In this market of 'competing offers', some buyers may feel it would be easier and cheaper to buy a "Private Sale". After all, they don't usually get 'multiple offers', and quite often sell for the asking-price or even less. However, there are other potential pitfalls.
I recently met a nice lady, Ana M., who came to me after loosing out on one of the "Private Sales". Here is her experience:
"I put in a reasonable offer, and the home-owner took it and told me that they "had to think about it for a week". I was a little shocked, and called them every couple of days to see what was happening. In the meantime, I could not look at other homes, because this private seller could accept my offer at any time, and I could not make offers on other houses in the meantime.
At the end of the week, they called me to say that they had accepted another offer. I did not even know there WERE any other offers. Now I've wasted a week waiting for this, and it's a week closer to the time when I need to move."
Ana's story is not unusual. It's important to point out that for that entire week, she could not put in offers elsewhere, for fear of having two offers accepted.
I understand the frustration of loosing a home in a 'bidding war', but on the upside, at least my buyers have an answer (accepted offer or rejected offer) usually THAT same evening. If our offer is NOT accepted, we are free to continue looking, and are not in limbo for a week.
The other downside to the 'private sale' route is this: How do you know the home is actually worth what the owner is asking? If you are working with a REALTOR® , we have access to the true sales-stats, including the prices of recently sold and similar homes. If you are competing against 2, 3 or even more people, at least you know that this is a popular home, and there are other people who want this same home.
In a 'private sale', if you are the only offer, are you sure that the home is worth the asking price?
Thats just one of the benefits of using a licensed REALTOR® : Call me anytime for more information.