Home Buying in 08876>Question Details

Paul T, Home Buyer in Somerville, MA

What is a good source of listings of homes for sale by owner in Somerset County?

Asked by Paul T, Somerville, MA Wed Feb 20, 2008

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I agree with the Agents on this one. A FSBO can be a very difficult transaction for the buyer. As noted by others, the asking price will likely be unrealistic. Also, the seller probably will not negotiate realistically on price or on repairs after your home inspection.

There are certain requirements of a seller, such as obtaining the municipal certifications for the sale and arranging access for your home inspector and appraiser. These are very important aspects of the transaction and they are done by the listing agent. A seller on her own, without the guidance of a real estate professional, won't know what to do or how to do it.

You do know that the Realtors are paid by the seller and that there is no cost to you as the buyer?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 21, 2009
Paul- let me ask you a question -- Why are you limiting yourself to just For Sale By Owners? They generally are overpriced and as they are very attached to the outcome with no middle man to negotiate for them, they tend to not want to negotiate at all -- feeling very insulted with lower offers. If you use a Buyers Agent (of course I mean me) you have the entire MLS to choose from, as well as For Sale By Owners who are willing to work with agents - most are. Now you have a skilled negotiator on your side to get you the best price. And all this costs YOU nothing. I am a life long NJ resident, and a 15 yr resident of Somerset County so have a good grasp of the area. Contact me at dachisen@gmail.com to tell me more about what you are looking for and how I can best help you.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 21, 2009
Your best bet is to pick your favorite areas and take weekly or bi-weekly drives. The online fsbo sites are so terribly out of date that I think they are pretty much a waste of time. If you go to forsalebyowner.com for example, probably 70% of the inventory is already listed in the MLS, sold, or withdrawn.

Also, while a FSBO might be a good deal, it is often overpriced. If you are working with a professional, you will instantly know that.

Many FSBOs are FSBOs because they don't like the detailed sellers disclosure form that they are required to fill out by most agencies. Usually it's because they know something about their house that they'd rather not disclose. So you have to be careful about that. Make sure you have an excellent home inspector in your stable before you offer on a FSBO. Or any home for that matter.

Good luck!
Web Reference: http://www.marcpaolella.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 21, 2008
There are a limited number of buyer agents who will comb the market on behalf of their buyer and include all MLS listed and currently offered properties, FSBO's, previously offered properties which did not sell, and solicit homeowners who might be considering selling. If you want comprehensive market coverage, finding one of these buyer agents may be your answer.

If you wish to simply find FSBO's, I suggest reading the papers every day for your local area, the Star Ledger, and NY Times. Additionally, you should check the bulletin boards of local supermarkets. Check online by searching for FSBO's, including, but not limited to CraigsList. Last, but not least, is simply driving up and down the side streets of every neighborhood. This is a time consuming task, but it is the same methods employed by real estate agents to uncover FSBO properties. It represents the type of activities that Realtors pariticpate in that provides Realtors a comprehensive knowledge of the marketplace.

You can certainly do this yourself. However, I would agree with the posters before me who have indicated that a FSBO will not necessarily bring you a better deal than a property listed w/ a Realtor. Odds are strongly in favor that it will not, and the transaction will carry greater risk. If your purpose and interest is because the inventory of listed homes does not present the right property and you wish to expand your search to find alternatives, you can do the research yourself, or hire a great buyers agent.

Best of luck in finding the home you desire.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 21, 2008
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
Here's 3 cents. When negotiating a FSBO, keep in mind the comps you utilize to figure your offer price reflect a prevailing 4-7% commission. So don't forget to remove that from the FSBOs asking price before even beginning the negotiation. You will often see that FSBOs price to the recent comps that paid a commission. Apples to oranges. A FSBO that is priced competitively with other similar homes listed by agents is, by definition, overpriced by the prevailing commission in the area. And buying a FSBO at the prevailing closed price of similar homes sold by agents means you just overpaid. Keep that in mind.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 26, 2013
I couldn't agree more... and again I will emphasize that a good agent will always make your life (buying / selling real estate that is) easier and less stressful.
Flag Tue Aug 27, 2013
I know this thread is 5 years old, but in case others happen upon it like I just did I wanted to add my 2 cents...

Most of the answers seem to be from Real Estate Agents, talking about how inflexible FSBO sellers are and how unrealistic their pricing tends to be. I don't agree. Yes some/many sellers have inflexible and over-blown pricing in mind, but some just can't afford the 6% cost of selling through a realtor in a down market.

Before you blindly accept are pure fact the opinion of the realtor group, do some investigating yourself. Then make up your mind.

PS - I believe realtors can add tremendous value in a transaction, helping to negotiate and even to do legwork that most of us don't understand. But I've also been exposed to some lightweights in the field, who I've had to give step by step instructions to in order to get things done. Just dayin'
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 26, 2013
do you realize this question was posted over 5 years ago?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 28, 2013
I'll bet you can find a property that was posted over 5 years ago, too. Debbie, thanks ... hilarious! No offense, Lee Ann, I've done it myself.
Flag Tue Aug 27, 2013
A glitch in Trulia's system. They should be removed.
Flag Tue May 28, 2013
My personal experience is that of all the responses you've gotten.
A friend of mine asked me to help when they found a FESBO they loved. The home owner would not work with an Agent but my friends wanted my opinion. It was about 30% higher thsn any comps in the area, the home was not maintained well but in a good location.
After the home inspection, the owner would not budge on his price even though major problems were found.
I recommended they walk away and they did. A month later, I found a larger, updated house for them and they saved $70,000. They are very thankful they did not go through with the FESBO.

Use an Agent to advocate for you. There are reasons why it is a FSBO and those reasons are not good for the Buyer. FSBO's are owners who are unrealist or unwilling to see the true market value for thier homes.

I always stress to my clients not to get emotionally attached to the property. Never over pay!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 28, 2013
I saw a house 970 Old York Rd on bargain.com for $260000 and next day visited the location. Investigated for a month and spoke with differet Realtors, but of no use. The site was updated with SOLD $260000. Still you can see as sold on bargain.com. One of the real estate agent's name and number I got from Bargain.com customer service was correct, but she was not even aware about the listing.

Very frustrating.

Is there any deal like that I can find. Please advise in BBranchburg/Bridgewater area.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 21, 2009
I couldn't agree with Wayne more! FSBO's are way over priced and take offense with offers less than what they are asking. They are too personally involved with the transaction and are not willing to negotiate- I have hear the phrase "I would rather die in this house than sell it to you for that price" more often than I'd like. Why limit to just FSBO's when you have motivated sellers on the market right now that WANT and NEED to sell!! Sure you can include FSBO's with them- using an agent to represent you on a FSBO is a smart thing to do as well- they can negotiate for you, and would be working as your buyers agent. Remember that this is what I do on a regular basis - negotiate the best deal for my clients. and yes... FSBO's are way of of style. That worked well when it was a sellers market, but it is in the best interest right now for sellers to pay more commission rather than less to get their home sold. They need all the help they can get!!

Lynn Dachisen
Somerset county real estate, specializing in Warren New Jersey Real Estate and surrounding areas
Web Reference: http://www.SearchNJNow.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 3, 2009

I have read each prior response and agree with what has been said. I especialy agree with a statement that Marc made...the FSBO web sites are WAY out of date and many FSBO sellers don't want to deal with the detailed sellers disclosure form that a listing broker will provide. In a buyers market, I would recommend that you not focus your efforts solely on FSBO's. I would also suggest that you consider the fiduciary responsibility that a Buyers Agent has towards his/her client during the process.
I am a member of the Hunterdon Somerset and Mercer Board of Realtors and know the area well.
Web Reference: http://www.waynefsmith.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 23, 2008
I agree with Jeffrey too. Why just limit yourself to FSBO? FSBO's are not always better deals that homes listing with an agent. Also, if you are working with a buyer's agent, they can incorporate FSBO listings on your outings if the seller is willing to. With that being said, try forsalebyowner.com, owners.com, craigslist.com, homesbyowner.com, fsbo.com - just google it and a number of for sale by owner websites will pop up. Good Luck!

Gina Chirico
(973) 228-1000 ext 132
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 21, 2008
Why just fsbo's??? There are plenty of homes to choose from that are on the market. Don't limit yourself.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 21, 2008
Do google search for FSBO Somerset County, or check out Craigslist.org
Web Reference: http://www.Craigslist.org
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2008
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