When a property is listed by a Real Estate Agent they are professionals and by law they should be complying with your state and local laws and procedures. Part of the process to get to final contract is that the house needs not only to be checked through and have clear title, but it is also wise to have property inspections, an appraisal and other items that may come up. As an Agent, it is their â€œimportanceâ€ that everything will run smoothly for all involved. This could eliminate much of the things that you would have to accomplish on your own if you are purchasing a FSBO.
Also, an Agent also helps when negotiating is involved. They can take your offer back and forth with the Seller and try to reason a good price for all. Now do note, that when you are buying, you can hire a Buyers Agent to assist you and negotiate for you.
Now, purchasing through a FSBO directly, just make sure that when you have found the home that you are interested in and have come to an arrangement with a purchase price, hire a good Real Estate Attorney to guide you and make sure that everything is as it should.
Foreclosures are a little different. Depending on the progress of the Foreclosure (if they are in pre-foreclosure or already bank owned) the steps are a little different that in the other cases. Plus each bank or lender has their own process that they require to be followed. At this moment, you can find very nice properties and investments. However, I recommend that first you find an Agent in your area that is specialized in Foreclosures and Short Sales and have them walk you through a â€œforeclosure processâ€ in your state so that you may see the difference.