Home Buying in Fort Worth>Question Details

Rena Fitz, Home Buyer in Fort Worth, TX

What are the steps for buying a house that is For Sale By Owner with no agent?

Asked by Rena Fitz, Fort Worth, TX Wed Nov 2, 2011

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Thanks Rena for allowing all of us to provide our opinions related to your situation. There is a lot of good feedback here regardless of where the agents are located. Your question is in general and not state law specific. We here for you!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
Legal a Realtor can't make a comment there are so many particulars involved with purchasing a home .

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
Hire a Realtor.

Just because the FSBO has chosen to sell without an agent doesn't mean you should buy without one.

Hope that helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
You need to protect yourself; there are too many pitfalls nowa-days:
That is why the documents that you will sign at the Title Company are 2" thick!
Enlist a Realtor and have them approach the Seller and ask if they would accept an Offer through him.
It may be that they will accept the situation with a reduced commission for handling both sides.
Who knows; but it is the bast first-step.

Good luck and may God bless
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
Dear Rena, ...well, by now 17 people have tried to answer your question. Some of them from other states who know nothing about Texas laws. Some of them who are not Real Estate Agents who are throwing in their two cents worth, but know nothing about the process or the pitfalls! Lots of times I hear people say "If youi are not going to use a Realtor, then get an attorney." Have you met an attorney who shows houses and knows the market values in the neighborhoods you want to live in??? Most attorneys don't even know anything about a real estate contract, but the law of the state says it is OK for them to advise you about one. Attorneys have such an ego that they would not admit that there might be something they did not know about a contract.
So the real question is: Are you a gambler? Why are you wanting to take a chance that nothing could go wrong with your real estate transaction that you know nothing about? And is the Seller going to look out for YOUR best interests?? No, Mam. You need to consult with an experienced Realtor! Most will talk to you for free. I am available and I have 31 years experience selling homes in Tarrant County. I will answer all your questions for free. Then if you wish to engage my services, we will see if the seller will take your offer and pay my commission. If they really want to sell their house, they will! It may turn out that you will find something wrong with the house and you will want to buy another one. Then I can show you ALL the houses that are on the market in your price range, and in the location that you specify. You will pay nothing for this service, as the seller has already agreed to pay a Buyer's Agent's commission when they list their house for sale. Why not take advantage of this opportunity?
If you go it on your own, be prepared to take a loss when you try to sell the property. You may not even know how you got screwed when you bought a house without professional representation, but later you will discover the awful mistake that you made, and it will surely cost you money. I pray that doesn't happen to you!

Please call me for a free consultation. 817-300-6121 I will be honest with you, and if I can't help you save some money, I will tell you how to do it on your own.

Rick DeVoss

---The Michael Group

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
We know your in the business to make money off of someones laziness, but com'n, your scare tactics are rediculous. People, you can and will make money selling your house FSBO. Do your research, in fact, purchase a standard FSBO book, follow the rules and you'll be fine. Are you too lazy todo research on the internet, and find whats selling in your area? Everyday, title company's do just as many FSBO transactions as agent brokered sales. I dont know about you, but I dont need to pay someone $10k-$20k or more to do something you can do for yourself.
Flag Sun Oct 20, 2013

Lots of steps.....where to start?
Why don't you pay a realtor to walk you through it?

Just way way too much money involved for some inexperienced to "learn" to do it.

Why do you want to buy a FSBO? Normally I find they are overpriced,

Is it the only house you found that you liked?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
There are a lot of steps to take, from negoiating to signing an approved contract; inspecting the home with a reputable certified inspector to working with the appraisor; and the list goes on and on...if it is a smooth transaction.

Why not ask an agent to help you with your part of the transaction? I have worked with FSBO before (as the Buyer's Agent) and in different transactions have been compensated by the buyers & sellers. I usually dont charge as much (or get paid as much), but the knowledge a Realtor can bring to the table between a FSBO and a buyer is well worth any cost.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
Realtors dont charge buyers any commission to buy a home so I recommend using a professional Real Estate Agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
Writing up an offer is the EASY side of a transaction; however, unless you know without a doubt that from a legal perspective you are protected during and after the transaction I would highly advise working with a professional. Agents and their clients are protected through "errors and omissions" insurance related to RE transactions. Attorneys typically are covered by similar policies as well. I would guess that the FSBO may already be working with an attorney or knows an attorney to reveiw documents once an offer is received. Who will be protecting you? Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
Have your Realtor submit the offer to the owner. Just state that the final agreed upon price includes your commission as listed on the contract. This way when you are negotiating the owner is aware and it should not be an issue. If you can't agree upon a price then move on and keep looking. There are so many great deals out there you are bound to find another one pretty quickly.

Don Groff
REALTOR® | Mortgage Broker
Keller Williams Realty | 360 Lending Group
o.512.669.5599 m.512.633.4157
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
Just write up the details on paper, All parties sign it and bring it to any title company. No problem.
Any questions feel free to cal me at (702)376-0057
Web Reference: http://www.dollarhomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
I would recommend a realtor to guide you through the process. The seller may or may not be willing to pay a commission to the buyer's agent. Find this out up front.
If they refuse to pay the commission, you may be able to find an agent that will represent you for a flat fee that you would pay them. It will be worth it to you.

Make sure to get a thorough home inspection, because the seller may not be disclosing some issues with the house.

Systematic Home Inspections
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
A seller chooses to do a For Sale Buy Owner because they typically don't have equity or cash on hand to pay a Realtor to market their property. Some FSBO will not pay a Buyer's agent either due to the nete amount they need to get out from under the home. If you prefer representation (which is in your best interest) determine a Realtor that you can depend on (raising my hand) to send you a Buyer's Representation Agreement. Your Realtor will walk you through the steps to make an offer and interact (on your behalf) between the Seller and you. Your Realtor will guide you in obtaining your Approval letter for a loan, write an offer and finance addendum, determine a "window" of where your offer should be based on acomparable fair market analysis on the neighborhood. The home could be in a declining neighborhood so the appraisal may be low and the Seller is aware of this. Real Estate documents are legal and binding so make sure you obtain representation by an agent that has your best interest in mind. If the FSBO doesn't work, there may be other homes that a Realtor would send you based on your preferences. Also - if you found the listing on Trulia - I have found many of these listings to all ready be under contract. Your Realtor will send you listings that are ACTIVE and available for sale.

If you have any further questions, I am happy to help you.

Best regards,
Lucy Puniwai
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
I'll make this quick. You either need a realtor protecting your interests or you need a lawyer.
I would never advise a friend to buy a FSBO without having a competent and experienced professional protecting their interests because the seller will certainly not look out for your interests and given that the seller is not experienced in the legal requirements in selling a house, they could either unintentionally or perhaps even intentionally do something wrong that benefits them and hurts you and you might not find out until after your money is gone.

Most FSBO's will happily deal with a realtor who brings them a buyer. In most of these cases, you will pay nothing for the realtors help and expertise.

If you don't want to, or can't go that route, then absolutely hire a real estate attorney to read and interpret every document and monitor the transaction to protect your rights. It is a lot cheaper to pay a lawyer before the deal closes, than to pay one afterward when you both are headed to court. Think of it like insurance.

Hope everything goes well.
Web Reference: http://JenniferMu.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
Well, to actually answer the question (although I agree with the comments below) you will be better off having a lawyer draw up the contract to purchase so that you are protected. Sellers can lie, mislead and hide things from you. A lawyer will at least make them more accountable to you and protect you from doing something wrong. You will want to have spoken to a lender and have a letter stating you can get a loan. You will want to have a home inspection and a period of time in which to have inspections done in the offer to purchase, the lawyer can help here. The lender will likely require an appraisal and survey and possibly other inspection common for your area. You will want a termite inspection. The lawyer will do most of what an agent would have done for you and you will sure pay him well to do it where as a Realtor would cost you nothing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
Look at the blog below. It gives the basic things to do when selling a fsbo property. Looking at it in a slightly different way shows you how to buy a fsbo also. Using an appraiser, house inspector, and a real estate lawyer will get you started on the right path.


You do not need a realtor and may not want one. By the time they take their commission you can kiss a lot of money goodbye. If you do want to use a realtor pay them a flat fee just to handle the paperwork.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011

There is no reason you can’t be represented by an agent when a home is a For Sale By Owner (FSBO). If the owner won’t work with a buyer’s agent I wouldn’t do business with them. There are a lot of details that go into the purchase of a home. How do you know what they are asking is a fair price, who will you use for a home inspection, what title company will use, etc.

I highly suggest that you find an agent to work with. 99% of the time it won’t cost you anything to be represented. If you have any questions I would be happy to discuss them with you.

Good Luck,
John Reaves
Keller Williams Realty
817-920-7700 (office)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
Just because the seller has nobody looking out for their best interest does not mean you shouldn't. I have sold many FSBO houses over the years. Most of the time they welcome the call from a Realtor who has a potential buyer. There are lots of things to be concerned about if looking at a FSBO home. First, the list price and knowing how they determined what the fair market value is. Second, are they disclosing items that legally have to be disclosed. It is doubtful that a seller will know the legalities of selling if they have no representation. Thirdly, chances are the seller may have talked to some agents prior to listing and perhaps did not like or agree with what the agents advised. My best and only suggestion is get a Realtor no matter what house you buy.

Good luck and call if you need some assistance!

Mindy Lowry, Realtor RE/MAX

682-559-1246 cell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
Be very cautious but these deals do happen quite often with no Realtor involved. Your best bet would to at least get a Realtor involved to make sure the home is priced appropriately etc. I am more than happy to assist you in anyway I can and answer any questions you may have. Some For Sale By Owner's are open to an agent being involved but will set a specific commission rate for the transaction. I am working late today so if you need anything please do not hesitate to call, text or email anytime!

Sarah Padgett
Century 21 Judge Fite Company
Cell: 817-614-6390 (call/text)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 2, 2011
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