Buying a Santa Cruz Home for Sale by Owner: Pros and Cons

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Thursday, May 19th, 2011 at 11:01pm.

Buying a Santa Cruz home for sale by owner (FSBO) has benefits and drawbacks. Analyzing the pros and cons of buying a home directly from the homeowner can help you decide whether this is the best move for you.

Pros of buying a FSBO

• You get the house you want.  If the home of your dreams happens to be a Santa Cruz home for sale by owner, don’t worry.  You can still have your real estate agent represent you while buying the home.  That way you get the home you want with a knowledgeable agent looking out for your best interests and helping you get the best price and terms.

• Sellers may price their homes too low.  In their eagerness to sell their homes, sellers may offer their homes at prices lower than the market value.  But, don’t count on this because the typical FSBO is priced at or higher than the market average.

• You can communicate directly with the owner.  You and your real estate agent don’t have to go through a third party (the seller’s agent) to negotiate with the seller.
Cons of buying a FSBO

• Sellers want to maximize profits.  Why do owners decide to sell their homes as FSBOs?  It’s usually because they believe they can maximize their profits by not paying a listing agent to sell their homes.  They’re not doing it so they can give the buyer a great deal.   If you’re thinking you can pay less for a FSBO than for a home listed through a real estate agent, think again.  Statistics show that you pay as much or more for FSBOs, especially if you purchase it without the help of a real estate agent who is a skilled negotiator.

• Homeowners may withhold important information. Even though homeowners are required by law to disclose any information that would impact the buyer's decision to purchase the property, they may not.  They may intentionally withhold the information to get you to buy the house, or they may unintentionally withhold the information because they don’t know that it’s the law.

• Difficult negotiations. Sellers may refuse to lower the price of their homes, even if the homes are overpriced, or they may not want to pay for needed repairs.  The home owner is also more personally connected to the property than a real estate agent would be and therefore may be more sensitive to any form of critique.

Whether you want to buy a Santa Cruz home for sale by owner or a home listed with a real estate agent, I can help you get the best terms and price.  I’ll also look out for your best interests and make sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed.  If that sounds good to you, give me a call today at 831-662-6522 or email me at Lauren@LaurenSpencer.com

For more information, please visit my website at www.MySantaCruzRealEstate.com.

About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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