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For Sale By Owner

I�m selling my home "by owner," and a real estate agent who wants to show my home to a buyer said something about "agent protection." What does this mean?

This probably refers to the agent wanting to protect their right to a commission should you elect to sell to their client. In our home selling library, we have an article on types of listings. One of those is a "one time show." This is something the agent will probably come in and get you to sign before bringing in their clients. It identifies the client, the commission, and prevents you and that buyer from negotiating directly at a later time, with the intent to cut the agent out of the deal and not pay a commission.

On a FSBO (for sale by owner), what is financial obligation, if any, to sell to client with buyer agent?

When a buyer's agent has a client who makes an offer to buy your home, the offer will also ask you to cover the agent's commission - either directly or indirectly. Since the traditional arrangement usually includes two agents and the customary commission is approximately six percent of the sales price, the commission asked for in this transaction should be approximately half. There is only one agent involved.

On the one hand, you save money over traditional agent marketing. On the other hand, you don't make as much as if you sold the home at its full market value. Then, on the other hand again, sellers working with agents usually get a higher price for their home than seller who work by themselves. It is a difficult decision for you to make.

Anyway, the offer will ask you to either pay the commission directly to the agent and their broker, or apply a "credit" to the buyer so that the buyer can pay the commission. Either way it comes out of the proceeds of your sale.

We are thinking about selling our home on our own. If a buyer comes in with a Realtor do we still have to pay their agent the 3% commission?

That depends on whether you choose to "cooperate" with agents or not. If you do not, agents will not bring buyers to your house. If you do cooperate, some agents will bring buyers, but if their client makes an offer and closes the deal, they will expect to earn a commission. A three percent commission is customary, but you can attempt to negotiate, too.

Before an agent brings a client to your house, they will probably stop by and ask you to sign a "one time show" agreement. This prevents you and the buyer from negotiating directly in an attempt to not pay the agent�s commission.

Where can I find information on selling my own home?

My favorite place is the local bookstore rather than on-line. However, reading through our Home Selling Library will give you lots of tips, too. Most FSBO (for sale by owner) books are quick reading and Robert Irwin is an author who has covered it a couple of times. I recommend you buy a couple of books so that you cover the topic thoroughly.

How do I make an offer on a "for sale by owner" home?  I have already received pre-qualification, and am ready to buy, but need the specifics for buying from an owner, not an agent.

The owner of the FSBO should have prepared for this contingency and have the proper forms available.  You can also obtain forms from your local stationery store. Plus, there is a form available on line, but they charge a $4.95 fee.  The URL is below.

How do I sell my house by owner?

You want a quick answer? People write entire books on this topic and one of the better ones is "Sold by Owner," by Robert Irwin.

It's like golf - it sounds easy. You just whack the ball a bunch of times until it goes into the hole.  You may land in a sand trap or go out of bounds, but if you keep whacking at it, the ball eventually goes in the hole.

Buying and selling real estate is the same way.  If you are willing to do all the work, you can muddle through and get it done.

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