Here's a quick example of how a "FSBO" (For Sale By Owner) can benefit not only a home seller, but a home buyer as well.
I recently represented a young family relocating to the Bay Area. They had found a home they were interested in, and gave me a call to confirm something they surmised from viewing my web site.
They felt like they needed the services of a real estate agent in submitting an offer, and in reviewing and understanding the various contract, addenda, disclosure, escrow and title related documents. But they also recognized that by hiring my firm, they could take the difference between the 2.5% to 3% fee the buyer's agent would take (as much as $27,000, for this $900,000 home) compared to the fee my firm would charge (between $3,000 and $7,500 for most sales), and credit that against the purchase price.
We prepared the offer, explained the arrangement to the listing agent in advance, and quickly reached agreement on the price. In simple terms, my clients were able to save almost $20,000 on the $900,000 home by using my office to represent them in the purchase. Now, it takes cooperation from the seller and the agent, but this was not an obstacle, since we structured the offer to make sure the listing agent received the same commission she would have received at the listing price.
A little over a month after making the offer, my clients moved into their beautiful new home. And they had an extra $20,000 in their pocket to boot.