In the any marketplace, most buyers are interested in "a deal" - a good property at a good price. One place that buyers often turn to are "For Sale By Owner" properties. These properties can indeed be a "great deal," but it is important to understand the issues surrounding them before you decide that this is the right kind of property for you.
One of the most important facts to consider is that real estate selling agents are legally obligated to make sure that their seller discloses any problems with the property that he knows about. If a seller is found to be trying to hide defects in his or her property, the contract can immediately be cancelled by the buyer.
For Sale By Owner properties are not sold by real estate professionals and are not governed by the same rules - the owner of the property is not required to disclose these defects. As a buyer, you are not nearly as well protected when purchasing such a property. In many ways, purchasing a For Sale By Owner property functions under the "caveat emptor" principle - let the buyer beware!
If a for sale by owner property is indeed the property for you, having an exclusive buyer's agent ensures that you have the maximum amount of protection when you buy. Having a real estate professional involved in the transaction also helps should any legal issues arise - an exclusive buyer's agent can write a contract that helps avoid such issues so that you don't have to risk going to court!
In part two, I will discuss for sale by owner properties and how they relate to the current market - find out how they setting their prices!