For Sale by Owner: Get the Facts About Why This is Not a Good Option for California Real Estate

For Sale by Owner: Get the Facts About Why This is Not a Good Option for California Real Estate

If you are considering selling your home, it might seem that selling it yourself is the best option. After all, this is the best way to keep as much money as possible, right? Not so fast. Keep reading to learn just a few of the many reasons it is so important to work with a real estate professional, and then contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties to talk to one.

Scams Are More Common Than You Might Think

There is a reason that the real estate regulations that might seem aggravating were put into place in the first place. Consider this horror story: a person was looking to buy their dream home, and they thought they’d found it. The seller wanted to do it for sale by owner, and the buyer agreed. They then paid the homeowner thousands of dollars in earnest money.

Paying earnest money is normal in a real estate transaction – but that money is not paid directly to the seller. It is not paid until contracts are signed and a receipt is given for it. This was not the case with this for sale by owner home. Instead, the owner just kept the money and there was little recourse for the potential buyer.

The Seller Has All the Liability

While the above example might have affected just the potential buyer, do not make the mistake of assuming that they are the only one that can end up in hot water. In fact, potential sellers have almost all of the lability. While a real estate attorney might close the transaction for you, they do not have the errors and omissions insurance that a real estate professional has.

Why does this matter? Imagine that you list hardwood floors as a feature of your home. Even if you were acting in good faith and believed that to be true, if the buyer finds out that they are actually veneered, you, as the seller have all the liability for that mistake. A real estate agent would either have caught the issue or it would be covered by their E&O insurance.

The Paperwork is More Daunting Than You Are Likely Expecting

According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, one of the hardest parts of for sale by owner transactions is getting all the paperwork together, let alone understanding it. Depending on the state in which the transaction is taking place, there are many legal forms needed, including sales contracts, occupancy agreements, property disclosures, and lead paint records.

Can you buy a FSBO package that supposedly includes all of this? Yes, but there is no guarantee that it covers 100% of what needs to be covered in your transactions. To get a professional on your side, contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties at 310-373-0021.