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While Texans tried to escape from their homes as the floodwaters rose ... Burchfield and Roan headed back home to Mississippi after their boat was damaged, but said that they plan on going back with a more organized effort. “I think that I could be ...


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I’m planning to buy a property from a friend without using a real estate agentWhat is the process to buy a home without an agent? Can I use an attorney to help purchase the property? Yes, you can buy a home without using a real estate agentThere’s no law that says you have to use an agent to purchase real estateIt’s just that the process is complicated and many people don’t know where to beginBut if you have a friend who owns a home and that friend is going to sell you the property, you would likely want to hire a real estate attorney to help prepare documents and make sure that those documents not only protect you, but are filed correctly to protect your interest in the propertyThe good news for you is that many real estate attorneys will charge you a flat fee for preparing the documents and handling the closing [More Matters: How to determine whether a revocable or irrevocable trust is best for you] The first step is to come to a meeting of the mind with your friend about the price you’re willing to pay, the date of the closing, whether you’re going to have any contingencies added to the contract (a home inspection contingency, a mortgage financing contingency and an attorney rider are the most common), and what, if any, furnishing, appliances or fixtures are going to be sold along with the property itselfDepending on where you live, sellers may include appliances like a refrigerator, outdoor patio furniture, light fixtures and built-in-bookcases or Murphy bedsAnything that is going to be left behind will need to be specifically itemized in the contractNext, if you are getting a mortgage and don’t have a firm commitment letter from the lender, you’ll want to work with the lender to make sure your financing will go through once the property has appraised out in valueOnce your financing is locked in, you’ll be able to satisfy that mortgage contingencyFor the inspection contingency, you’ll need a good professional home inspector who can walk through the property and ascertain that it is in good shape physicallyIf there is a hidden problem, you or your attorney will need to work with your friend on the purchaseIf you’re purchasing the home in “as is” condition, you might still want to have a home inspection so you know what problems you might face in the near futureOr in the case that the home has a serious deficiency, you can still get out of the dealYour attorney (or in states that use “closing attorneys”) can conduct or assist you with the closing, but you will still need a title search done to make sure that your friend owns the property, subject to any liens that are discovered and to know the status of the title to the homeThe title company can assist in the closing as wellIf you are using a lender, the lender will insist that you pay for a lender’s title insurance policy, but we think it’s a good idea to buy an owner’s policy as wellThat way, you’ll be protected just in case someone or something unexpected pops up that is a covered item under a title insurance policy [More Matters: How to become a mortgage lender for your children] There are a couple of other things you might want to do: Typically, home buyers do a final walk-through of the property, preferably after the owner has moved out, so that they can make sure the property is in the same condition as when they made the offer to purchaseSince you’re buying from a friend, we don’t imagine that this will be an issueLastly, you’ll need to set up utilities in your own name for the new property, to take effect on the closing dayDepending on the state in which you live, the seller may be obligated to make certain disclosures to you, such as giving you a completed, written seller disclosure form, or if you’re buying a condominium, providing you with a copy of the condo doc, and current rules and regulationsIf you are moving into a condo or townhouse development, be sure to check the rules on pets, rentals, and nonfamily members who live with youYour attorney can fill in the blanksGood luck to you and your friend, the seller! Ilyce Glink is the creator of an 18-part webinar+ebook series called “The Intentional Investor: How to Be Wildly Successful in Real Estate” as well as the author of many books on real estateShe also hosts the “Real Estate Minute” on her YouTube channelSamuel JTamkin is a Chicago-based real estate attorneyContact them at ThinkGlink.com The story must be toldYour subscription supports journalism that matters Try 1 month for $1 (function(){TWP=window.TWP||{};TWP.Features=TWP.Features||{};TWP.Features.Ad=TWP.Features.Ad||{};TWP.Features.Ad.flexAd={};TWP.Features.Ad.flexAd.sticky=true})(); (function(){TWP=window.TWP||{};TWP.Features=TWP.Features||{};TWP.Features.Ad=TWP.Features.Ad||{};TWP.Features.Ad.flexAd3={};TWP.Features.Ad.flexAd3.sticky=true})(); .wpv-hidden{display:none}.posttv-sticky-player-video.wpv-hidden{visibility:hidden !important;display:block} Close Now Playing { "modal-adblock_v2-controlvar": { "async": true, "condition": { "func": "abtest", "params": ["modal-adblock_v2", 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