Buying a home directly from the owner will save on the cost of the house, right?

Wrong! The "for-sale-by-owner" sellers are doing their own marketing to save the commission a professional real estate agent would charge. So what is left for you to save? In fact, you might end up paying more if the house is overpriced. Beware of these costly pitfalls:

You end up dealing, in many cases, with an untrained novice who is not familiar with real estate law or the real estate code of ethics. Something might be overlooked that will cost you money later.

Additional legal costs
You will need a lawyer to draw up your sales contract, which should include safeguards for you that an experienced agent would typically suggest, such as making the contract contingent on a home inspection and approval of your mortgage loan.

You will have to be your own negotiator
Also, without agents involved, you would have to conduct your own negotiations on the contract and make sure all the details are taken care of before closing.

As a professional with the answers to your home-buying questions, I can make your search for a new home less confusing. Call or e-mail me, or click on "Comments" and ask your own questions.

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