Did you happen to notice that All of these answers have been given by realestate agents?
Being that I have been a for sale by owner myself (several times) let me tell you that some of their statements are not very truthful.
All these Realtors are just looking to secure their 6% commission.
The best way to deal with a for sale by owner is to come WITHOUT AN AGENT.
For sale by owners are much more willing to negotiate and lower their price (even significantly) if they do not have to pay a middle man.
Inform yourself and come to the table ready to negotiate.
I educate my Buyers to call me if they see a FSBO that looks interesting, so I can call the FSBO and find out if they are willing to work with an agent, and to pay a commission. If both of those answers are yes, then full steam ahead!
If the FSBO is willing to work with an agent but not pay the commission, I speak to my Buyers about adding the cost of the commission onto the purchase price, so they are actually financing my commission along with the purchase price. Usually a FSBO is willing to agree to pay the Buyer's Agent commission in that case. Of course, this is all agreed to in writing before the purchase.
If the FSBO is not willing to work with an agent, at all, I have a conversation with my Buyers about how to work with the FSBO on their own. They usually decide to keep looking at homes that have a listing agreement.
If you are interested in purchasing a FSBO with the assistance of an agent, there are a few options you may want to consider. First, have your agent contact the FSBO and have them ask if they will cooperate with a realtor and pay a commission. Often times, as others have stated, FSBO's will cooperate and compensate a buyer's agent. Your agent will need to work out the arrangement with the FSBO prior to showing the property, ideally obtaining the agreement in writing - usually a single party listing agreement.
Second option is to enter into a buyers agency agreement with your buyers agent. The agreement will state the terms and length of service as well as specify compensation in the event that the buyers agent does not obtain compensation from the seller. With a buyers agency agreement in place, in the event that the agent did not work out a compensation agreement with the FSBO prior to showing you the property AND you purchase the property, the FSBO is under no prior obligation to compensate your agent. If the seller chooses not to compensate your agent, you as the buyer would be responsible to compensate your agent under the terms of your buyers agency agreement.
If no agreement is in place with either you as buyer or with the FSBO and you purchase the property, your buyers agent may not necessarily be compensated in the transaction.
I hope that helps! Best of luck in your search.
One way that I have worked out payment with a FSBO, (when I have Buyer Agency with my Buyer)- I ask the FSBO first if they would be interested in having a pre-qualied Buyer for their home.
This is usually followed by an ecstatic YES. I explain the compensation arrangement, and for the most part the Sellers are willing to pay for me to handle the closing arrangements.
When drafting the offer, we stipulate that the Seller will credit Buyer at closing the percentage for the Buyer's Agent expenses, and the Buyer pays me. Another way to do it is to reduce your offer by the percentage that you would need to pay your Buyer's Agent. Comes out the same....
I would highly recommend you have a Buyer's Agent represent you in whatever purchase transaction you do, especially a FSBO. Since alot of them really are unfamiliar with the process, and you will want someone watching out for your interests - The seller isn't going to do that for you.
All the Best.
A lot of buyers don't know what radon is, let alone what to do when it comes up in a home inspection. That is a new law in Illinois now, that all sellers have to disclose if their home has ever had any.
Sorry, so long of an answer, but it's not easy to buy a home these days.