If you’re like many people, you’ve seen plenty of homes listed as for sale by owner, or FSBO – but what if you have a real estate agent? Can you still buy one of these homes? This guide explains.
How to Buy a For-Sale-by-Owner Home With a REALTOR®
First things first: You should never buy a home without working with a REALTOR of your own. Buyers don’t have to pay for a buyer’s agent’s services, which means you get someone in your corner (for free!) who will put your best interests first during any transaction.
Things are no different if you’re buying a home that’s listed as for sale by owner. You have nothing to lose (and everything to gain) by working with a buyer’s agent. Your agent has a fiduciary responsibility to you, which means that she’s there to put your needs first; she’ll negotiate with the seller on your behalf, fill out and file all the legal paperwork, and handle every other aspect of the transaction.
The catch, though, is that a FSBO seller may not want to pay the agent her commission (though the vast majority do). With that said, some REALTORs don’t want to work with FSBO sellers. If you’re really interested in a specific home that’s for sale by owner, you should talk to the seller and ask about whether they’re willing to pay the agent’s commission; if they’re not, you have two options: You can either choose to pay an agent’s commission yourself or go into the deal without a real estate agent.
A word of warning: If you enter a transaction without a real estate agent on your side, you should – at the very least – hire an attorney to represent you. In the best-case scenario, you’ll find an attorney who focuses primarily on real estate law.
Why Do People List Homes Without Real Estate Agents?
Some people choose to list their own homes without using a real estate agent, and that’s perfectly fine. Many do so in order to avoid paying real estate agents’ fees – though many do concede that paying a buyer’s agent is fair, because the buyer’s agent is the one who brings in the buyer.
The tricky part is that any real estate transaction requires a series of steps that protect everyone involved, such as holding money in escrow, requiring contingencies (such as the seller making specific repairs or the buyer securing financing before signing the final paperwork), and other legally required actions. Sometimes FSBO sellers aren’t aware of the legal steps required, and if the buyer is also unaware of them, both parties could end up in hot water with the government or local authorities. (That’s one of the reasons most people suggest working with a buyer’s agent – to avoid legal liability.)
Are You Buying or Selling a Home in Boca Raton?
Ready to sell your home quickly and at the right price? Find out how much your home is worth now!
If you’re looking for a new home in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach or Highland Beach, we can help. Use these popular one-click searches to find what you’re looking for:
- Boca Raton homes for sale
- Delray Beach homes for sale
- Highland Beach homes for sale
- Pet-friendly 55+ communities in Delray Beach
- Over-55 communities in Delray Beach
- Boca Raton gated communities
- Pet-friendly 55+ communities in Boca Raton
Get Instant Access to Hot New Listings by Filling Out the Form Below