Real Estate Reference Buying Houses For Sale By Owner
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  by Steve Gillman

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  Houses for sale by owner, also known as "FSBOs," are a unique case in real estate investment. Buying from an uninformed seller who thought he knew enough to handle everything by himself can be frustrating. It can also be very profitable if you are prepared.

Why do people try to sell a house on their own? Only one primary reason comes to mind: To save the sales commission. Of course they usually underestimate the cost and complexity of going it alone. They end up frustrated and tired of the process, ready to drop the price and be done with it. Help them solve their problems, and your reward can be a good price on a good investment. Keep the following in mind:

1. An owner isn't an agent. Don't ask possibly offensive questions. Don't make negative comments about the house. Whether you like it or not, the truth is that it's difficult to get a good deal if the seller doesn't like you.

2. Houses for sale by owner have often been on the market a long time. The seller is usually tired of the process, and wants it to be done. In other words, you'll get a better price if you are willing to close quickly and easily.

3. FSBO sellers usually think they're being smart. Encourage that belief and they'll be more open to your offer. When they have a good idea, tell them so. It is not unethical to make people feel good about themselves when negotiating.

4. They usually don't have a plan for where to close, where to buy a title policy, where to keep a good faith deposit, etc. Be ready with simple solutions to all these problems. Walk them through the process while letting them feel in control, and you'll both be happier.
 
     
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