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How to buy a home for sale by owner?


What are for sale by owner homes and why you should always use a selling agent

“For sale by owner” signs are pretty common around the Boise area, well, in most parts of the country actually. But how do you go about buying one? Who do you talk to, what are you supposed to do? Well, that is what we are going to talk about today. By the end of this article you should have a basic knowledge of what it takes to buy a home that is for sale by owner. However, that is only a part of what we are going to cover today, because we are going to first talk about what it means ‘for sale by owner’ and how for sale by owner different form when a home is sold using a selling agent.

Buying a home for sale by owner vs buying a home with a selling agent

Well, there are plenty of differences and they can impact you as a buyer quite a lot, but we are getting ahead of ourselves. What does this mean ‘for sale by owner’? Well, as it sounds, it is when a homeowner decides to sell their home without the help of real estate agent. It is completely legal, but it can make things difficult for them, and you the buyer in some cases as well.

Here are a couple of ways that a for sale by owner sale can be difficult for the buyer:

The buyer might not know the proper procedures involved with selling a home

When you sell a home there are a lot of things that have to be taken care of and these are not just little things, these can cost you money and time and in some cases can have legal repercussions. For instance, if the seller doesn’t know that they have to file a certain permit, or that the house needs to be inspected it can push the home buying process for you back weeks.

Poor marketing

This section isn’t that bad for you, but it can be a really big deal for the seller. If they don’t properly take and post pictures you may not know if the house fits your needs. Or, if they don’t advertise it well enough, you won’t be able to find it in the first place.

Not priced correctly

When a home is sold, one of the most vital aspects of the whole process is the price. Let’s say your dream house comes on the market as a for sale by owner and the owner, well intended they might be, prices the house higher than it is really worth and this price is out of your range. In that case, even though it is your dream home, you will probably write it off because you can’t afford it. Now, this problem can also work in reverse. Let’s say they underprice the home and you decide to jump on it thinking that you can totally afford it. However, after you have it appraised, you find out it is way out of your price range. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because the appraiser doesn’t have to tell the owner the worth of the home once they are done, in most cases. But if the owner finds out that they can sell it for much more it can cause problems and potentially make you lose this dream house you were invested in, which could be devastating.

You might not be able to get in to see the house as often

With a house that is put on the market with a listing agent there is a key kept outside in a lockbox that only other real estate agents can access. This means that you can get into the house to see it whenever the owner says it’s ok. With a for sale by owner home, there won’t be one of these lockboxes so there is the possibility that there will be less times of the day that you can go and see the home since the owner will have to let you in. This can make things difficult for you if you have a demanding schedule or can’t make it out to look at the house very often (especially if you are from out of state).

How do you buy a for sale by owner home?

So, now we get to the meat of this whole thing: how to buy a for sale by owner home. Though it might seem hard, it is a lot easier than you might think; all you need to know is where to look.

Most people don’t start a home search by saying, “I will only buy a for sale by owner home”, so usually, they don’t usually have to worry about it. However, if you have combed through the normal homes that are up for sale without luck, you’ll start looking for a for sale by owner. Usually, these will be listed in newspapers or on websites like craigslist, but this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes you will see homes that are being sold by their owners that are only advertised by the small red sign in their lawn. So, another way you can look for those homes, after the newspaper and craigslist, is to drive around in the neighborhoods where you think you might want to live and look for one of those signs.

Tips for buying a for sale by owner home:

Your real estate agent will be able to give you more detailed information about buying a for sale by owner home, but here are a few tips that will help you get acclimated to the idea. Keep these in mind while you go through the buying process.

Get the house inspected

This should be at the top of your list no matter if you are buying a for sale by owner home or not, but it is especially important in a case like the one we are talking about. There could be a chance that the home you are looking at buying has a problem that the owner doesn’t know about. Your real estate agent might be able to catch one or two of the problems, but their specialty is not inspecting homes. In a case where you, the owner, and your agent can’t see any problems, an inspector will be the only way you will find out if there is one— and trust us, you don’t want to find out there is a major issue with your home after you have signed the papers.

Get the house appraised

We know we have already mentioned this, but you want to make sure that before you sign any papers. A for sale by owner home will likely be mispriced. So be sure to get it appraised so you aren’t paying too much.

Heed the council of your real estate agent

Our last tip is to listen to your real estate agent. Your real estate agent, especially if they are from the Hughes Group, is going to know the ropes; they know what they are doing, so, be sure to listen to them.

If you have a for sale by owner home you want to buy, please, give us a call today and one of our agents will be sure to get you started on the path to make that purchase happen. So, call the Hughes Group of Silvercreek Realty Group today!

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