A house is only worth what it is worth regardless of whether a real estate agent is involved or not. So, a home that is worth $100,000 that is offered by the homeowner is still worth $100,000 if it is offered by an agent. The difference is that a FSBO has that additional 5-7% negotiation room. For example: If a homeowner sells that $100,000 home for $98,000, they have made more money than if they had to pay a real estate agent $5,000 or $7,000 in a commission. AND, the buyer has saved $2,000... instant equity!
It has been said that the buyer does not pay the real estate commission. Well... using the previous example, who really paid the commission? Both the buyer and seller did. The buyer in the form of a higher sales price, and the seller in the form of a reduced equity check.
Analyze your situation and make sure that you are ready to buy a house or property, whether it is your first or not. Look at how long you will be in the area, at your job, family size, etc. Be sure it makes sense to buy now.
Discuss what your particular needs are with your family or partner before you start to look at properties. List your "must have" features and your other "nice to have, but not absolutely necessary" features. After viewing a few properties, re-evaluate your criteria. Needs will change over time. Be sure to include neighborhood criteria. Those are much harder to change than a few coats of paint.
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