The first and probably biggest hurdle that you are going to have to overcome, is finding “The For Sale My Owner” properties. The internet is going to be your best weapon here. While there are a host of websites that offer access to these properties for a monthly or one-time fee, you can probably find most of them through different online forums and free online classified websites. Craigslist is one such website that offers its user’s free access to post and respond as needed. You can also go to www.backpage.com, or www.upillar.com to do these same searches. So begin your search at one of these websites. Try doing a search on a search engine for “for sale by owner” properties in your area to see what else you come up with.
Another tried and true method is to drive around looking for yard signs. If there is a hand written sign that is usually a good indication of an FSBO, while other properties will have signage that specifically states that it is a “for sale by owner” deal. When in doubt, call.
The MLS can be another tool that some “for sale by owner” sellers use. Check with your real estate agent to find out what they can do to make your search a little bit easier. And always remember, when looking for motivated sellers- it never hurts to ask!
Making a deal
Once you find a property that is of interest, it’s time to start creating a good deal. One of the good things about a “for sale by owner” property is that nobody is there whispering in the sellers ear to hold out for more. While they may be experienced in real estate and understand fair market value and the current state of the real estate market, they could just as easily not be. So you end up gambling. It is also important to remember that the fair market value of a home takes into account the fees associated with selling and marketing that property. So deduct anywhere from 10-15 thousand since they don’t have to pay commission on their “for sale by owner” property. This in and of itself means an instant savings for you!
While the “for sale by owner” property could be a goldmine there are some problems that could arise from such a transaction. First off, you may find a seller that takes each and every offer emotional. Without a realtor to keep them abreast of the market, they may ask for more than the home is actually worth. The buying process can also be complicated without the help of a trained professional. So make sure to do your homework beforehand to get the best deal possible.
All the details
“For sale by owner” properties can be a good deal if you do your research beforehand. Invest a little bit of time getting a feel for the market and the properties available, and you could end up making a killing. Good luck and happy hunting!