Thursday, March 05, 2009

Buying FSBO (For Sale By Owner)

I read in the newspaper the other day that more sellers are selling without a realtor…which would mean that more buyers are buying without an agent….personally; I do not believe that for a minute.

I just had someone call me yesterday that was trying to get out of an unfavorable contract with a FSBO (For Sale by Owner) and wanted my advice….geez; my only advice now is to hire an attorney. I probably know the answer to his problem, but I cannot practice law without a license.

So what was he thinking when he thought he did not need a buyers agent? Or any agent?

Lets get serious…do you really think that a owner selling his home without a realtor is doing it to save you, the buyer, money? You cannot be that na├»ve. Sellers are trying to put more money in their pocket, not yours. Here are some of the reasons that you should NEVER travel that road alone….

1. What makes you think that you know just what the property is worth? Just because the seller says so, does not make it so. Appraisers do not care if the new carpet is top of the line or if owner paid extra for designer paint…it is irrelevant. Appraisals are based on many things and most important the size home and what the immediate neighborhood is selling for….and don’t think that the home is worth more because homes in the next subdivision down the street are selling for more… that is also irrelevant. Forget looking at the tax records, because that is not market value either…and don’t say you will get an attorney, because they know nothing about market value either.

2. What are you going to ask for in the contract? Don’t know do you? Are you going make it subject to your financing, your inspections, and the septic tank certification, homeowner’s disclosure, homeowner association document, insurance availability, getting all the appliances, plus the washer and dryer that they did not mention, etc. Who is going to fix all the things wrong with the house? How much of your closing costs can or will the sellers pay? What happens to your money deposit if the property does not appraise?

3. How are you going to face the seller when you negotiate…face to face or by e-mail because you are nervous? Think about that. You are personally involved, you like the property and now you want to ask for things that the seller thinks is ridiculous and yet you want to keep the seller happy….ever experienced being talked into something you really are not happy with, but don’t know how to confront it? What if the seller is a bully and wants everything their way…are you going to crumble and cheat yourself?

Buying a home is not for the consumer to do on his or her own. Buying a 2nd or 3rd home does not make one “experienced”…things change, and each year there are more “buyer beware” issues to deal with. Did you know that if you buy a home today that is not up to building code, you may be liable for bringing up to code when you sell? I as a realtor know that and as a buyers agent will be glad to tell you everything. I can also negotiate much better, because I know what to ask for and how to get it. I am experienced…my heart does not palpitate when I ask for things that are in your best interest.