Know the comp's.
You might get a good deal since you are not bidding against other buyers. However, you might pay too much if you don't do your homework. Homes in San Ramon area and the Fremont area are selling with several offers, over the asking price in most cases.
There could be a number of reasons as to why the house is not listed on MLS. Sometimes sellers elect not to list the property on MLS or listing agent could be an Out of Area agent with not having access to the our MLS. So, It does not make a difference if a house is on MLS or its not. You need to carry this transaction similarly to another real estate transaction. This means getting a ratified or accepted contract, opening up escrow and title, if financing getting appraisal, inspections and closing.. I strongly recommend you to have a realtor represent you in the transaction. It is at no cost to you but you will ease of the mind through out the process.
It is quite a misconception for buyers to assume they will get a home for a cheaper price if they go directly through the listing agent. Quite a few buyers are under the impression that if the listing agent is getting commission on both sides she/he will agree to contribute a percentage toward the buyers side of the transaction. The Listing agent is obligated to represent the seller and get them the highest price possible and have the sellers best interests in mind. Having said this, the only one who would most likely benefit from this price wise, if anyone, would be the seller.
If there was a pro to this situation, if the seller has other listings ready to sell or so called "pocket listings" the buyer may have a chance to hear about it before anyone else, giving them the advantage of seeing a property before it's advertised. I would definitely NOT recommend Listing or Buying a home without an agent. There is too much involved and that can happen that can end up costing you more money than you think you would be saving.
When you buy a "for sale by owner" where the seller isn't represented by a realtor and neither are you, you may miss out on disclosures that a realtor would know about, you may miss out on inspections that a realtor would recommend.
So it really is best to have educated, experienced representation because this is a huge financial decision you are making! Thinking you may save a few thousand dollars by not using your own realtor can result in greater costs and headaches down the line.
The MLS is a tool used to help promote the sale of a home for a seller. It is something that agents and now buyers use all the time to view home and compare them with others on the market. It is something that I believe is invaluable as much to the buyer as the seller.
My wife are looking to move up to a home in a different city and scour both the MLS and home sites for any new home that becomes available in our area of choice. That is not to say we don't see the occasional home for sale by owner - but is is much rarer that those that are promoted by realtors.
With pricing - overall, I would again give the edge to homes listed by realtors as having the best evaluated and priced (realistically) homes. Many sellers sell the home for what they want - not what it is worth.
Contracts - You will be on your own here as sellers list homes themselves because they do not want to pay a realtor fees - and that includes yours. I am a believe in that you hire the best to get the best. I would not go cheap on a plumber or an electrician and I certainly would not go on the cheap with a realtor - especially when it is the biggest purchase of my family's life.
A good realtor will do the research, provide access to the best lenders and inspectors in the area. They represent the seller to the best of their interest and the same goes for the buyer's agent.
I would be wary of properties being sold only by the seller - and I have been in the business for 20+ years and know what I am looking for. That said, with the proper knowledge, you would be fine.
I hope that helps my friend, but let me know if you have further questions. Best regards,
Alex Greer Loan Officer NMLS #1056079 http://www.TheMortgageOutlet.com 408-352-5147 AGreer@TheMortgageOutlet.com