How to make an offer on a house for sale by owner
When you buy a home through a buyer’s agent, you’ll find that much of the tedious paperwork and negotiation is handled for you. As long as you’re working with a good agent, all you really need to do is check your finances and make sure all the paperwork is signed.
However, if you are buying from someone who is selling the home themselves, a number of complications are added to the mix. As such, you should be aware of the things you should do differently when buying a property that is for sale by owner.
Get pre-approved for a loan
So you’ve looked at the property and you like it. You can see yourself living in it for many years to come, so you should do everything you can to make sure the seller is comfortable with the fact that you want this house.
The best way to do this right away is to get pre-approved for a home loan. Discuss with the seller what he thinks the property is worth and then arrange a loan for an amount close to, if not above, that amount. This shows the seller that you are a serious buyer and that a bank or lender has enough confidence in you that you could buy the house instead of just wasting their time.
When you buy directly from the owner, you will need to be sure that you will not be scammed. After all, with no real estate agent fees to worry about, you should be able to get the property for a little less than you would if you both used a third party.
As such, you should make sure you complete your own property appraisal before signing up for anything. This way, you’ll get an independent opinion on the house that you can use when it comes time to negotiate a price. Be very wary of any seller who won’t let you bring people to look at the house for you.
Talk to a lawyer
The main hurdle in buying a home directly from a seller is paperwork. You can negotiate a price in principle, but without documents to back it up, the offer is completely meaningless. As such, in order to make a suitable offer for the property, you will need to ensure that all relevant documents are completed and agreed.
If you’re determined to keep real estate agents out of the deal, your best bet is to speak to a lawyer to find out exactly what you need to do to transfer ownership of the property. Different states will have slightly different rules, so it’s important to understand the things you need to do. With this information, you can make a formal offer and the seller will be more confident that everything will go smoothly.
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