Buying a home For Sale by Owner (FSBO) means that you’ll buy without the guidance of a real estate agent, that doesn’t mean you’re on your own.


You’ll still have a team of professionals working to help you close successfully. Whether you’re using an agent, or not, every real estate transaction will include individuals who provide assistance along the way. Let’s review each key player and how they will help you get the keys to your new home. 


1. Loan Officer. If you are financing your home purchase, contacting a bank or mortgage company will be your first step in the home buying process. Discuss your financials with a loan officer to provide guidance on how much home you can afford. A loan officer will go over interest rate options, fees, and other details of a mortgage. Be sure to get a pre-qualification or pre-approval letter to provide with your offer on a home. A pre-approval letter will strengthen your offer and let a seller know that you’re a serious buyer. Once an offer is accepted, a loan officer will help you with your loan application and oversee the paperwork. The loan officer is also in charge of ordering an appraisal on the home. They will send the loan information to your escrow agent prior to closing.  


2. Escrow Agent. Typically, the seller will choose an escrow agency to assist with the closing process. An escrow agent is an employee of the escrow company that acts as an independent third party to handle the formal closing of your real estate transaction. Once a purchase agreement has been signed, you’ll deposit earnest money into an escrow account. The escrow account is managed by your escrow officer. The escrow agent will receive final loan documents from a loan officer and notify you of the funds required at closing. Once an agent has prepared all the documents necessary to close, you will receive a settlement statement. Be sure to review this statement prior to signing the closing documents.


3. Home Inspector. As soon as you’re under contract on your future home, search online for a local home inspector. A home inspector will conduct a physical examination to identify whether any components in the home are deficient, unsafe, or nearing the end of their life. Ordering a home inspection report will help to identify major issues that may need to be resolved prior to taking ownership. If major concerns are discovered in the home inspection, ask your home inspector for the estimated cost to replace or repair the item. Having an idea of cost for repair or replacement is beneficial when you communicate the concerns with the seller.


4. Title Officer. Along with escrow agents, a seller will typically decide on a title agency to help with the closing process. A title officer will produce a title report for the property that should identify the title history of the home and bring to light any concerns, such as liens from contractors or other entities. When the title report is provided, be sure to ask the title officer to review the report with you. Consider hiring a real estate attorney if any title issues are discovered. The Title Officer will also oversee the issuance of title insurance.


5. Insurance Agent. Homeowner’s insurance is recommended whether you are purchasing with a mortgage or paying cash.  Insurance protects your home in case of damage. Compare different insurance agents to ensure the best rate and discover your coverage options.


6. Appraiser. If you are getting a mortgage, your lending agency will typically order an appraisal. If you are paying cash, it may still be worthwhile to hire an appraiser to ensure you’re not overpaying for the home. An appraiser will determine the estimated current market value by factoring in the details and condition of the home as well as comparable sales of nearby properties. It is an important step in the closing process, especially when using a lender for the purchase. The value determined by the appraisal is the amount a bank will lend on a property. If this value comes in below the purchase price, your mortgage lender will notify you of the discrepancy and discuss next steps.






Buying a home is a big investment. Multiple professionals work to protect you along the way. For Sale by Owner means the seller is not using a real estate agent; buyers still have support from a whole team of professionals. In addition to the key players listed above, buyers using fsboHandshake gain access to our personal support and guidance.



fsboHandshake provides the tools and guidance to complete for sale by owner real estate transactions with confidence, all the way from initial offer to close.