It hurts me to write this post, because it's about a client of mine who I really care about. He is planning on buying a FSBO property, wants to have me involved--yet signed a document prepared by the seller that offers him absolutely no protection as a buyer following the inspections. I cannot represent him in the transaction--he signed the contract without my review.
The seller will not complete a seller's disclosure, outlining the condition of the property. The sales is 'as is'. If my buyer chooses to go through with the purchase after inspections, there are no clauses in the contract about default, financing, appraisals, casualty loss, title work investigation, or conveying the property in the condition he purchased it.
If something goes wrong with the house before closing--too bad. My buyer has to go through with the sale. And there are so many things that can go wrong: burglary break in to steal copper, pipes freezing and bursting, hail storm that damages roof, liens on title work, insurance may not be obtained, etc. I cannot discuss the inspection results with him or follow up with the seller to be sure he's doing what needs to be done to close on time. And this is a home that hasn't been lived in for several years--it needs quite a bit of repair work inside and out.
So many people thing it's easy to sell a house..and yes, some FSBO transactions go smoothly. But as a FSBO buyer, you better be sure you have a valid contract that protects you as a buyer during the buying process up until closing. If you won't hire an agent, hire a real estate lawyer. Is it worth it to risk that much money to DIY if you don't know what you are doing?