Tips For Buying A Home That’s For Sale By Owner

Posted by Lauren Schneider on Wednesday, May 29th, 2019 at 12:17pm.

Buying a For Sale By Owner HomeAlthough most homes for sale in the Colorado Springs area will typically have a selling agent, some owners opt for the For Sale By Owner route. What this means is that the owner is 100% in control of the sale, from setting the listing price and marketing it on their own to negotiation with the buyer directly. For buyers, this doesn't really change how they buy the home, but there are a few things you should be aware of when working with a property that's For Sale By Owner.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Do You Still Need An Agent If Buying From An FSBO?

Like with any real estate transaction, you can choose to work with or without an agent. That said, it's completely free to work with an agent when buying a home, so why not have the expertise on your side? However, while it comes at no cost to you to work with an agent, the seller will be responsible for paying a commission to the agent, which is something they may not be so keen to do. If you come across a FSBO listing that you'd like to explore, let your agent know and they'll try to connect with the seller to reach an agreement that's fair for everyone.

A FSBO seller can choose to not work with an agent, but this wouldn't necessarily be in their best interest. Sure, it will save them money on commissions and fees, but it will also greatly reduce the number of eligible buyers. Also, you shouldn't necessarily choose to ditch the idea of working with a REALTOR just because the seller doesn't want to work with one. Buying a home is a serious legal and financial commitment, and for your own protection, you need to make sure that it's done properly. Property transfers and legal documents can be tricky at the best of times, which is why it's nice to have a professional to help you through the process.

Benefits To Buying A FSBO Property

There are some benefits to buying directly from the owner. Firstly, you're dealing exclusively with them, so they will likely be more than happy to tell you everything they love about the home even provide some insight that you wouldn't otherwise have access to. Also, since they're saving quite a bit of money by not working with an agent, they might be a little more flexible with the asking price. Most FSBO sellers have done their homework, but they still don't have the years of experience in the industry that a seasoned professional has, so it could be easier to negotiate contingencies and price.

Drawbacks To Buying A FSBO Property

Dealing exclusively with the current owner can be a bonus, but it can also be a big drawback too. Where a real estate agent's sole job is to sell the property, an owner might have a ton of other things going on in their life, like work, family commitments, and so on, that could make viewing the home a little more challenging. They're can also become too attached to the home and might take suggested contingencies to heart, making them reject a seemingly reasonable offer if it's placed.

Risks of Buying a FSBO Home

The risks and pitfalls of buying a home that is being sold by the owner can be numerous. Understanding these risks can help you decide whether you're ready to buy a home that is being sold by the owner. 

People selling their own home are not trained to be real estate professionals. It's very easy for an untrained individual to fill out paperwork incorrectly and make errors on the home purchase agreement. This can lead to delays and problems with the home buying process.  

In addition, homeowners tend to overvalue their homes, and sometimes can be difficult negotiators as a result. Home buyers who want to get the best price for their house may have a difficult time when buying an FSBO home.

If you're thinking about purchasing a home that is being sold by the owner, work with a real estate professional to ensure that your home buying experience goes as smoothly as possible. A good real estate professional can negotiate with the home seller. 

Do You Need A Home Inspection With An FSBO?

FSBO home inspectionAbsolutely. You should always have a home inspection done, but this is especially true with a property that doesn't have an industry professional attached to the sale. Even if the seller has the absolute best intentions, there might be things they don't know about in their home, like leaky pipes, cracks in the foundation, and asbestos. With every home sale, it's imperative that you get a home inspection.

So, should you buy an FSBO home? There's no reason not to, just be prepared to work directly with the seller rather than their agent and be patient.

Have a question about working with a For Sale By Owner seller? Leave us a message in the comment section below, or send us a message directly. For all of your Colorado Springs homebuying needs, trust the real estate pros at MilitaryHomeSearch.com to help you effectively navigate the market!

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Lauren Schneider

Lauren Schneider, Real Estate Agent and Military Relocation Professional (MRP)

Lauren Schneider has lived in Colorado Springs for nearly 20 years and knows that the military is what keeps this town ticking, which is one of the reasons she's chosen to pursue her dream of helping military families with all of their homebuying needs. Learn more about Lauren or start your home search now

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