No. of Recommendations: 2
The problem is it doesn't sound like you've spent enough time in the marketplace yet to determine whether or not the house you're thinking about is worth the price the sellers are asking. And an appraisal isn't going to necessarily determine that for you. Couple things first, though. A house is not listed if it is not offered for sale through a written agreement with a real estate agent. It is simply "on the market." I always get a chuckle out of FSBOs in the paper that headline themselves "New Listing." Because they are not listed.

Next, just because it's a FSBO doesn't mean that the seller might not be willing to pay a selling commission. Many sellers realize that if they eliminate all buyers who are represented by agent, they are missing out on a huge percentage of the market who could buy their home. And there are those who don't even know they could pay a selling commission without paying a listing commission. And still there are those who might think they won't pay a commission to anybody until a bonafide offer is shoved under their nose that contains a commission. So the first thing I'd do if I were you in your shoes is call the FSBO and say you are represented by a real estate agent, and ask if they will cooperate. Use those words.

If the seller says no, then you can decide whether to proceed, but I'd ask the lawer to write in a lot of contingencies to protect you. You might team up with an agent and go look at other properties, too. While you are looking, you could say, "Hey, I noticed a house at XYZ is on the market and it's a FSBO. What do you think about the asking price?" If the agent works the neighborhood, the agent will be able to give you a better estimate of value than you might get on your own. Of course, using this method, you might find something you like better and forgot all about that FSBO. You just never know.

elizabeth
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