How to make an offer on a home for sale by owner

When you buy a home through a buyer’s agent, you’ll find that much of the hassle of paperwork and negotiation is handled for you. As long as you’re working with a good agent, all you really need to do is take control of your finances and make sure all the paperwork is signed.

However, if you are buying from someone who is selling the house themselves, a number of complications are added to the mix. As such, he must be aware of the things he must do differently when purchasing a property that is for sale by owner.

Get pre-approved for a loan

So you’ve seen the property and you love it. He can see himself living in it for many years, so he should do everything he can to make sure the seller is comfortable with the fact that he wants this house.

The best way to do this right away is to get pre-approved for a home loan. Discuss with the seller how much you think the property is worth, and then arrange a loan for something close to that amount, if it’s not there. This shows the seller that you are a serious buyer and that a bank or lender trusts you enough to buy the house, rather than just wasting their time.

get it appraised

When buying directly from the owner, you’ll need to make sure you don’t get ripped off. After all, with no realtor fees to worry about, you should be able to get the property for a little less than you would if you were both using 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 of 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 in to view the house for you.

talk to a lawyer

The main barrier to buying a home directly from a seller is the paperwork involved. You can agree to a price in principle, but without supporting documentation, the offer is meaningless. As such, in order to make a proper offer on the property, you will need to ensure that all associated documentation is complete and agreed.

If you’re determined to keep real estate agents out of the transaction, the best thing to do is talk to an attorney 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 work out.

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