160 S. Municipal Dr. Suite 100, Sugar Grove, IL 60554

Illinois For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Transactions


Attorneys Providing Real Estate Representation in Sugar Grove and Throughout Kane County

A growing trend in Illinois and elsewhere in America, for sale by owner (FSBO) transactions occur when the seller of a particular piece of real estate attempts to handle all aspects of the transaction alone. Many sellers are attracted to the idea of FSBO transactions because it appears to be an opportunity to save costs and avoid paying expensive fees to real estate agents. But buyers – and sellers – must beware. If you rush into a FSBO transaction, you may end up getting more than you bargained for.

How FSBO Transactions Work

An FSBO transaction begins with a decision by the seller to sell the property without the professional assistance of a realtor or attorney. Instead, the seller assumes responsibility for listing and showing the property, drafting the sales contract, and handling many other aspects of the sale. The seller's primary goal is usually to eliminate as many costs as possible, allowing him or her to keep as much of the profit from the sale as he or she can. Such a seller may choose to deal only with buyers who are not using a realtor themselves. Ultimately, the seller retains control over the transaction.

Buyers Beware

First-time homebuyers or cash-strapped homebuyers may be attracted to FSBO transactions because they promise lower costs than a traditional real estate transaction. But as a buyer, you must be well-informed and experienced in order to avoid potential problems. For instance, a buyer in a FSBO transaction should:

  • Know what to look for in a home inspection and be prepared to have such an inspection conducted;
  • Know what disclosures the seller is required to make by law and how to insist that the seller make these disclosures;
  • Know what reasonable real estate contract terms are and how to negotiate for better terms; and
  • Know his or her rights under the law and not be afraid to insist on his or her rights.

Sellers Must Also Be Careful

Sellers must also be careful in FSBO transactions. The law imposes certain duties and responsibilities on sellers. If you fail to perform these tasks (such as disclose the existence of lead or other toxins in the house), you can find yourself sued and facing significant penalties. Unless you are skilled in drafting real estate contracts, your contract may not adequately protect your interests, leaving you and your home vulnerable.

How Our Attorneys Can Help

Whether you are a buyer or a seller in a FSBO transaction, take advantage of our free consultation and discuss your situation with us. We can analyze your circumstances and advise you of how best to protect yourself and your interests in a FSBO transaction. Whether you realize you need professional help throughout the process or only need a contract reviewed, we can help you. Contact the skilled Sugar Grove real estate attorneys at the Law Office of James F. White, P.C. today for assistance with your FSBO transaction.


160 S. Municipal Dr. Suite 100, Sugar Grove, IL 60554

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