You don’t have to have a real estate agent to sell a house, and you don’t have to have one to buy a house either. On average over the years, roughly 20% of house sales have been direct purchases between owner and buyer. If you buy directly, though, you will have to handle all the logistical matters and deal yourself with the various professionals that an agent would. Let’s see then what it takes to buy directly from an owner in Houston.
1. Get Pre-Approved
The very first step to successfully buy directly from an owner in Houston is to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. Getting pre-approved will save you a lot of time in your search and avoid the embarrassment of making an offer you can’t get financing for. Besides allowing you to shop for only houses within your price range, pre-approval also enhances negotiating and bargaining power.
2. Directly Contact Owner
After you’ve been pre-approved and when you’ve found a house you’re interested in, it’s time for you to contact the owner yourself. Remember, there is no agent to serve as the middleman when you buy directly from an owner in Houston. This is your opportunity to find out all you can about the house and to begin feeling out the owner about price and emotional attachment to the house.
3. Get Valuation
Your next step is to find out what the property is really worth. You can obtain your own valuation report that is very similar to an agent’s comparative market analysis, which compares the value of the house you’re considering against recently sold comparable properties in the immediate area. For a more accurate valuation, you can also hire a certified appraiser.
4. Retain an Attorney
Sure, it will cost you, but you really should consider hiring an attorney when you plan to buy directly from an owner in Houston. An attorney can provide valuable legal advice concerning disclosure and tax laws. Your attorney can also make sure all the important documents involved are drawn up they way they should be.
5. Make Offer
At this point, it’s time to make an offer and enter into negotiations. Your attorney can provide the necessary offer forms and guide you through the technicalities. Your offer should be based on the previously obtained valuation report, of course, but don’t be timid about asking for concessions with respect to needed repairs or updates.
6. Have Inspection Done
Even if you’re paying cash, you should never skip this step when you buy directly from an owner in Houston. For a property may have serious problems that neither you nor the owner is aware of. An inspection will cost from $300 to $600, but if it turns up any unknown or undisclosed problems, it is worth every penny. If problems do come to light, you will need to backtrack to the offer and negotiations stage to get the owner to rectify the problems or lower the sale price accordingly.
7. Close the Deal
All that remains now is to close the deal and sign the papers, the final step when you go through an agent or buy directly from an owner in Houston. This is the stage where you will want to lean heavily on your attorney’s expertise owing to the mountain of paperwork and legal complexities. But when the documents are all signed and the money changes hands, you walk away with the keys to a new house.,
If you decide to buy directly from an owner in Houston, you do need to be on your toes. It can be a complicated legal process, and there are not a few pitfalls along the way. But we can provide the guidance you need.