’s likely that a home listed as “for sale by owner” may creep into view. Though purchasing a home from the owner rather than through a real estate agent can be a bit daunting, many of the steps are the same. It can be a bit more time consuming and take a bit more work, but if the home is the right one, then it can definitely be worth it.
Many people have experienced the wait that can happen when one agent is waiting to hear back from another agent. This can make the house hunting process a bit more lengthy. Often, buyers enjoy the ability to communicate directly with the owner rather than wait to hear from them through a chain of people. Although this can speed up the communication process, it can also be stressful for a buyer who has a request or a pressing question or concern for the seller because it’s more direct contact and there’s not a mediator to speak for them.
In a situation where a buyer is looking to purchase from a homeowner selling their home on their own, it’s possible to save some money on both ends. However, it is important to know the situation and to understand the potential perks and downfalls that come with for sale by owner situations. Because the homeowner has decided to list without an agent, they avoid paying fees and it can make them more flexible in determining the final sale price. This can also save money for the buyer because a flexible price point can mean knocking off a few hundred or thousand dollars.
Buying a home from the owner can also come with a more honest appraisal of the home in the first walk through. Many homeowners have grown attached to their homes and will point out the positives and unique quirks that a real estate agent may miss. They may also let a few negatives slip about the home, and they can tell a buyer what things they may have been planning for unfinished areas and that can help a buyer see a home for what it can be after a bit of sprucing.
Prior to buying a home, it’s a good idea to get a feel for the market directly surrounding the property in question. Because there isn’t an agent, homeowners price the home themselves which can mean that the home is a steal, or it can mean that the value of the home is overestimated and purchasing it could lead to overpaying. A property report can help to determine where on this scale the home may sit, thus giving the buyer the chance to make an educated offer, or decide that the home costs more than it’s worth.
It may be a bit nerve-wracking to determine an offer. Real estate agents tend to have a good handle on what requests are okay to ask and what prices aren’t too low, but also aren’t too high. Homeowners who are looking to sell typically fall into a few different categories since they may be selling for different reasons. Some put their home up for sale at a low price point because they are looking to sell quickly- these owners aren’t looking for lower offers, they are looking for buyer who will pay the asking price since it’s at it’s lowest discount. Other owners place their asking prices at a higher point because they are expecting buyers to haggle and work the price down. Even still, there are owners who don’t know what price is best, so they may be in either category and expecting to receive offers of varying price.
Don’t be afraid to consult with various professionals. Just because a home is for sale by owner does not mean that the buyer should avoid real estate agents or others who know about the market. An appraisal and a home inspection are quite important and should still be placed as top priorities. Homeowners who are selling their home without representation often do so in order to save money by avoiding commission fees from agents. Make sure that while buying a for sale by owner home, the same steps are followed as would be followed in buying a home listed by an agent. This will help to protect the buyer to ensure that they are getting the home that they are expecting and can help to limit surprise problems that may arise in the future.
Agents can also help to ensure that the contract doesn’t have flaws or missing contingencies. Many buyers and sellers don’t speak legalese as well as a trained professional, so having someone who knows the ropes look over the contract can make sure that both parties get exactly what they want without as many problems. As with many situations, it’s important to write down any agreements. Verbal promises are harder to prove and if the promise is expected and highly important, it’s best to have both parties sign documents about the agreements. Having an agent can be great because they can also serve as a witness to any negotiations.
Buying a home can be a very exciting time. There are many ways to make it happen, and buying a home that’s for sale by the owner is one way. Because it’s growing in popularity from owners who would like to make money on their home without having to pay costs, it’s important to remember that there may be hiccups and there may be happy coincidences. Whatever happens, buying a home should be handled with care so that the buyer can enjoy their purchase for years to come.