Phew! I was worried that this serial column was going to turn into a smear campaign against realtors. Even though sometimes we FSBO’s take a few jabs at the realtor crew, it’s all in good fun—we’re all just folks trying to sell houses and not go broke in the process, aren’t we?
Anyways, after the brief hiatus from our “10 Things About Realtors” series in lieu of the holidays and some more festive posts, we are back with a sturdy pat on the back to our realtor friends. Our fourth fun fact about realtors is actually a good thing for For Sale by Owners who are dealing with a buyer’s agent.
There is a legal obligation on behalf of buyer’s agents to provide sellers with any information pertaining to their buyer.
According to Stephen Israel, president of a Maryland-based company that represents homebuyers: “Legally, brokers are obligated to provide their sellers with any information that can help them get the best prices for their homes. If you tell the broker that you’re willing to pay $500,000 but want to offer $450,000, they’ll pass that on to the seller. They have to.”
Now if you’re an FSBO, this can be a great thing. With this information readily available, you’ll know when and how much to negotiate with your buyer. The name of the FSBO game is knowledge—asking prices, negotiations, lenders—all of it. The more info that you have about your buyer, the easier it will be to sell the property. For instance, if you take the case above, you’ll know to retain the $495K you asked for your house instead of dropping down to the buyer’s $450K offer.
So working with realtors isn’t always a bad thing for an FSBO to do. They can come in handy every now and then.