Rather, I provide legal services
More and more Utah residents are buying or selling a house without hiring a real estate agent. This article offers a brief overview of For Sale By Owner (FSBO) transactions, highlights some of the issues that should be considered if you are thinking about buying or selling without an agent, and suggests one approach that offerslimited professional assistance while still allowing you to complete a FSBO transaction without paying an agents commission. Typically, a listing agent will charge a seller a commission of around 6% of the sales price for the agents services in connection with selling the house. This means that if the house sells for 0,000, the seller will pay the listing agent a ,000 commission.
In most cases, the buyer is also represented by a real estate agent, and the listing agent will share a portion of his commission (usually half of it) with the buyers agent. In this scenario, the sellers agent and the buyers agent would each receive ,500. The commission payment of ,000 is usually deducted from the sellers sales proceeds at the closing. Clearly then, a seller can save a significant amount of money by selling the house without an agent.
As noted, the buyers agent is typically paid by the listing agent not by the buyer. Therefore, in most cases buyers should hire a real estate agent, because they will receive the benefit of their agents services without having to pay their agents commission. If a seller is selling property without an agent, a buyer that wants the benefit of having an agent may have to pay their own agents commission. Alternatively, a buyer might convince the seller to pay the buyers agents commission, or might consider buying the house without an agent or with the limited assistance of a real estate attorney.
The considerable savings available to a seller by doing a For Sale By Owner transaction are obvious, however, the FSBO decision should not be made lightly. A listing agents foremost objective is to find a buyer that will purchase at the right price. Toward that end, good listing agents do all kinds of things to market a property. Sellers have to decide whether they are in a position to try to sell a house without the benefit of the marketing services that a good agent would provide.
On the other hand, these days most people use the internet as their primary source of information when searching for a new house, and an extensive amount of housing information is available online. In my experience, an increasing number of sellers believe that they can provide adequate internet exposure for their property without the necessity of hiring an agent, or by paying a small flat fee to have their house listing included on their local multiple listing service (MLS). Similarly, more and more buyers feel comfortable conducting their own search for a new home online, and without an agent. In addition to finding a buyer (for sellers), or finding a property (for buyers), good real estate agents also provide transactional assistance, including negotiating and filling out a real estate purchase contract, and overseeing the completion of various responsibilities under the contract.
Some of these responsibilities involve earnest money, sellers property disclosures, title insurance, home inspections and other due diligence efforts, appraisals, closing, and other matters. While every transaction is different, problems are not uncommon. Some real estate sales are quick and easy, while for others getting to the finish line requires a lot of time and effort. FSBO sellers should think carefully about whether they have the time, understanding and motivation needed for a successful transaction.
If, after making this assessment, you decide you want to sell, or buy, your house without an agent, but dont feel comfortable doing it entirely on your own, I may be able to help. For most of my clients, their objective is to minimize their costs while obtaining limited professional assistance addressing the important financial and legal aspects of their transaction. Toward that end the following services are specifically tailored for FSBO transactions:. Prepare all necessary contract documents (offers, counter-offers, addenda, etc. ) in accordance withyour objectives.
Coordinate with the title company to open an escrow account, hold the earnest money deposit, and provide the title commitment. Review the title report and consult with the buyer or seller regarding any title issues that need to be resolved before closing. Advise each client regarding the legal requirements related to property disclosures. Review the closing costs and settlement statement for accuracy, prepare the deed conveying title and coordinate with the title company to ensure that all closing requirements are completed.
If you are interested buying or selling your house without an agent, but want an experienced real estate attorney to handle the key responsibilities described above, at the low fixed rate shown below, pleasecontact us. Flat Fee for FSBO Services: 0. 00, due at closing. Note to buyers: sellers will often agree to pay all or a portion of the buyer’s costs at closing, in order to facilitate the buyer’s purchase of the property. Wecan prepare your purchase offer to include a request that the seller pay the fee for our FSBO services.
NOTE: although Im a Utah licensed real estate agent, I dont assist buyers or sellers in that role. Rather, I provide legal services as their real estate attorney. This article is not comprehensive and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Please consult with a Utah real estate attorney to determine what action is appropriate for your particular circumstances.