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Buying a Home Directly from the Owners

Buying property? Veronica Morgan explains why dealing directly with the owner can be very tricky.

After we finished filming with Kerry and Wayne, they ultimately found a property “for sale by owner” that suited their needs.  The vendors happened to be friends of theirs, so they expected an easy negotiation process.  Yet it turned out to be anything but!

It's a fantasy many buyers have: a simple real estate transaction where you find an off-market property and get a chance to buy a home without dealing with pesky real estate agents.

But take it from me, dealing directly with the owner can be very tricky for a number of reasons.

Firstly, property owners often start the sales process with an inflated idea of what their property is worth.  A skilled agent will play a crucial role in managing their expectations, so without engaging a professional, a vendor can be pretty out of control when it comes to price.

And then owners are often very emotional about their homes and can react badly if you don't think it's worth what they think it is.    

But it can get even more complicated if there are issues with the property that need to be addressed. Who is there to advise the vendor about what constitutes a reasonable buyer demand?  Solicitors and conveyancers can be called upon for advice but often make recommendations that can risk the sale.  They aren't all very commercial when it comes to negotiations and they can sometimes be very cut and dried when it comes to advice.

This is the situation that Wayne and Kerry found themselves in after we had finished our property search.  Some friends of theirs decided to sell their home and it seemed perfect for their family.  So they started negotiations and agreed on a price - somewhat lower than the friends wanted and somewhat higher than Wayne and Kerry wanted to pay.  After striking a deal they discovered that there was a question mark over council approval of a pool and that's where things became uncomfortable.

All of a sudden, the deal looked shaky as the owners initially did not realise that they needed to address some compliance issues before a sale could proceed.  If a real estate agent was handling the sale there is a good chance that this would have been sorted out before negotiations commenced.  And this would have resulted in a smoother transaction.

So, agents aren’t just there to make the buyer’s life difficult!  Their role is to also advise their clients on what they need to do to prepare their property for sale.

The good news is that eventually the owners got some good advice and proceeded to get the necessary approvals.  And Wayne and Kerry finally got their family home.

Veronica Morgan also blogs on her website: www.gooddeeds.com.au/buyers-tips-and-the-property-market.


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Posted by PropertyReport
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