If you haven't bought very many homes in the past, I would recommend that you get an agent.
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.
@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.
@Marian Smith Okay, I check amazon and there are some books that you can sell your house by owner. Is there one in particular you recommend?
@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.
Check the reviews... but anything by Nolo press would be good.
@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.
@Marian Smith Thank you, I'll look into it (:
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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