Home Buying in 05602>Question Details

Montyp, Home Buyer in 05602

We're interested in a FSBO, but we think it's overpriced. What's the best way to find comparables?

Asked by Montyp, 05602 Sun Feb 14, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:


There's a free site called http://www.VTRealEstateValues.com ... It's gives you access to the Vermont state property transfer tax records. You can search for comparables by street, town, & last name. You can usually even see what the current & former owners paid for the property, going back ~15 years.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 8, 2010
I have heard it said that it is the buyer who pays a real estate commission. The thought is that the buyer is providing the money to the seller who physically pays the commission using the buyer’s money. The implication, whether stated or not, is that real estate prices would be lower and buyers would save money if there was no commission…and, I guess, no real estate agents.

Here, we have an instance of a buyer dealing with a FSBO seller who by definition wants to avoid a commission. The buyer wants advice on how to find comps. Is this advices supposed to be free?

Does the buyer want advice on how to write an offer? Does the buyer know how to obtain contract forms? Does the buyer understand what a “contingency” is in relation to a real estate contract (several of the responders have used that word)? Does the buyer understand the importance of an appraisal…how much an appraisal costs…what can happen if the property does not appraise, assuming the contract was properly written…what the buyer’s obligation might be if the property does appraise? Does the buyer know how to open escrow…read and understand a preliminary title policy…provide escrow instructions…manage an escrow transaction? Does the buyer understand the importance of inspections…how to get them…what they cost…what to do when inspections have been done and received? Does the buyer know what disclosures about the property to expect from the seller?

Should the buyer be educated in all of these matters, and more, here on Trulia.com or elsewhere or, perhaps, by a professional Realtor, free of charge?

Montyp; you can get the best comps by aligning yourself with a local Realtor. Your FSBO seller may be willing the pay a commission to your Realtor…or you can agree to pay your Realtor. This is another thing that is negotiable between or among you the FSBO seller and your Realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
As others have said, the best comps come from a Buyer's Agent, plus many more services. That said, if you decide to go it alone, don't forget a contingency for a home inspection to prevent buying a home with material defects. And, you should also hire an attorney who handles real estate matters to review the Seller's Contract before you submit it to the Seller.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
You already have a figure in your mind of what the house is worth. Why bother with a cma? Just make your offer with an appraisal contingency and see what they do.

Or wait awhile longer and offer the same amount or less.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Hi Montyp:

You always can ask a real estate agent to do a comparative market analysis, but you should be honest with the agent, especially if you plan to purchase the home without the agent's help. In this case, there might be a charge. You also can ask the owner to let you get a full appraisal from a certified appraiser, but this will cost you a few hundred dollars. However, if the home is overpriced, a full appraisal can be a good negotiating tool. A third option would be for you to look into the selling prices of comparable properties at the local county courthouse (these numbers may be online in your county). But be careful. Figuring out an accurate fair price for a home involves more than coming up with a square-footage formula. There is a lot to the process and a pro will usually do a better job of factoring in things like location, improvements, number of bedrooms, basement size, layout, etc.

Ron Rovtar
Prudential Real Estate of the Rockies
Boulder, CO
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
What about all those houses you could have bought for the price, but chose this one instead?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Keep in mind that a home is worth what someone is willing to pay for it; it doesn’t matter what the seller needs or potential buyers can afford to spend. Market conditions do matter as does the immediacy for a transaction to take place-your best source for comparables is an agent--if you don't have an agent consider the services.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
What a Seller is asking and what you're willing to pay are not always the same. A local Realtor can give you information on Comparable Properties that have recently SOLD.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
Here is a little secret.

It does not matter what a FSBO wants for their property if you submit an agreement of sale that has the proper mortgage clause.

If the place does not appraise, you are out of the deal or they lower their price.

Get a real estate professional to represent you who knows how to do this and you'll be a happier home buyer!
Web Reference: http://fredglick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
When working with a fsbo, the first thing to do is make sure you have a good attorney.
You can find comparable sales on sites such as zillow , but there have been times when their estimate is not accurate.
You can check sale records at courthouse .Some agent sites offer free online evaluations .
You can order an appraisal and see if the seller will allow you to get an appraisal before you make the offer.
You can hire a buyer's agent to represent you and pay the agent a negotiable fee or you can ask the seller if they will honor buyer's agents.
Web Reference: http://www.gitabantwal.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
I have bought and sold houses without agents; lots of this "advice" is outdated and reflects a time when the information you seek was not widely available. You have already been given a resource for completed sales in Vermont, but be cautioned that the use of the term comprables is thrown around without good context. My experience in Vermont that true comprables are virtually non-existent, we don't have large tracts of cookie cutter homes and a mile or two distance can make a huge difference in marketability.

Attorney? At some point you will need one but the necessary forms and ad vice are widely available on the net. Escrow, easy to set up with an attorney and I think my last closing (seller) cost around $850 for attorney fees. In Vermont you can look at http://www.picketfencepreview.com for some good hints on next steps/
Flag Tue Apr 22, 2014
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