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?
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.
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.
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'
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!
Is there any deal like that I can find. Please advise in BBranchburg/Bridgewater area.
Somerset county real estate, specializing in Warren New Jersey Real Estate and surrounding areas
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.
(973) 228-1000 ext 132