What to Know About a For Sale by Owner Home


Every so often there’s a home on the market that’s for sale by its owner. Usually, it’s because the seller wants to try their luck without an agent. These types of listings can still offer great deals, but they also come with some nuances. Here’s what you should know about a home that’s for sale by owner.


Getting Help from a Realtor

It’s a good idea to work with licensed real estate professional who can help you go through the process and make sure all the legal documentation and paperwork is approved by legal standards. They’ll be able to find out if there are any outstanding liens on the property or any back taxes owed – which, if you were unaware, could cause problems later on. Buying a for sale by owner home usually means your Realtor will have more work. Since the seller doesn’t have a listing agent, it can sometimes mean that your real estate agent has to pick up the slack.

Emotional Attachments

Sellers can sometimes be a little too attached to their home. Meaning, they often list the price higher than what the home is worth. Make sure you, or your agent, do your homework by looking at comps in the area and determining if the price is fair.

Private Showings

Without a listing agent, the seller is responsible for every aspect of the process. So when you request a showing of the house, make sure to keep your opinions to yourself, as the homeowner will likely be there and could plan to stick around while you’re viewing. But you’ll still want to be sure to look at everything—open all the closets and drawers, and test all the lights and appliances; don’t let them scare you away.

Appraisal & Inspection

If there needs to be a price adjustment or any necessary repairs made due to the appraisal, these must be made by the seller before the closing takes place. Some sellers may try to sell the home as is, so you’ll need to discuss with the seller prior to continuing with the deal. Make sure you research and get your own home inspection on the house with a reputable inspector you trust. This will ensure that you uncover any issues with the home that the owner may be trying to keep under wraps.

Ensuring Your Funds Are Secure

Make sure any deposit for the home goes to a third party to hold and not to the seller’s pocket. In case the deal falls through, you don’t want the seller to have potentially spent your money already.

Just because you’re thinking about buying a home without a listing agent, doesn’t mean you don’t need an agent – they’ll help protect you throughout the deal. If you’re looking for a great referral, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our experienced Loan Advisors to help you through the entire process!