You've decided to walk the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) path with the sale of your home.
You've researched pricing, hopefully found out about the Ohio Residential Property Disclosure forms and figured out how you're going to market your home to find a buyer. And you've decided you're okay with having to be home for every showing. It's inconvenient, but it's work to sell a home!
One of your decisions is whether you're willing to cooperate with buyer agents. Basically are you willing to pay the buyer's agent commission at closing? If that's a NO, the buyer's agent will be looking to the buyers to directly pay his or her brokerage at closing. Honestly, for most buyers, that's going to be a NO and they'll pass on your home. This isn't a threat, just the reality of how things tend to happen.
So let's assume you're willing to cooperate. That facilitates a larger buyer pool and a better chance of sale. So what can you expect from the buyer's agent?
First, everything from here on is specific to OHIO. Different states have different ways of doing things, and since I work in Ohio, that's what we'll cover.
Primarily you need to understand this: THE BUYER'S AGENT DOES NOT WORK FOR YOU. The agent's fiduciary responsibility is to the buyer. If I'm a buyer's agent I'm required to treat you fairly, but again, I'm NOT your agent.
What will I do?
I have a buyer that might be a fit for your home. There are things I will have done in advance of requesting a showing:
Ensure my buyer is financially qualified and capable of buying your home (that's a win-win for ALL of us involved).
I'll have done some preliminary research on your home, its past AND what similar homes are selling for. That will be enough to know if your pricing is out of line or about where it should be (or maybe even a bargain!).
Up next is the actual appointment for me and my buyers to see your home. While we tour I'm listening to what you say, what my buyers say, asking follow up questions AND confirming my opinion of your price. And the other thing I'm doing? Listening and watching for clues that give my buyers leverage in negotiations. Do you WANT to move or do you HAVE to move?
So let's assume all goes well, what's next?
I'll be constructing the offer with my buyers. We'll use the standard Cincinnati Area Board Of Realtors purchase contract. The contract was created by real estate attorneys. There are blanks I fill in that cover the key terms of the deal.
I'll forward the offer to you along with other required disclosures and forms. Among those forms is the Agency Disclosure Form. PLEASE pay particular attention to this form. It will CLEARLY state that I work FOR the Buyers and ONLY the buyers. YOU REPRESENT YOURSELF.
The burden is on you to read and understand the offer and what you are agreeing to. You can choose to consult with a real estate attorney but my recommendation is for the attorney to NOT try to alter the basic language or clauses of the contract. Real estate attorneys made the contract and it's used for thousands of transactions every year. Anything that is filled in is counterable, but the rest should be left alone.
So let's assume we negotiate and come to a formal agreement.
Next up are more requirements:
HOA review, home inspection and repair requests, appraisal, completion of financing, final walk through, closing.
I'll work to make sure all our tasks are accomplished to the contract deadlines.
There will be times I may have to tell you things you don't want to hear, but that's just a normal part of the process.
Assuming all goes well and to plan, we'll complete the contract with the actual purchase of your home.
Nothing in the process is meant to be antagonistic, but obviously we have the same ultimate goal (completing the sale), but we may have widely varying ideas of how we'd prefer to get there.
Serving Greater Cincinnati home buyers and sellers,
Bill & Liz aka BLiz