You always have a few options when buying a home. You can go for what your agent decides to show you, look at real estate listings in Ottawa online, or find FSBO or “for sale by owner” properties.
However, of the three, the last one gets a lot of flak and realtors will often tell you to stay away from FSBO properties. It’s unsurprising because FSBO properties are sold without the help of a selling agent.
But should you skip the FSBO listings just because an agent said so? Not exactly. However you need to be aware of a few things..
1. Owners are (usually) not professional realtors.
This means that they’re not professionally obligated to stick with ethical standards when selling their properties. They can cover up problems, fail to provide the documents you need to ensure that the house is still in great shape, or completely forget to tell you about certain issues the house has.
They might also be as accommodating or knowledgeable in answering your queries and requests so it can be frustrating to deal with some. Some people who purchased from owners have already ended up with overpriced houses and it’s rather unfortunate.
2. They might not be willing to negotiate.
Closing sales are a major hassle as it involves a lot of correspondence from the selling and buying parties. While realtors pay attention to this part of the process, owners might not. If there are others who are looking at their property, they might not entertain those who intend to haggle and ask for a better deal.
3. There’s a good chance that you’ll have to pay for your agent’s fees.
While the sellers won’t be using an agent to sell their property, you’ll still need one to guide you through the process. Usually, the seller will pay their fees but for FSBO properties, you might need to pay for your agent’s services on your own.
Not all FSBO sellers do this, though, as a good lot of them still pay for the buyer’s agent’s fees, but it’s not the standard so don’t expect it on your transaction.
Why You Should Still Give Them a Shot
Despite the scary things mentioned above, FSBO properties are still worth looking into because they can still offer the right property for you. The properties and owners are not always bad, so you shouldn’t be too scared to look into these properties.
You should, however, proceed with caution. Dealing directly with owners will be trickier than dealing with a selling realtor. To ensure that your purchase will go smoothly, remember to do the following:
1. Hire an experienced and capable real estate lawyer.
Legal problems can arise because you’re not purchasing a property from a professional. So it’s best to keep yourself protected by having an expert work with you.
2. Hire a home and termite inspector.
Get experts to look into the property before you make a deal. It will be better if you get two separate expert inspectors so you can be sure that they’ll be able to look thoroughly at the property you’re eyeing. This can ensure that you won’t end up paying lots of money for a poorly maintained property.
3. Have the property surveyed.
This can seem like an unnecessary expense but if there are issues of encroachment on your neighbor’s property, you’d be thankful to find out about it before moving in. It can save you from a world of headaches.
So, should you still check out FSBO listings? Yes, but make sure to be smart about it. A house is probably the biggest purchase you can make in your life so you’ll want to make the right choice.