Even though most home sellers use a realtor to list their home, some still elect to navigate the home selling process themselves, listing their home as "for sale by owner." If you have found a home you like and it is listed as "for sale by owner," then there are a few tips you should follow to help ensure that the sale goes smoothly.
Get pre-approved for a loan before you make an offer.
A seller who is orchestrating their own sale is likely to be a bit more nervous about the financial side of the sale than one who is working with an agent. If you want to be confident they will accept (or even consider) your offer, you need to be pre-approved by the bank for a loan. Otherwise, the seller may decline your offer and instead accept one from someone who is pre-approved because they know this pre-approved buyer is capable of paying.
Look over the home carefully.
When you go to look at a home listed as "for sale by owner," the owner themselves is likely to show you around the home. This can make some buyers feel nervous or uncomfortable opening cabinets and looking too closely at the smaller nooks and crannies. However, you should ignore the awkwardness and be sure to look over these details closely. You would not want to buy a home only to find a huge hole in the wall or a closet you forgot to look inside because the owner was peering over your shoulder!
Hire a realtor to help you.
It's always a good idea to hire a buyer's agent to represent you. This is even more important when you're buying a home that's being sold without a realtor. Your realtor can ensure all paperwork is filled out properly and facilitate communication between your bank, your lawyer, and other parties involved. This is so important when the seller is not that experienced with real estate.
Always get a full home inspection.
Nobody knows the home better than the seller. They are more likely and able to hide potential problems with a home than a real estate agent would be. For instance, if they know a certain closet tends to grow mold, they may clean it up before you view the home so you're not aware of it until you buy. So, always hire a home inspector, and have them conduct full inspection including the sewer lines, roof, and foundation, prior to agreeing to buy the home.
For more information, contact a real estate agent.