IfÂ you don’t alreadyÂ know, F.S.B.O.Â stands for:Â “For Sale By Owner.” Meaning, no Realtor involved. Why? You save money in commissions. And if you’re into that, you can also save money but cutting your own hair, doing your own dental work, defending yourself in court and cutting out your own appendix if you eat too many strawberries.
Actually, sometimes, it’s a good strategy; things go smoothly and everyone’s happy. But sometimes it doesn’t work out so well. I just came acrossÂ Alan Jacobson, 51, who hasÂ devoted an entireÂ website to his February 2007 FSBO experience on a website he’s developed called FSBOGoneWrong.com.
In some respects,Â his awful experienceÂ hasn’t got much to do with what we do at Condo Metropolis. After all we usuallyÂ represent buyers, not sellers.Â Except buyers need Realtors too. And manyÂ buyers don’t realize that sinceÂ it’s the seller who normally pays forÂ both Realtor’s expenses (hence the tendency to try and save money) buyers have nothing to lose, and everything to gain by using an agent.
So if, as a buyer, you walkÂ into a condo development (or an open house) with outÂ your ownÂ agent you’ll probably be met by one anyway. An agent who will probably seem quite helpful and answer many of your questions and even give you a tour. So what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong is, you’re talking to the developer’s, i.e. the seller’s agent. And guess what? They’re being paid to represent the seller’s interests, not yours.Â They are there to sell you a condo. They will not always disclose important information to you about the property, they do not have to keep your information confidential and they are not there to negotiate you the best deal in town. When youÂ bring your own agent, that person has your in interests at heart. And since this peace of mind costsÂ the buyerÂ nothing, you’d have to be crazy to go it alone, right?
ButÂ since many websites (like CondoMetropolis.com) now offer buyers the ability to browse condominiums at no chargeÂ on the internet, buyersÂ begin to think that since they can locate their condoÂ on their own, they don’t need a Realtor. And that’s where it all starts to go wrong. Because finding the condo is only the beginning of the process. A Realtor will attempt to:
So browse away on Condo Metropolis. Find what you’re looking for – but once you’ve found what interests you, call us (or email us) to safeguard your interests. Remember, if you visit a condoÂ on your own, and youÂ fail (or forget)Â to tell the on-site agent that you have an agent, you will normallyÂ be prevented fromÂ bringingÂ them inÂ later in the deal. That’s just the way it goes. So make sure you register your agent orÂ your intent to use one, the first time you visit a community and are asked toÂ fill out that registration card. If you want to use CondoMetropolis.com as your agent then we’d be happy toÂ help you narrow down your choices andÂ accompany you -Â or if you prefer to go alone, you can still save time by printing out one of our registration forms before you go. Just hand it to the agent on-site and you’ll be good to go!