Real estate agents all have stories of working with buyers who end up buying a for sale by owner home without us. We cart them around in our cars, spend gas money, spend time educating them on the market conditions, and spend a lot of time going in and out of homes looking for the perfect house.
After which, we try calling or emailing those buyers, and they usually disappear. Later on, if we’re lucky, they call or send an email stating they decided to buy a for sale by owner and they thank us for our time.
It’s part of the business of being a real estate agent. Despite the feeling of being used, the only thing we can do is wish them luck on their home purchase.
Did You Know You Can Use A Realtor To Buy A FSBO Property?
If you’re working with an agent, and you find a FSBO you like, ask them if they can show it to you. The agent should then call the owner of the home and ask if it would be okay if they brought a buyer to look at the home.
This situation is very common. Many FSBO sellers are more than willing to pay a commission or a fee to a buyer’s agent for bringing them a buyer. If the FSBO is unwilling to show the property to you with a buyers agent, you might have to go it alone, but be wary.
Although Most FSBO’s try to sale on their own to save money on commissions, some sellers don’t use agents because they want to hide something. Their home may have defects or they may not be able to budge on price and might try talking you into over paying.
Who Pays The Commission If I Use An Agent To Purchase A FSBO?
You might be thinking, why would I use an agent to buy a FSBO property? Won’t that cost me more money because I have to pay a commission? It depends on the situation. Most times the seller will pay a fee to a buyers agent without raising their asking price.
You would get the same price, but you would have representation. Realtors are really good at negotiating. We can usually get you the same deal you would without us, if not better.
If the seller won’t budge and won’t pay a commission. You may be able to pay for minimal services to your agent. Things such as paperwork, scheduling dates, and working with title companies could be paid for by you for a small fee. Talk to your agent about their policies.
We understand you may want to buy a FSBO and can’t afford to pay a fee. Inform your agent about your situation. They may be a little upset, but they should understand. Please don’t go behind their back and just disappear. A courtesy call or an email should suffice.
Why Use An Agent At All?
Many people fail to realize what can happen if something goes wrong in a real estate transaction. A buyer’s agent is basically a guardian. We are legally required to work in your best interests. But what does that mean?
What real estate agents do:
Fiduciary - In a fiduciary capacity, it is the duty of the real estate agent or broker to protect the clients’ privacy and keep all information confidential, unless required to divulge it by a court of law. -About.com
Educate – We educate you on the home buying process, the real estate market, and will provide comparable properties on any homes you wish to write an offer on. Basically, we teach you the market and give you the tools to get the best deal on a home purchase.
Negotiate - We negotiate on your behalf to keep emotions out of the transaction. Have you ever bought something out of emotion and regretted it later on? Imagine regretting buying a home worth 100′s of thousands of dollars because your emotions got the best of you.
Introduce - During a real estate transaction, many people become involved, and it’s important to hire trusted professionals. A real estate agents “Rolodex” should be filled with people that can assist with anything that arises during a transaction.
Why Would You Buy A Home Without A Realtor? Are You Crazy?
In my career, I have closed close to 300 transactions. Never has one transaction been the same as any other. There is always something that comes up and requires a professional to fix or give advice in a timely manner.
If you don’t meet contract deadlines, you could end up losing your earnest money, the home, or even more in a lawsuit. That’s why it’s so important for you to know what you’re doing when buying a home.
If you’re not familiar with real estate, buying a FSBO on your own can cost you more than any commission you would ever pay. It’s up to you to decide if you’re willing to take this risk. Saving a few thousand dollars by not using an agent could seriously affect your livelihood.
You could end up paying for major repairs, paying more for a home than it’s worth, getting screwed by a dishonest seller, being stuck in a home that doesn’t function properly, and wasting valuable time.
If at all possible, you should use a Realtor to help purchase real property. I am not saying this because I am a Realtor, I’m saying this because there are dire consequences to purchasing property if done without the proper precautions. You CAN use a Realtor to purchase a FSBO. All you have to do is ask.