Need Help: about to get an offer on FSBO

jockewingApril 25, 2011

I am selling the house I inherited last year from my grandmother. I am going FSBO. Yesterday, a couple that had already come to look a few weeks ago came back with their agent. I believe they are very interested and the agent insinuated that an offer should be forthcoming. Apparently, they are about to get an offer on their current home. I agreed to pay their agent 3% on the first 100K and 2% on the remainder. She stated that she would handle all of the paperwork for both of us, and asked me to start looking at the disclosure statements. She also asked me to fill out a Limited Authorization to Sell Agreement with a term of 30 days in which I agreed to the her commission in the percent I stated above.

What do I need to do on my end to ensure that all of the paperwork is indeed in order when an offer hopefully comes? I know ultimately that the agent is working for them, not me.

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I know ultimately that the agent is working for them, not me.
Yes, you are right. I'd ask around for recommendations for a RE lawyer and see if you can find someone who has worked with FSBO transactions. Whatever the fee would be is likely to be well worth the peace of mind and ability to prevent any legal issues you might have with the paperwork.

I hope it all goes smoothly and that you are celebrating a successful closing soon.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 12:58PM
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Make sure the form she wants you to sign mentions only this couple by name. If the deal falls through you don't want to owe her anything in those 30 days if someone not associated with her makes an offer. I wouldn't sign anything for 30 days, simply a contract that says if this couple makes an offer on your house in the next 15 days then she gets a commission when the deal closes.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 1:19PM
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I would not sign anything without a RE lawyer checking everything out first. Chispa has some good advice regarding commissions. Be alert, get everything in writing.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 2:06PM
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call some attorneys now to get pricing/number of days needed, etc so when you get the offer you can have the attorney review pronto and not delay things.

Contracts are pretty basic, though. You don't have to have an attorney. Have you bought/sold other homes? If so, break out those contracts and compare against the offer.

this all depends on what you know about real estate contracts. if you don't know much, use an attorney. If you have bought/sold a few times and are comfy with the legalese of the contracts and understand everything, then an attorney is not a must.

I sold FSBO before and didn't use an attorney and all went fine. But I fully understood every word in the contract and knew what was beneficial to buyer and seller in the contract.

You want to be careful on the wording for the inspection and also be careful about any home sale contingency.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 4:06PM
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I know when I did the FSBO and the purchaser had an agent, I didn't do a time limit contract for paying the agent, but my lawyer had me change it to be related to that offer only, otherwise it would have locked me in if that one had fallen through to still pay the agent if I had another buyer or something like that. I don't remember the full details, but it was a minor change and agent had no issues with it.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 5:02PM
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I agree with the others who advised you not to sign the 30-day agreement with the agent. Her commission should be paid only at the time of closing on this specific transaction.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 5:41PM
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I did sign the 30 day agreement because it applies only specifically to the sale of the home to this particular buyer. It states there are no effects on any other sales.

So I guess I should call a couple of attorneys now to have them lined up? How much should I expect to pay for such a service?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 9:16PM
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I hope it also states that you don't owe the commission if the deal falls through.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 10:01AM
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Aren't these questions the type of questions one should research *before* they list FSBO??

Now, you have an offer pending (maybe?) and you're asking a bunch of strangers on the internet from all different parts of the country what you need to do next.

If an attorney just needs to breeze through contracts you have already prepared--maybe $250-500. If there are issues or points of contention between the buyer and seller and things get complex, well it's hard to say what the attorney's time may cost.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 10:53AM
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"So I guess I should call a couple of attorneys now to have them lined up? How much should I expect to pay for such a service?"

Ask someone at your bank or contact the state bar association. Depending on how complicated things get, it shouldn't cost more than 2k. Since your using inherited money, I wouldn't worry about this so much.

Try not to sell to anyone who has to sell their house first before they can buy yours. You don't want to get stuck having your house off the market in prime real estate selling season (spring) just because someone makes an offer contingent on selling their house first. Put something in the contract to the effect of that the buyer has X number of days (30?) to either buy your house or re-submit an new offer.

Having competition might make your house more attractive to other buyers.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 11:28AM
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Aks the attorneys what they charge. prices vary. Also get their timing.

Also if this deal falls through, you might get attorney pricing on writing a from scratch contract if a buyer has no agent. Else you find some on the web or elsewhere. but if another buyer wants to offer, you really want to provide them a standard contract/offer form. find one asap. you must be prepared to move quickly with offers as folks can get cold feet quickly.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 6:00PM
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Buyers normally prepare the contract (except in the attorney happy places like NY).

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 9:44AM
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