Buyer Beware - For Sale By Owner

    Buyer Beware - For Sale By Owner

    May 30, 2018

    And I'm back! Sorry to be away for so long but if you haven't heard yet then I'll tell you now.... our market is HOT, HOT, HOT right now. If you are thinking of listing your home, now is the time. Prices are rising and inventory is very low, which makes this a great Seller's market. Unfortunately, for all the buyers out there this means that you are constantly in multiple offer situations, forcing you to fight for the home you want (or need) and possibly losing out on what you thought was your dream home.

    For seller's, this market is fantastic. For buyer's, it is stressful and frustrating. Some buyer's are forced to find For Sale By Owner properties and I just wanted to drop a few tips here to watch out for if you are pushed to that point. Even though I would love to help you find your dream home, I do understand that we, as agents, do not always have access to all the inventory available. Keep in mind, even in a For Sale By Owner situation, you can still be represented by an agent of your choice. We can facilitate those transactions for you and usually for a lesser fee (some seller's don't even know that!). Okay.... on to the advice.

    • YOU HAVE RIGHTS AS A BUYER! Just because you are buying something that isn't "on the market" you still have the right to a home inspection, seller disclosures, clear title, septic/water inspections, appraisal etc. You are not required to give up all your negotiating power just because you knocked on the seller's door. Know your rights and exercise them!

    • Pricing - you do not have to pay the seller's "set" price. If you feel the price is to high call an agent or an appraiser to make sure you are not getting ripped off. If you are getting financing, your bank will require an appraisal but the seller is not required to lower their purchase price if the appraisal comes back low.

    • PUT EVERYTHING IN WRITING! - In real estate, if it's not in writing, it doesn't exist! Changing a closing date? - Put it in writing. Adding that beautiful pergola to the sale? - Put it in writing. Seller promises to fix that leaky water heater? PUT IT IN WRITING! You need to be able to prove in a court what was agreed to and don't forget to put timelines inside those agreements.

    • SCAMS - Earnest Money and other Scams - When buying any property you will most likely be asked to put some money on the table after an agreement has been struck. We call this Earnest Money and it is either refunded to the buyer if the sale falls through based on the contingencies OR given to the seller as a thank you for holding their home for a particular buyer. It is in the best interest of both parties that this earnest money, as well as any money associated with a long term transaction, be put into a trust or escrow account. A title company, lawyer, or even your bank could set this up for you. That way neither party can access that money without the others consent. As with any purchase there are just plain scam artists out there who want your money. If you come across ANYONE who is asking for money up front before a contract is accepted, RUN AWAY! This is most likely a scam.

    I could go on and on about the downfalls that I am trained to handle but, at the end of the day if you do not feel comfortable, please, hire an agent or lawyer to help you through the process! For Sale By Owner's can be a great deal for both parties if you protect yourself.

    I am always available for questions! Please call, text or email me if you need my assistance!

    Good luck house hunting!