When purchasing real estate, I recommend buyers use a real estate agent and to buy the only real estate that’s listed by a real estate agent or broker.

Why? Well, it’s not about commissions. It’s largely about protecting the buyer, who can often fall prey to hidden defects and dishonest practices. 

FSBO, can, though not always, imply that a transaction can be done without the assistance of knowledgeable real estate professionals. If a seller has listed an FSBO property and is hiding problems with the house, they can more easily hide these problems and pass them on to an unsuspecting buyer, without any repercussions. The hope, for the seller, is that listing without an agent might tend to bring buyers who also don’t have an agent. This can be very dangerous and very costly for the buyer.

That’s why at Biagini Realty, we advise using a real estate agent. When you buy with an agent, you can have an agreement of purchase and sale drafted for you in a way that covers a variety of different problems that might accrue. Let them provide you with the proper protection regarding clauses, conditions, documented proof, certified contractors, and full disclosures so you don’t end up in a home with problems that will cost you a lot of money An experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent is worth many times what their commission is if they can provide you protection from problems that arise in the house that you buy or steer you away from a troublesome property altogether.

Real estate agents are legally obligated to disclose a home’s defects. If an FSBO homeowner resists from listing with a licensed real estate agent, something may be up. They might claim that they want to save money from not paying commission. Because they are paying the buyer commission, they’re not really saving that much. Refusal from listing with a licensed real estate agent might mean that they are covering up costly defects with the home that they don’t want to disclose and that they want to pass on to you.

This could include work not completed by a certified professional, things that might stigmatize the property, prevent resale or any number of issues that could impact health and safety. If they list with a licensed real estate agent and the full disclosure comes out, then you can properly negotiate.

Therefore, I strongly suggest that if you are buying property that you have a buyer real estate agent, and request that the seller list with a licensed real estate agent who is obligated to make a full disclosure on any latent defects on the property.

Not sure whether to pursue an FSBO listing in the Hudson Valley, New York, Philadelphia or Pennsylvania? Or thinking of listing an FSBO property yourself? Paul Biagini of Biagini Realty can share his expertise on the ins and outs of FSBO.

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