Buying a For Sale by Owner home without the help of a real estate agent can be complex if it’s your first time. With so many different moving parts, you might not know where to begin. However, the steps below can serve as an outline to get you started.
If you’re unsure if it’s the right time to search for a new living situation, consider your budget, preferred location and family size now and in the future. Once those three factors have been determined, you’ll have a better idea of the type of home that will fit your needs.
Also, it can be wise to get pre-approved for a mortgage from your lender before beginning to browse so you know exactly how much you’re able to spend on a new home.
When hunting for a new home, knowing where to look and what to look for is half the battle. Consider searching local online listings, scan the newspaper and ask family, friends and coworkers if they know of any homes for sale in their neighborhood. After you have a few possible options, you can narrow down the selection based on size, structure and available amenities, and then contact each seller individually to schedule a personal tour.
Negotiating a sale price can be tricky because you don’t want to insult the seller by making an offer that’s too low. But, at the same time, you don’t want to overpay for your dream home when it’s not necessary. So, as a starting point, research what comparable homes in the same area recently sold for and base your first offer off of those prices.
Additionally, during the negotiation, you’ll most likely have to sign a non-disclosure agreement, which defines the rights and obligations of each party involved in the real estate transaction. As a buyer, a non-disclosure agreement protects the financial and personal information that has to be revealed when settling on a sale price and lets you know if your new home has traces of lead paint, or if it’s prone to mine subsidence.
A basic non-disclosure form suitable for real estate transactions can be found here.
After you apply – and get approved for a mortgage, your lender will conduct an appraisal of the home you’re looking to buy to make sure that the final sale price is reasonable, and in line with the fair market value.
Once the paperwork has been finalized and the closing has been completed, it’s time to begin the move-in process and finally call the home your own.