For Sale By Owner (FSBO)
Whether buying or selling a home, a title company is a vital part of the For Sale by Owner transaction. At United Title, we can simplify the process of selling your home without paying for a real estate agent or purchasing one listed as FSBO. Our company has nearly three decades of experience with closing and land title transactions for both residential and commercial properties.
What is a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) Transaction?
For Sale By Owner, or FSBO, is a home that is sold directly by the owner without the help of a real estate agent. The benefit to the seller is that they are not paying a commission on the sale, which can range from 3 to 6 percent of the sales price. But this also means that the seller is responsible for handling many of the details of the transaction.
Over the past 5-10 years, more and more homeowners have chosen to sell on their home on their own. This can be particularly profitable during a seller’s market. As far back as 2016, Redfin concluded that up to 25 percent of homes were being sold without the help of a full-service agent. That figure is likely much higher today.
But, even in the hottest markets, you should only choose the DIY route if you are ready to put in the time and effort it will require. When you act as your own representative, you’ll need to be ready to:
- Establish the right value for your property
- Present and market your home effectively
- Negotiate offers and deal with buyers’ real estate agents
- Prescreen potential buyers
- Creating a strong sales contract and following a strict schedule
Fortunately, you can get assistance with some of these items while still maintaining the advantages of an FSBO transaction.
Trust is the Key to a Successful Maryland FSBO Closing
Real estate agents generally serve as the intermediaries between buyers and sellers. If you plan to enter a transaction without an agent, you must be armed with some facts and get the help you need from a qualified authority in handling FSBO transactions.
Not every title company is equipped to handle FSBO deals, but United Title has experience helping buyers and sellers in Maryland navigate these sometimes complicated waters. Our real estate attorneys and title professionals have a singular goal – to make sure the closing happens according to the terms you create.
The Role of Your Title Agency in FSBO Real Estate Transactions
When you decide to handle the sale of your home on your own, you may be a bit overwhelmed with some of the tasks you have to accomplish. The team of experienced title insurance and real estate law professionals at United Title will guide you every step of the way to ensure a smooth transfer of title and closing. Some of the services we provide include:
Sales Contract Preparation
Long gone are the days when property changes ownership through a simple handshake agreement. Now, there’s a lot of ink involved. And some contracts can contain confusing clauses, difficult to understand phrases and very specific industry language. The purchase agreement is an integral part of an FSBO home sale.
The seller is generally responsible for drafting the real estate purchase agreement. As your trusted closing company, we can advise you on contract matters and even have our real estate attorney draft one for you. If the buyer’s representative supplies the contract, our team can review it to ensure it meets your goals and protects your interests.
Some real estate transactions involve disputes over various matters or contract terms. We can also advise and represent you if a dispute arises.
Few buyers are willing to hand over purchase funds or a deposit directly to a seller. So, escrow services are a vital part of any FSBO sale. Escrow acts as a neutral third party that holds onto funds until the transaction closes.
Our title company can coordinate escrow for your FSBO transaction. This gives both buyers and sellers peace of mind and the security protection they need when completing an important transaction like the purchase or sale of a property.
A title search assures the buyer and seller that the FSBO seller is the legal owner of the property. Our company conducts a title search to reveal any possible defects tied to the property’s title. If there are issues, they must be resolved before the sale can be completed.
We do an extensive search of real estate records that will reveal the following information:
- The property’s owner
- Any liens or judgments
- Any unpaid taxes
- Any outstanding mortgages
- Any existing leases, restrictions, or easements that may affect the property
Once our search is complete, we assist the buyer in clearing up any issues before the transaction can move forward. Once those are resolved, our company issues a “commitment of title” insurance for the prospective buyer and/or lender.
United Title provides comprehensive title insurance protection for sellers, buyers, and lenders. When it comes to FSBO transactions, title insurance is essential, but it doesn’t differ from any other type of transaction.
Upon completion of the purchase agreement and title search, our closing agent will initiate the insurance process. A title insurance underwriter will issue the policy to ensure that the buyer and/or lender continue to remain protected after closing.
United Title provides FSBO clients and buyers with a comfortable closing location. We prepare all the legal documents, including the Closing Disclosure (or HUD statement), well in advance of your scheduled closing date. Because we can also serve as the escrow agent, our firm can hold onto escrow funds and pay property and other tax payments on the buyer’s behalf. We also record the mortgage, deed, and all other necessary documents with the Clerk of the Court.
Looking for FSBO Closing Services or Title Insurance in Maryland?
United Title has been providing title services throughout Maryland since 1983. We are one of the leading title companies in Maryland and remain passionate about helping clients achieve a seamless transfer of property. Our company maintains strong relationships with many of this area’s top underwriters, giving our clients particular advantages. Contact our office today at (410) 544-5441 to receive a quote for services.