In Pennsylvania, how do I do about buying a home that is for sale by owner?

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Found a home for sale by owner and would like to put an offer on it. How do I go about doing this making sure I am protecting my own interests? Thanks Paul

5 Comments
  1. Reply
    curmudgeon
    June 26, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    google ‘real estate binder’ and see what you get.

  2. Reply
    lasalle_1986
    June 26, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    either get yourself a real estate lawyer to handle all of the transaction for your part. even though the home is being sold by an owner instead of a real estate company, it is in your best interest to have your money and offer protected, this is where the lawyer comes in.
    if you can not afford a lawyer, depending on how you will be getting financial help with buying the house, whoever your lender is they might have a department who handles sales from owners.
    best to do is ask. ask as many questions as you need to. buying a home is not just an investment but also a,lifelyhood.

  3. Reply
    ra
    June 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Before you consider putting an offer on any Pennsylvania home, make sure you read the Seller’s Disclosure. That’s the document you get from the seller that describes the condition of the property.

    Then, at least as a start, get an offer sheet that you know is well written and is adapted to Pennsylvania law, fill in the blanks, and think very carefully about any unique factors in your situation that you need to cover in the offer. A very simple offer sheet would be 2 pages. A more conventional one could be 25 pages.

    If your situation is especially complicated you can hire the services of a real estate lawyer or agent.

    There are other things you need to do after an offer is accepted, especially inspections and title search, and these have to be mentioned in the offer sheet, so make sure you know what you’re doing before you make the offer.

  4. Reply
    jim_daddy_2000
    June 26, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    I would contact a local realtor to act as my Buyer Agent.

    The owners are acting as selling agent to boost the NET amount they receive @ the end.

    I wouldn’t let their choices of professional representation stop me from using licensed professional realtors, inspectors & lenders for my protection.
    Jimmie

  5. Reply
    walyank
    June 26, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    The fact that it is FSBO doesn’t mean that you can’t get an agent. If the seller doesn’t want to pay the commission for your buyer’s agent you can always pay for it yourself.

    I buy RE for investment and deal with FSBO often enough. The first thing I do with FSBO is to make sure that the asked for price is no more than a similar house sold by an agent minus 6% (or whatever your local standard commission is.) Most often though I get them cheaper than that because most people who go the FSBO way have no idea what is involved when selling a house: time spent showing the house and their availability to do so, for example. So that when I show up they’ve often had few or no visitors and no offers. And they’re much more willing to negotiate. Also keep in mind that a lot of people who go FSBO do it because they think their house is worth more than what agents have suggested as a selling price…or so I have found.

    A few tricks to getting a good deal in RE: never be in a rush to buy; never be afraid to low-ball an offer (if they say no, you can always come back with a higher offer); never get fixated on one house and never, ever show excitement when visiting the house of your dreams if the owners/their agent is present.

    Hope that helps.

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