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Old 05-08-2012, 07:54 PM   #1
eobowhntr
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Default Advice/help on buying a house from a private seller

Hello all, ive got some questions and am looking for some advice. My wife and I are in the process of buying our first home, which happens to be for sale from a private seller. We have elected to go through the process without a realtor, to save money mainly. We have got to the point where we are about to put all the stuff we negotiated onto the Owners sale agreement and earnest money receipt form. The form itself seems pretty self explanatory, but im starting to have some questions. Is that form all there is to buying a house through a private seller? Obviously there is the paperwork from the lender, but is that really it? We have talked with the lender and they said the papers we have are all thats needed. Is there any advice people can give that have dealt with this process? Any and all info is greatly appreciated, thank you, Robert

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Old 05-08-2012, 09:00 PM   #2
DB Crouper
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Default Re: Advice/help on buying a house from a private seller

What a great question. Anybody here who is a realtor, close your eyes.
A standard earnest money is acceptable, if you checked the right boxes. If the house has some years on it, or you don't know the seller personally, you should probably opt for a professional inspection, with a clause that states any problems from the inspection are negotiable.
The title company protects you from legal disputes, and does all the necessary paperwork in conjunction with your lender. Hopefully you have done enough research to know that the price is fair.
As a longtime builder, I have sold more than 100 homes without the services of a realtor, and only a dozen or so with a realtor involved. I have enjoyed working directly with buyers, saving them some money, and being able to address their concerns directly, versus a middle- man scenario.
Do you have a sense that you can trust the seller? Sounds simplistic, but trust is the best measure of any deal. Good luck. Feel free to PM me if you have questions you think I might help answer for you.
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: Advice/help on buying a house from a private seller

One piece of advice. Get a lawyer to go over the terms and who pays for what in closing. Well worth it!
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:20 AM   #4
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Default Re: Advice/help on buying a house from a private seller

Thanks for the help so far guys! We tossed around the idea of a lawyer, were still thinking we might get one if the process gets complicated. We have the earnest money agreed upon, we are getting them the disclosure papers asap, and are going to schedule an inspection asap as well. I never thought about adding in any repairs found are negotiable (the house is only 15 years old, so im hoping there isnt much!). It sounds like were on the right track so far, thanks for the help guys!

Robert
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: Advice/help on buying a house from a private seller

Have a lawyer look things over and give you advice!!! I'm not a lawyer, but this is probably your biggest purchase to date, don't sweat or regret what you have done later for not paying for a couple of hours of legal work now.

You would be surprised what might go wrong in 15 years - get a home inspection, now is the time to get the seller to fix or pay for things that are wrong.

You might also want to have property surveyed. I'd also make small talk with all the neighbors, you might be surprised what they tell you.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:43 AM   #6
namu mac
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Default Re: Advice/help on buying a house from a private seller

Let a title company handle the transaction & be sure you get title insurance.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:12 AM   #7
Pepe' da Pack Mule
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Default Re: Advice/help on buying a house from a private seller

You can still go with a realtor. As a buyer it will not cost you anything unless the seller specifically told you he is going to add the realtor's commission to the price of the house. The seller is the one who pays and would negotiate with the realtor as to the % of commission. A lot of realtors would do the paperwork for a flat rate fee or a lower commission since they essentially have no time invested in finding the house for you.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: Advice/help on buying a house from a private seller

I bought my first home, no realtor and from a private party.

It is really that simple, people get scared for some reason due to the volume of money and feelings of commitments. Dont let your emotions get involved in the sale.

For my first house, I went to JK Gill payed one dollar for a form, went back to the seller, we sat down and filled it out. Listed all the terms, even down to the couple of plants they wanted to take with them from the yard

Took it to a title company, and made the call to my lendor. About a month later I owned the house (well really the bank owned it) and was living there.

I have paid for a house inspection at the time of buying a house. I would never do that again If you have any sense of what is right or wrong and what the problem areas with a house are, you can do it yourself.

No lawyer needed
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: Advice/help on buying a house from a private seller

Get a home inspection by a licensed and bonded home inspector. I am an inspector and I find things that most people do not know about and know what to look for. I know you are not in my area and it is not going to get me any business but it is a good idea.

Are there carbon monoxide detectors in the house- it is required
Are the smoke alarms newer ones with a hush feature that are less than 10 years old?


Good luck either way.

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Old 05-09-2012, 08:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Advice/help on buying a house from a private seller

Interesting post, since I am a realtor. Many people do purchase without a realtor. Most important:
1) title insurance through a well known title company. They also hold your earnest money until the transaction is closed.
2) home inspection a must for any home, new or pre-owned, by a licensed bonded home inspector within your state. Yes, even a new home needs an inspection. You would be surprised items forgotten or missed by the contractor. We are all human.
3) Use your home inspection report at negotiations for repairs found. The standard State of Oregon sales contract covers this in section 15, starting at line 199. if you are not using a standard OREF form then you will need someone with legal knowledge to review your contract.
4) The standard sale contract covers well (where applicable) type of sewer, title insurance, dispute resolution over escrow money, etc.
5) If home has a wood stove, be sure it is certified. State of Oregon DEQ changed regulations last year re: wood stoves.
6) Smoke alarms and CO2 sensors are another item to be aware of as previously stated. This is a seller responsibilty.

Good luck with your purchase.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:10 AM   #11
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Default Re: Advice/help on buying a house from a private seller

Quote:
Originally Posted by elkstopper View Post

You would be surprised what might go wrong in 15 years
We rent a place built less than 10 years ago... leaking tubs, incorrectly installed sinks, improper roofing, water damage....

Best of luck!
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: Advice/help on buying a house from a private seller

Quote:
Originally Posted by elkstopper View Post
You might also want to have property surveyed. I'd also make small talk with all the neighbors, you might be surprised what they tell you.
Sound advice.

I will never buy another property without a survey, or at least walking the lines with a surveyor who can interpret the deed and measure the angles. For many reasons, it's easy for people to be mistaken about where the lines precisely are.

On a small lot, with clearly marked recently surveyed corners, you might be able to satisfy yourself by taking the measurements shown in the deed.

However you do it, verify what's being represented to you is truly what you're purchasing.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:13 PM   #13
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Default Re: Advice/help on buying a house from a private seller

Feel free to PM or e-mail me, ssalv@mtglender.com and I will try to help answer any specific questions you might have and will help you all I can.

6 yr Realtor, 20+ as Loan Officer. 50+ as fisherman in case that matters as it is darn imporant to me........
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:27 PM   #14
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Default Re: Advice/help on buying a house from a private seller

I have purchased one home by owner and one with realtors. Much preffered dealing direct with the owner. No other interests involved. We were both honest. That helps!
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:31 PM   #15
eobowhntr
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Default Re: Advice/help on buying a house from a private seller

Thanks a ton guys for the help, its really makeing us more comfortable with the process. For the most part, all the stuff you guys listed as "need to do" are in the works or covered already. Its moving along pretty nicely, meeting with the sellers tommorrow and were going to fill it out in person together. Hopefully things keep going great like they are, thanks again guys!!
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:57 AM   #16
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Default Re: Advice/help on buying a house from a private seller

Talk with FishBait. We recently purchased a warehouse as a private party transaction. It was almost as easy as dealing with a Realtor.

If you are financing (the best reason to call FishBait), there are procedures and requirement which will keep you out of trouble.

I agree with the posts above. Get an inspection. See if you can write in a 180 day clause in case you find dry rot, structural or mechanical problems not found by the inspector. Yes this does happen.

We split the difference on the realtor costs and received a discount on the sale price.

Good luck
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