Do I need an agent if my renters want to buy my place

11 Replies

Hi there.  My renters are interested in buying my property, and I am interested in selling.  Assuming we agree on the price do you think it possible to do all the paper work ourselves?  Or, with a lawyer (who is a relative and would do it for free).  In the Bay Area could I find a realtor who would handle all the transactions for a flat fee, say $5-10k, which would be 1-1.5% of purchase.  Easy money right?

contact any title company and they will prepare the correct paperwork. No need for an expensive realtor. All they would do is be the middleman for the title company. 

If you agree on price and your buyers are approved for financing, your attorney relative should be able to set it all up including the contract if both parties are comfortable with terms.  No need for an agent unless you really need assistance getting through negotiations, inspections, walk-through, etc.  A friend recently had a tenant through the tenant's agent want to buy their house, and it fell through even with the agent involved as the tenant didn't qualify for the financing.  They didn't check, thinking the agent had it covered, so I'd personally talk to their lender and make sure it's a strong pre-approval, unlikely to fall through, before proceeding.    

I am doing the same thing right now in New York and I had my lawyer handle what the realtor does. On my end it was painless and cost me 100$ more that previous sales.  Worked out well and I was able to give a slight discount to renter/purchaser without it hurting profit margin

@Kathleen Albert selling a house involves a lot of disclosures which title companies are not going to help you with, so the idea you can have the title company do everything is misleading. If you get a lawyer to do it you need to make sure that not only the state disclosures are prepared and fully executed, but also the local ones. Each county and city has their own point of sale requirements and many of the water/sewer districts have requirements for sewer lateral tests and clearances so you need to make sure who ever helps you is aware of ALL of the paperwork that needs to be in perfect order, not just the contract. The reason for doing everything correctly is that most problems come up after the sale. And my experience has shown me that the easier the sale for the seller the more likely they are to have problems post sale. If the paperwork for the seller and all the disclosures are not perfect, the seller loses. And the loss is a lot more than the 5 or 10K you saved by not using an expert. So bottom line for me is get an expert to help. That expert can be a lawyer or a realtor, but who ever it is they must know what they are doing, because if not, it could come back to bite you. Unless of course you are not risk adverse and saving a few thousand is more important than having more peace of mind. No judgement here, I know lot's of successful and lucky investors who are not risk adverse. Just ask yourself if you are one of them. And yes, there are realtors who will do it for a flat fee. Again, you need to make sure they know what they are doing.

For your sake listen to what Marcy is saying! You need someone that knows the current laws and what disclosures you need to protect yourself. If you don’t use a professional and things go wrong they will go very wrong really fast and it will cost you ten of thousands of dollars if not much more. Title companies do not give you disclosures to give to a buyer. Once things begin to break or the buyer finds out about costly repairs they will be angry with you and wonder why you did not make them aware of it. Without the proper disclosures you are putting yourself at risk. Would you drive a car without insurance, own you property without insuring it, then don’t sell your property without protecting yourself by using a professional. I’m an investor and have been for several decades and please believe that being forwarned you should be forarmed...

Use an attorney that does title work - they will be knowledgeable of necessary disclosures. 

No , you dont need an agent . You already have a buyer .  Now you just need an contract and an attorney for settlement .  No need to get an agent . 

I have bought 6 properties with no agent , and it was no problem, actually it was rather easy .

@Kathleen Albert I was about to post in BP as I'm in the exact same situation! Wondering what you decided. Also what is the best way to decide price? Did you as the seller decide the price or your renter offered first?

Suggest  to have a professional review the contract, review the disclosures, inspection reports. It is easy to sue someone or pull the plug without proper reports or documentation. The tenant can easily take you to court stating you never disclose the property is close to a creek or on a fault line. A real estate attorney, not often found in CA is always a broker and equally qualified.

No. You do not need an agent. I only use an agent when buying a property that is listed through another agent. 

Notice that the only people telling you that you need a Realtor is other Realtors lol.

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