Profile picture for jelimi

Is it best to find a realtor to handle buying first home when home is for sale by owner?

Don't know where to start with this process... Still need to get amount we are approved for... When we do get it, do we just call the guy up and tell him we are interested?  Or find a realtor to act as the middle man?  First time home buyer..
  • December 01 2012 - US
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Answers (8)

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Profile picture for sunnyview
You should get pre approved or prequalified with a lender in your area. Local credit unions, private mortgage brokers or local banks can get you preapproved before you go looking for a house or make an offer.

However, the amount that you are prequalified for may not be what you can afford since everyone's finances are different. You can run some numbers on a calculator to see what your payments would look like in your specific budget.

Before you approach the owner, you should interview a handful of agents. You need an agent that will not just discourage you from buying a FSBO, but will be willing to provide you recently sold comps and market information. Some agents do not like FSBO's so you need to find one that will handle your transaction for a specific commission. Those are negotiable and in my area they range from 1-3% of the sales price.

That amount can be split between you and the seller or you may pay the agent directly. Think about how the agent will be paid and consider that the FSBO seller may not want to pay your agent without raising the price of the house. Usually, if you work out some of those details in advance, things will go smoother. Hope the links help.
  • December 02 2012
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If both parties are without realtors and you just want to execute a sales transaction, a title company may handle a closing for you without realtors.  It would be a lot cheaper than paying a realtor's commission.  Try First American Title, or look in your local area for a title company office.  You may have better luck with a smaller outfit willing to work with you.

  • December 04 2012
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I would never even consider buying a home without a Realtor to represent me. You need to get pre-approved with a lender before you can do anything though. Your Realtor can also help with this by referring you to a lender with a good local reputation.

For Sale By Owner transactions can be frought with problems, especially when neither party is represented by a Realtor.
  • December 02 2012
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Profile picture for Ofe Polack
When you do not know the process, it is always easier to be guided by a professional.  FSBO oftentimes will offer to pay a commission to a buyer agent. 
  • December 02 2012
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A Realtor can protect you and make sure that everything is on the up and up throughout your purchase. First time homebuyers especially, have not been through all the steps and you do need a professional to make sure it all goes smoothly. When making one of the largest purchases in your life do you want to take someones word that what you are buying has no defects and a clear title? I wouldnt. Find a Realtor that comes highly recommended by friends, family or coworkers and let them approach the owner.

Best Wishes!
  • December 02 2012
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Jelmi, I would suggest using a Realtor. There (depending on where you live more or less) can be a lot of legal paperwork that the agent could help you work through, as well they are paid to negotiate you a good deal, make sure deadlines are met, and ensure that your getting all the disclosures properly taken care of. This is a major purchase, I would recommend using a professional to represent you, plus the seller pays your agent, you don't.
  • December 01 2012
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Profile picture for jelimi
My apologies,  I meant no offense.  You didn't answer my question.
  • December 01 2012
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Realtor is professional not a middle man, his is your agent. Would you call electrician to fix your outlet or middle man)
  • December 01 2012
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