Want to Buy a House That’s for Sale by its Owner? Read This First
Posted by Garman Group on
Your dream house is now on the market! But it’s listed as “For Sale By Owner”. What should you do? Don’t worry — you can still get your dream home, but there are a few things to keep in mind as you navigate the sale.
Check That the Price Is Right
Check the stats of the home – the size, age, property, and location against what similar homes in this housing market have appraised and sold for in the last few months. You should get a fairly good idea if the asking price is fair or not. If you're talking to the seller, you may ask if a qualified REALTOR® helped to set the selling price. Your own REALTOR® will also be able to weigh in on if it’s a fair deal or not.
Find Out the Home’s History
Find out how long the house has been on the market and if it was listed with an agent previously. The Victoria real estate market is hot. Although it’s possible that other buyers may have avoided a house which is for sale by owner, if a desirable house has been on the market longer than a few weeks, you should find out why no one is jumping at it.
Don’t Skip the Inspection
We generally recommend paying the extra fee to get an inspection on most homes, but we think it’s well worth it in the case of a house is for sale by owner. Usually, the seller is simply trying to save some money by not using a real estate agent, but occasionally, it’s because there's something wrong with the home that a qualified agent would make them disclose. It’s also possible they may not know anything is wrong with the house if they never got their own inspection. Always cover your back.
Hire a Lawyer
It’s probably best to hire a lawyer who specializes in Victoria real estate to check into any liens or other outstanding amounts against the house. Your lawyer can then help you navigate through the paperwork the seller is providing — which they likely drew up himself — and make sure the sale and terms are all on the up and up.
Don’t Put Any Money Down or Sign Anything Without a Professional Opinion
As we mentioned above, hiring a lawyer is in your best interests, especially when it comes to a for sale by owner situation. But whatever you do, don’t agree or sign anything without clearing it with a lawyer or a qualified real estate agent who understands the lingo. Same goes for if the seller asks for a deposit. It may be tempting to secure the house, but you want to make sure everything is legit first.
Hire a Reputable REALTOR®
Just because the seller is trying to save some money by not using a REALTOR® doesn’t mean you should, too. Getting into the housing market is a serious financial transaction, and you want to make sure you're doing it correctly. A qualified real estate agent will make certain you get a fair price, the home is in good shape, your rights are covered, and the transaction is done in a timely and professional manner.
For more information on this or if you have any other questions about the Victoria real estate market, please contact us at the Garman Group!