From “Ask Kit!”:
Q: How can I make an offer for a bed and breakfast that is for sale by owner? I only know how to buy houses when I can go through the seller’s agent.
A: I’m biased on this topic. I think any buyer should have their own agent, whether the seller has one or not. When I was a B&B Broker I counseled my clients to first ask if the seller would pay a commission. If the seller wouldn’t pay a commission we would still pursue negotiating a sale price and then add a commission on top of the agreed price. Those two approaches have always worked for me.
I can see the possibility for the seller to refuse to pay a commission under any circumstance, but that would clue me in that they won’t be reasonable in other negotiations during the purchase process. I’d personally walk away from the deal.