Deals on homes for sale are always out there, if you know where to look. Homeowners facing foreclosure often try to sell their home for less than what is owed to the bank through a short sale. Locating a homeowner attempting a short sale who has opted to put it up for sale by owner, or FSBO, will take some research efforts on your part. However, you can potentially save a lot of money on the purchase.
Short Sale FSBOs
When a homeowner decides to try a short sale to avoid foreclosure, he has to choose to list the property with an agent or list it independently. In a short-sale situation, many homeowners take the independent route to save on broker's commission fees. However, it's the seller's responsibility to advertise the property and make it known that it's on the market. This also works out for the buyer as well because the seller doesn't have to factor advertising costs into the listed price of the home.
Sellers can utilize many resources to advertise the property for sale. There are various websites that allow sellers to list their FSBO home, such as www.zillow.com and www.forsalebyowner.com. Buyers can start with these websites to search for properties for sale in their area. Additionally, sellers attempting short sales can advertise in a local newspaper's classified section.
Contact An Agent
If you're uncomfortable navigating the real estate waters alone, contact a licensed real estate agent from your area. Even though short sale FSBOs aren't part of the multiple listing service, or MLS, agents can help you locate more listings through their contacts and working knowledge of the area. You'll want to look for an agent who has past experience with short sales, either as the listing agent or buyer's agent.
As a buyer, you might consider hiring a real estate attorney to answer any questions or review documents, such as the sales contract. Because attorneys don't work on commission, you'll be charged a flat rate for the services rendered. When you've located a short-sale home you want to bid on, it's not the seller who makes the final decision on the price. The bank/lender holding the mortgage must agree to the offer before the sales contract can be signed. Waiting to hear back from the lender on the final decision can take time in most cases.