FSBO, (pronounced Fizbo) or For Sale By Owner, has always offered sellers and buyers a direct option without the need for a mediator, or broker, to help negotiate and guide you from first interest to closing.
Buying a home from a friend or neighbor or even a complete stranger you found on Facebook marketplace can seem like a piece of cake, especially when it drops in your lap without having to search day in and day out for the perfect house. It has been a positive experience for some. But, for many others, it's been somewhat of a nightmare.
Before signing on the dotted line or, worse, making the deal with a handshake, consider this story from a FSBO buyer:
K.D. is a friend who bought her first home direct via FSBO, from a young single man. The contract was drawn up to satisfaction thon the first try, there were no counters, and it was an easy, quick, and friendly exchange.
Her second home, also a FSBO, was not so easy or pleasant. At the time, her husband was going out of the country for work and leaving her and her small child at home. They wanted to close and be moved in by the time he left.
From the beginning, she felt bullied as the sellers were very persistent and pushy. She even stated they made her cry on several occasions. Since they were trying to close quickly, she accepted and tolerated this behavior just to get the deal done.
Within months, and after her handyman husband had left the country, a bad leak was found from an exterior wall covered by a new fascia board, determined to have been deliberately covered to mask the problem and missed by the inspector. This leak was not discovered until an excessive rainfall, causing water entrapment within the wall with subsequent damage. The toll was a living room wall caving in and the floor buckling, which required total replacement. They also had to replace the septic tank, which was determined to have collapsed previously and was also covered up during the inspection process. Once the transaction took place, the former owners refused to answer calls or texts or complete the things they said they would do, including providing the password for the security system.
When asked about how she will handle her next purchase, K.D. said
"I will now buy through a Realtor, not an owner. We have spent more money on this damn house just because it was for sale by owner."
A good Realtor will protect their clients from beginning to end. They will handle negotiations and can do so professionally, not through emotional outbursts or pushiness. They will not let their client be bullied and the only tears we like to see are those of joy. Your agent should also have a full rolodex of qualified, unbiased, licensed and thorough professionals who can be recommended for inspections, appraisals, etc. to avoid shoddy work that will cost the buyer more money down the line.
If this isn't enough to convince you to call a Realtor today, consider this when buying: some real estate agents do not charge their buyers a commission. Therefore, it could cost you zero dollars to ensure your deal is properly handled by a professional - possibly saving you money, headache and heartache.
Christie Bufkin Beck / Bufkin Properties, Inc.