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Real Estate question.(16 posts)

Real Estate question.sn69
Mar 27, 2003 4:52 PM
Like I've said before, we're about to transfer. Until recently, my wife and I planned on listing our house through a realtor; however, two recent unsolicited offers for our house (in our asking range) have motivated us to consider selling ourselves.

Does any one have advice or experience they'd care to share? I'd really appreciate any info we can get outside of the normal web-searches.

I'm assuming a real estate attorney agreed upon by both parties is a no-brainer, but what else do we have to consider that's different than a normal realtor sale?

re: Real Estate question.PdxMark
Mar 27, 2003 5:15 PM
The Earnest Money Agreement (or so it's called in Oregon) is the contract (usually a form) by which the buyer makes an offer. A good thorough earnest money agreement is critical, because it will address tons of of issues that are best defined at the start -- when the offer is made. One thing realtors do bring to many transactions is a thorough earnest money agreement form.

So finding a lawyer who regularly does residential real estate deals would be a good find. He or she will have a standard agreement that you can give to your prospective buyer - for them to fill-in any variable terms. (The lawyer can also give you an estimate of the total costs for services.)

The realtor-based forms are generally somewhat balanced between being pro-buyer or pro-sellers, though maybe tilting toward pro-seller. You'll want to make sure that the form agreement your lawyer provides is reasonably balanced... The point is not the screw the other side, but rather to have a smooth successful transaction. (OK, that's my bleeding heart philosophy leaking through, but you get the point.)

Finally, a lawyer shared between both sides is not a great idea, and might not actually be possible (depending on ethics rules). So long as both sides are working toward reasonably fair terms, there shouldn't be much or any lawyer haggling to scotch the deal. The buyer might not even want a lawyer... If they get an agressive lawyer fighting over your reasonable form agreement at the beginning, you are better off walking away before there's any deal to really fight over.

Actual real estate lawyers might have real advise.... This is just a non-real estate lawyer applying general priciples to something I don't actually do.

Good luck. Congrats on the easy-sounding sale. Enjoy your next home.

Thanks Mark. We'll see how it works out. nmsn69
Mar 27, 2003 5:25 PM
you are on the right trackmohair_chair
Mar 27, 2003 5:29 PM
Find yourself a reputable real estate lawyer to handle the transaction.

To simplify the deal, you might want to sell the house on an "as-is" basis. This scares some people who think you are hiding problems, but it's no big deal. You are still required by law to disclose all known defects in the house. What "as-is" does is eliminate contingencies and simplify the sale. Normally the only contigency that remains is buyer financing. If you have unsolicited offers, you probably have experienced buyers and "as-is" won't scare them at all.

One thing you should do immediately is get a section 1 termite report done. I forget if this is a legal requirement, but it is definitely a requirement for buyer financing. If you do it now, you can correct any major problems that may affect the sale. It will cost $300 or so, which technically, you could push off on the buyer, especially if you go "as-is." Doing it yourself allows you to eliminate any unpleasant surprises, since an inspection will be done at some point.
termites, "as-is," and waivers of redhibitionsn69
Mar 27, 2003 5:40 PM
New Orleans is a funky town to be certain. Like a local radio add says, "if it's not a Category 5 hurricane knocking at the door, there's a swarm of Formosan termites chompin' on the superstructure."

Fortunately, we've got a termite contract and the house has been cert'ed. Likewise, we've had it certified free from need for shoring/leveling. We bought it on the aforementioned waiver, which is standard for any pre-existing NOLA home.

Here's the best part, though. LA still lives, dies, cheats and steals by Napoleanic code. As such, there are some fascinating and humorous ideosynchrocies. One that sticks out is from when I closed on this home two years ago. The attorney explained that the previous owners (a city counselman at the time) had legally certified the house ghost-free. I couldn't stop tee-hee'in. The sellers were appalled, and the lawyer explained something to the affect of "He's from Cal-ee-for-nee-ay...He doesn't understand."

Two years later and I still don't.
Once from Cal always from Cal, like me nmPdxMark
Mar 27, 2003 5:44 PM
H'Beach native, wife's from Arcadia/Glen-bore-a. nmsn69
Mar 27, 2003 5:46 PM
Sweet. ex Manhattan Beach/Playa/Marina dude hereNo_sprint
Mar 28, 2003 8:39 AM
Some best friends were Hermosa people. You Hermosa or Huntington?
Sweet. ex Manhattan Beach/Playa/Marina dude heresn69
Mar 28, 2003 9:23 AM
I'm of the Huntington variety. Moved away when I was little, but most of the family still resides in/around LA, San Diego and San Fran. Spent 8 years in San Diego before this "sabbatical" in New Orleans.
re: Real Estate question.Live Steam
Mar 27, 2003 5:34 PM
Hi Scott,
You may do well selling on your own, however there are benefits to using an agent to protect your interests. They qualify buyers before they have a chance to step into your home. They assure that the potential buyer has the necessary down payment and is credit worthy to take on the financial burden of a mortgage. They also act as a go-between which helps prevent you the seller, from unintentionally giving either misinformation and /or making statements that may come back to hurt you during the closing process. They also do a lot of leg work, at least the good ones do.

That being said, your attorney can handle this for you. I would suggest that you and the buyer do not use the same attorney. I doubt one would want to represent both of you, anyway. There is a perceived conflict of interest there. Your attorney will require the potential buyer to provide sufficient evidence that they are financially qualified to purchase your house. The potential pitfall for you, should you not qualify the buyer is entering into an agreement only to find out months later that the buyer is not a qualified purchaser. This can tie up your property for a period of time that could hurt your move and could also result in some financial loss should market conditions change for the worse.

Since you have interested parties you have some options. You can just direct them to have their attorney contact yours on their behalf, with the particulars of their offer. Your attorney will then act accordingly and get the process started. Your other option is to contact a local realtor with the information that you already have a potential buyer and would like them to take it from here. You could negotiate very favorable terms with the realtor based on the fact that they did not have to do any advertising or work to get buyers for your house. They would probably accept considerably less for this service. The realtors fee could be invisibly tagged onto the selling price and would not effect your net proceeds from the sale.

What ever you choose to do, best of luck and I hope your new destination is all that you expect. We are also considering relocation, so I may post here to get some advice from you on what to and what not to do, when relocating :O)
Thnkx...more good advice. We're headed back to San Diego, you?sn69
Mar 27, 2003 5:41 PM
Thnkx...more good advice. We're headed back to San Diego, you?Live Steam
Mar 27, 2003 5:53 PM
San Diego :O) Well that is on the list - at least it's on my list. We are in NYC now. We are considering Eastern Long Island, NJ, Scottsdale. San Diego is wonderful for riding, but it may be just a bit too far because of family. My fiance has a sister in Scottsdale, and it isn't quite the trip from NY to CA fo visiting.
Thnkx...more good advice. We're headed back to San Diego, you?sn69
Mar 27, 2003 6:06 PM
Yeah, it's amazing for riding. In eight years there, I never got tired of riding PCH from Pacific Beach to Oceanside and back again. ...And I had a lot of other regular routes.

I made my first adult trip to NYC last October for a Navy meeting. I was entranced in a strange way. What a sight/experience! Although I only had 3 days there, I think I walked most of Manhattan. Wow. Incidentally, Steinbrenner also gave us tix for a Yankees game behind homeplate under the over hang. That was a hoot. Still, NYC...what a city.

I have two former squadron-mates from NYC; one works with Customs and the other ownes several Subway franchises.
Fred at Leucadia Cyclery is a great guyNo_sprint
Mar 28, 2003 8:45 AM
I bought my most recent Quantum Pro from him. There is a street called Vulcan there I think. A LOT of riders on it. I've heard he's the most selling Klein dealer in the nation.

I love little, old beach towns.
Fred at Leucadia Cyclery is a great guysn69
Mar 28, 2003 9:21 AM
Doesn't he also do custom framing? I used to ride by there all the time, but I've never stopped in. I'd be interested to know about his custom work, specifically lugged steel.

Yeah, Leucadia is terrific. Love Pannikin. We considered buying a home inland from there in San Elijo Hills, but the mello roos was outrageous and the road infrastructure hasn't expanded to support the growth. We bought in Carlsbad in stead.
re: Real Estate question.Captain Morgan
Mar 27, 2003 6:13 PM
Frankly, you may not need an attorney. When I sold my home (here in FL), the local Realtor Association had a standard form of contract that all realtors use. If there is such a standard contract in your area, you might just use that. It was just a matter of filling in the blanks. I would just make sure there are some deadlines which the buyer must adhere to (apply for a mortgage at a bank within 3-7 days, get approval within 15-21 days, inspections completed within 30 days, or whatever you agree to).

Usually the attorney or title company that the buyer (or buyer's bank) uses handles the closing, so you won't have to worry about that part.