Purchasing property without agent

15 Replies

Hello everyone, I was just curious to see if there are any guides out there for buying a property that’s not on the mls with an agent. Let’s say I find a motivated seller, we want to get get the deal going and we are set on the price, what’s next? I do know that I can get an official purchase and sale agreement from my local title company. Should an attorney look at it? I’d assume not. But what else is there to it apart from the P&S agreement. Is there a process to follow for someone that has never purchased a house this way or some sort of checklist. Any advice helps. thank you.

I thought the same thing. You could save money doing things yourself but you could also lose big if you mess anything up. I've purchased 6 houses and feel pretty good about what needs to be done. Getting an agent (even a discount agent) would give you peace of mind that things were done right. Kind of like  an insurance policy.

In the contract, it spells out who pays for what. Prepaid taxes, document fees, etc...

You also have sellers disclosure, inspection, appraisal, etc.

The last house we bought I represented myself and the seller had an agent. I was very nervous but took care of everything myself. Making phone calls and setting up appointments. We ran into a problem because the roof was bad and mortgage company wouldn't finance because insurance company wouldn't insure house with the current roof. I had to go back to seller and insist that they replace the roof before we moved forward. Then I had to get roof company to send paperwork to mortgage company once they finished and have insurance company come back out to inspect again prior to closing. It was a crazy couple of weeks and very stressful dealing with this and working full time.

@Sergio Aguinaga There used to be books in the public library on “selling your house fsbo.” They outlined the process. The main assumption is that both you and the seller can read and understand the sales contract you will be using...and it should be readily understandable. If both parties agree on terms (price, etc), you could always hire a RE attorney to go over with and explain the contract to the seller before he or she signs for probably a 1/2-1 hour consultation. Much less than 3% typical for realtor.

@Alan Pederson You're correct and I agree, it would be nice to get some experience with purchasing properties with an agent but usually there's tutorials about this kind of stuff so once you buy 1 or 2 properties on the MLS with an agent, the buyer should be relatively comfortable with purchasing houses. So I would want to take it to the next step and learn everything there is regarding purchasing properties without an agent.

@Sergio Aguinaga what state are you looking to buy the homes in with the motivated sellers? I think it would make sense for your attorney to look over your contracts. You want to ensure the proper contingencies are there for you. If you need financing (mortgage or otherwise), you want to have a clause for that. Are you doing an inspection or appraisal? If so, you'll want a clause for that. You absolutely want to have a condition in there that the seller is providing you with clear title, free of liens and encumbrances. If you don't have some of these clauses in there, you can lose your earnest money. Even worse, you can close and then get stuck with headaches you never wanted. An attorney can guide you through these. 

Using an agent to buy an off-market property doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but Alan is correct, you could mess things up if you don't know how to fill out the purchase contract properly.

@Dan Barli State of MI. I can get an attorney to look over the contract, but isn't there just a purchase & sale contract that the title company gives which SHOULD contain all of the necessary information? Like let's say I want 2 contingencies which are usually the ones people get which are financing and inspection contingencies, shouldn't there be contracts with these already. 

@Ian Kee Right, it can mess me up but that's why I wish there was some tutorial that highlights all the important points, clauses, what's necessary, etc. when purchasing on off market property.

There may be @Sergio Aguinaga , but if you want to ensure that you are protected properly, I would suggest you have an attorney involved. Generally title companies don't provide contracts for the purchase of property. 

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