People have asked me about FSBO (For Sale By Owner). They want to know whether it’s a good idea to use an agent and the answers to many other questions on this topic. I admit it; I’m biased. I am, after all, a Santa Cruz real estate agent.
I’ll even go a bit farther and admit that I’m biased about my hometown. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re going to buy a house, you should use me as your agent and buy a house in this city. But then, that’s what most real estate agents will tell you.
Without the bias, however, there are some real issues with not using a Santa Cruz real estate agent (or any agent, anywhere, for that matter). And, there’s one BIG issue…
Okay, here’s the deal. A real estate contract, like any contract, is a sealed deal once the papers are signed. It’s legally binding and will be upheld in any court of law in the country, with few (and rare) exceptions.
If you don’t understand the contract you’ve signed, that’s too bad. Lack of understanding does not constitute a dismissal of said contract. While some do manage to back out of a contract once it’s signed, to do so is expensive and stressful.
A wide variety of contracts can be borrowed from anywhere and have been. FSBO sites, as well as many other online sites and offline brick and mortar businesses, have “sell your house” contracts. For that matter, a contract written up by the owner, signed by the buyer with a notary stamp, without any legal representation on either part, is still legally binding:
I, the undersigned, am selling my house to the buyer for the agreed upon amount of money.
A real estate agent will generally use a standard contract through your state’s Association of REALTORS® or their particular brokerage. What’s the difference, you ask? Quite a lot, but the biggest is that the contracts that agents use are created to fit the laws of each state. In addition, these contracts are not prejudiced towards the buyer or the seller.
Lastly, the buying and selling of real estate is full of potential issues and is a long, involved process. Call me proud and tell me I’m bragging if you want, but I’m good at what I do as a Santa Cruz real estate agent. It’s not something I think everyone can (or should) do.
So, if you’re considering going FSBO, take a second gander at this particular article and think hard. All great agents out there sincerely want to help you meet your goals of buying or selling a home.
If you’re looking for someone to guide you through the pitfalls, I'd be honored to help. Call me at 831.662.6522 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.