You just sold my home and I am interested in possibly buying a home that is for sale by owner in Imlay City for $140,000. When I scheduled to go and view the home I asked if I could bring you through to just help me determine a fair price. The owner told me that she would not allow any Realtors to come through her home. I told her I would compensate you for your time and it would not cost her anything. She still refused. I would like you to look at it to tell me what is fair before I buy it. What can I do?
— L.H., Imlay City
L.H., The owner of a home has every right to not allow a Realtor through their home if that is what they choose to do. However, you also have a choice to not deal with someone who obviously doesn't want you to seek professional advice. It is amazing that with today's market that a home seller would not roll out the red carpet for a bona fide buyer such as yourself. If this owner really wanted to actually sell her home then she would be willing to allow buyers to bring whomever they wanted to view her home. The fact that she refuses to let a professional view her home with you to help you determine a fair price tells me that she knows her home is overpriced and is afraid she will lose a potential sale when I inform you of her home's true value. She would rather have you come alone and make a very important decision by yourself so that you are more likely to pay $140,000 rather than get an independent professional's opinion of its real value. The market is overflowing with homes for sale and many of them are still holding on to prices from 2003. You as a home buyer have the "pick of the litter". Make sure you take advantage of that fact. I would recommend that you inform the seller that you may be interested in buying her home but that you will not agree to a price until you are allowed to have a professional of your choice view the home with you. If she refuses then walk away. There are 100 other homes currently for sale in the area and only a handful of buyers like you. I am sure you can find a home where the owner is willing to work with you on your terms not theirs.
Alex Lengemann is a licensed Real Estate Broker who operates RealtyVolution.com, a local real estate company. You can Ask Alex your real estate or mortgage questions by phone 810-664-1819 or by email Alex@RealtyVolution.com.