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Buying & Selling Real Estate

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Dominic Nguyen
  • Fort Worth, TX
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Buying house from neighbor without a real estate agent

Dominic Nguyen
  • Fort Worth, TX
Posted Feb 27 2024, 21:16

I was approached by my neighbor if I wanted to purchase their house since they plan to move in the next three months for new job opportunities. It will be an off market deal. To save on fees for both parties, we are planning to handle the transaction ourselves. I plan to form a partnership with three other friends for this deal. 

1. When should I form this partnship and open a business bank account to pool capital?

2. What documents should we be prepared to fill out?

3. Should we work with a lawyer?

4. I assume we should get the property appraised? How else can we get the property valued correctly?

5. Should we remove the real estate agents from this transaction?

The most important question is should we do this at all?

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Jason Wray
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Jason Wray
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Replied Feb 27 2024, 21:44

Dominic,

You have a lot of questions which is great but the questions demonstrate this is your first REI and having partners can complicate things if not handled correctly. This is where having a seasoned real estate agent comes in handy. Realtors are well versed in contract law and verbiage to help avoid issues during and after closing.

Agents also work closely with the Bank/Lender to help the buyers and sellers close on time and without issues. The Bank handles the appraisal you cannot order one by law if financing is involved due to AMC rules under the Dodd Frank act. The Bank also communicates with the title company to order chain of title and require lender/title insurance. That will provide you with confidence knowing there are no taxes owned or unpaid liens.

I have worked with Lucia Rushton in DFW multiple times who can great agent and it is well worth using her to avoid painful mistakes!  You can find her on Bigger Pockets as well reach out to @Lucia Rushton

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Replied Feb 28 2024, 05:10
Quote from @Dominic Nguyen:

I was approached by my neighbor if I wanted to purchase their house since they plan to move in the next three months for new job opportunities. It will be an off market deal. To save on fees for both parties, we are planning to handle the transaction ourselves. I plan to form a partnership with three other friends for this deal. 

1. When should I form this partnship and open a business bank account to pool capital?

2. What documents should we be prepared to fill out?

3. Should we work with a lawyer?

4. I assume we should get the property appraised? How else can we get the property valued correctly?

5. Should we remove the real estate agents from this transaction?

The most important question is should we do this at all?

Why aren’t you telling us whether you’re getting a mortgage? Are the three/four of you holding equal percentages of the title?

You will need a lawyer.
You will need an appraisal.
You will need a home inspection.
You will need title insurance.
You will need a contract with the Seller.
You will need some sort of partnership agreement if not a bog standard common law agreement as defined by your state.
You will need a survey.
You will need to heed the advice of the attorney in whether you need any other documents, and in what any document must provide for.

You will need to have in your above documents what happens if you don’t like what is revealed or if there is a failure to get a document.

The presence of a real estate agent is irrelevant to those things.

Do NOT focus on saving the commission. Focus on the steps of a deal.

Make sure each partner has his money up front, and agree as to how you handle disagreements.
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Theresa Harris
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Replied Feb 28 2024, 05:32

You can do this without a realtor.  Contact a lawyer and have them draw up the agreements.

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Dominic Nguyen
  • Fort Worth, TX
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Dominic Nguyen
  • Fort Worth, TX
Replied Feb 28 2024, 06:15
Quote from @John Clark:
Quote from @Dominic Nguyen:

I was approached by my neighbor if I wanted to purchase their house since they plan to move in the next three months for new job opportunities. It will be an off market deal. To save on fees for both parties, we are planning to handle the transaction ourselves. I plan to form a partnership with three other friends for this deal. 

1. When should I form this partnship and open a business bank account to pool capital?

2. What documents should we be prepared to fill out?

3. Should we work with a lawyer?

4. I assume we should get the property appraised? How else can we get the property valued correctly?

5. Should we remove the real estate agents from this transaction?

The most important question is should we do this at all?

Why aren’t you telling us whether you’re getting a mortgage? Are the three/four of you holding equal percentages of the title?

You will need a lawyer.
You will need an appraisal.
You will need a home inspection.
You will need title insurance.
You will need a contract with the Seller.
You will need some sort of partnership agreement if not a bog standard common law agreement as defined by your state.
You will need a survey.
You will need to heed the advice of the attorney in whether you need any other documents, and in what any document must provide for.

You will need to have in your above documents what happens if you don’t like what is revealed or if there is a failure to get a document.

The presence of a real estate agent is irrelevant to those things.

Do NOT focus on saving the commission. Focus on the steps of a deal.

Make sure each partner has his money up front, and agree as to how you handle disagreements.

The 4 of us each will own 25% of interest in this partnership. We definitely will seek to have a mortgage. I was thinking to get the price locked down through appraisal and negotiation, then we will pay the equity in cash to the seller and assume their mortgage. Have you seen that done? 

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Dominic Nguyen
  • Fort Worth, TX
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Dominic Nguyen
  • Fort Worth, TX
Replied Feb 28 2024, 06:34
Quote from @Jason Wray:

Dominic,

You have a lot of questions which is great but the questions demonstrate this is your first REI and having partners can complicate things if not handled correctly. This is where having a seasoned real estate agent comes in handy. Realtors are well versed in contract law and verbiage to help avoid issues during and after closing.

Agents also work closely with the Bank/Lender to help the buyers and sellers close on time and without issues. The Bank handles the appraisal you cannot order one by law if financing is involved due to AMC rules under the Dodd Frank act. The Bank also communicates with the title company to order chain of title and require lender/title insurance. That will provide you with confidence knowing there are no taxes owned or unpaid liens.

I have worked with Lucia Rushton in DFW multiple times who can great agent and it is well worth using her to avoid painful mistakes!  You can find her on Bigger Pockets as well reach out to @Lucia Rushton


Thanks, Jason, for the referral. This will be my first REI. I decided to pull the trigger after a few years of listening to this podcast and reading up on posts in this forum.

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Dominic Nguyen
  • Fort Worth, TX
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Dominic Nguyen
  • Fort Worth, TX
Replied Feb 28 2024, 06:35
Quote from @Account Closed:
Quote from @Dominic Nguyen:

I was approached by my neighbor if I wanted to purchase their house since they plan to move in the next three months for new job opportunities. It will be an off market deal. To save on fees for both parties, we are planning to handle the transaction ourselves. I plan to form a partnership with three other friends for this deal. 

1. When should I form this partnship and open a business bank account to pool capital?

2. What documents should we be prepared to fill out?

3. Should we work with a lawyer?

4. I assume we should get the property appraised? How else can we get the property valued correctly?

5. Should we remove the real estate agents from this transaction?

The most important question is should we do this at all?

Yes. You can do this. Contact a real estate attorney to draw up the paperwork.  Have the attorney order a title report if they don't do that in-house. Make sure you order Homowner's Insurance.

Have an appraisal done. Have an inspection done if you choose to. (optional, but many choose to have it done.)

Real estate agents are good for finding buyers, negotiating price and details. If no real estate agency has been established, you are good. If the seller has signed an agreement with an agent, you have to follow the contract.

But if you already have a buyer and seller and everyone agrees on the price and details, then you just need the attorney. Always ask the attorney if you are missing anything and if there is something else you should know. Make them "think" for their pay. Let them teach you the process.
Thank you, Ken. I will look for a real estate attorney in DFW area. Do you have any recommendations?

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Glen Wiley
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  • Richmond, VA
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Glen Wiley
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Replied Feb 28 2024, 06:41

Use a RE attorney for the closing - they will ensure that all of the right forms are handled properly.

I have always used an attorney, even when we have had a realtor and it has saved me money on multiple occasions.

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Dominic Nguyen
  • Fort Worth, TX
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Dominic Nguyen
  • Fort Worth, TX
Replied Feb 28 2024, 06:58
Quote from @Glen Wiley:

Use a RE attorney for the closing - they will ensure that all of the right forms are handled properly.

I have always used an attorney, even when we have had a realtor and it has saved me money on multiple occasions.


 Do you have any recommendations for a RE attorney in DFW area? What has been the cost estimate in your experience?

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Glen Wiley
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Glen Wiley
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Replied Feb 28 2024, 07:02
Quote from @Dominic Nguyen:
Quote from @Glen Wiley:

Use a RE attorney for the closing - they will ensure that all of the right forms are handled properly.

I have always used an attorney, even when we have had a realtor and it has saved me money on multiple occasions.


 Do you have any recommendations for a RE attorney in DFW area? What has been the cost estimate in your experience?


Sorry - I am in Virginia. We have spent about $500-$800 on attorney costs at closings depending on the complexity. Ask for references from a few realtors.

I will say that the front office/paralegals are the people you actually want to get. The lawyer usually does very little apart from signing a few forms and a cursory review. The front office staff do the heavy lifting of chasing loose ends, checking details, etc. We stayed with our attorney for 20 years due to this one person he had in the front office who was a superhero.

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Haresh Patel
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Haresh Patel
  • Investor
  • Irving, TX
Replied Feb 28 2024, 12:45

@Dominic Nguyen

Yesef Cordero in Grand Prairie. We did one transaction with them.

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Preston Dean
  • Realtor
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Preston Dean
  • Realtor
  • Fort Worth, TX
Replied Mar 5 2024, 10:39
Quote from @Dominic Nguyen:

I was approached by my neighbor if I wanted to purchase their house since they plan to move in the next three months for new job opportunities. It will be an off market deal. To save on fees for both parties, we are planning to handle the transaction ourselves. I plan to form a partnership with three other friends for this deal. 

1. When should I form this partnship and open a business bank account to pool capital?

2. What documents should we be prepared to fill out?

3. Should we work with a lawyer?

4. I assume we should get the property appraised? How else can we get the property valued correctly?

5. Should we remove the real estate agents from this transaction?

The most important question is should we do this at all?

 @Dominic Nguyen It can be done but just from what it sounds like you have a lot of good questions! And this won't be the last of the questions. Something to think of is a title policy and a title search. What if you go through the contract and find out that there is a lein on the property... if that happens then you might wish you have worked with an agent! There's nothing out of your pocket to use a RE agent.