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Unsolicited offer to buy our house
Old 03-19-2014, 01:11 PM   #1
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Unsolicited offer to buy our house

Recently someone left a note on our door asking if we are interested in selling. Called them and found out their daughter & family live a couple of houses away ( we dont know them) and they want to move here from out of state to help the young family. Nice people. The local mother-in-law
Is a realtor apparently but doesn't seem to be playing an overt role. As it happens we have been interested in moving if the right place came available..but market seems so tight and not much surfacing. We purchased this house new 27 yrs ago from builder so arent too savvy on doing real estate deals. In one conversation I mentioned that if we found something to purchase and if the realtor relative of theirs would participate at a low fee level that could help both of us...but didnt get any real reply to it. (Maybe its one of those one mother-in-law vs another things). Other than Zillow, we dont know what house is worth. Wondered if any of you out there with a similar experience could offer any advice...eg. Should we get an independent appraisal from an appraisal expert or a real estate person, if we do sell...does it save $ to use a real estate lawyer vs an agent to do paperwork. Does having a real estate person give an appraisal obligate us in anyway to using their services? Seems at our age we should know this stuff...but we are novices! Thanks in advance for any advice. Also, received an email from them yesterday that daughter's friend purchased the house next to us (a big one...while ours is a smaller 1story which is perfect for the couple interested)...so think their motivation is even higher.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:26 PM   #2
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If you're not comfortable with it, don't do it.

You should be able to make the sale contingent on your finding and buying a new house. That way you don't get stuck out of the market if prices suddenly increase. You could get your own realtor to help with a purchase and sale, or try to save commission by doing it yourself.

Your best option to determine the value of your house is to hire an appraiser. It may cost a few hundred bucks, but that'll be your most accurate value.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:27 PM   #3
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I would say yes, we are interested in selling and let them make the next move.

If you are serious about selling and they are serious about buying, I would then get a appraisal done. It would cost you a few hundred but give you peace of mind that you are getting a fair price and not leaving a lot of money on the table.

Around here, we would simply hire a local lawyer to handle the contract and closing.

We sold our house on craigslist so our selling costs were just the cost of the lawyer as I recall.
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:36 PM   #4
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An appraisel is great but before you do that ask a realtor for comparable sales in the past year to your home. I'd also check current listings to find our what others are asking for homes comparable to yours. If they sincerely want YOUR home, they should pay a premium and you should avoid realtor expenses. If that's the case you'll come out ahead. Don't do anything, however, unless you feel good about the sale price and find a home you really want to move to.......good luck!
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:38 PM   #5
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If I was in that situation I would jump on it.

But first I would call my realtor. He would give me a break on the fees, I'm positive, and he would make sure I didn't get "robbed" in the deal. He's a great negotiator. Since this buyer wants your house for a specific reason, he should be willing to pay top dollar for it so you might do really well.
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Old 03-19-2014, 02:05 PM   #6
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Realtors will negotiate fees, especially if you have a buyer in hand and they will get a cut of the purchase of your new home.

Otherwise, for the sale of your home just hire a lawyer after you are comfortable with the price. As someone said "tell them you are interested" and let them make the next move. Getting comps is fairly easy online or hire an appraiser. Have an idea of what you're willing to take for the house before they make the offer. Don't respond one way or another after the offer. Tell them you want a few days to think about it.

Hiring a lawyer will be more cost effective vs paying a 5% or 6% commission to realtors who did nothing to effect the sale. It's your equity in the house...not the realtors!
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Old 03-19-2014, 02:29 PM   #7
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Don't just assume the story told to you is all true. Words can be used to imply yet not actually say what you may think. This could all be as it appears or maybe they left the same note on many doors around the area.

Every few months I receive a letter in the mail from a seemingly young couple who just love the neighborhood and would just love to relocate. They never actually say they want to buy a house they will live in though. I think they are just looking for quick sales to flip or possibly use as rentals.

Yesterday I received a cold call from a realtor asking if I was interested in selling my house because they had a shortage of houses for sale in my area (not really true based on For Sale signs). I told her that I lived in my house and hung up!
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Old 03-19-2014, 02:44 PM   #8
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If you found your own buyer (or they found you) the realtor fee is 0 - nothing, nada.

But it would be worth $350 to get an appraisal done by a pro. Realtors comps are tainted (they are sales people). Zillow can be all over the map and does not consider home condition (only historical sales data).

If you decide to use realtor comps get 3 and average them ... that should be pretty close to reality. And costs you nothing ... they do this stuff for free hoping to get the listing.

Then insist on full value. They came to YOU ... use that to your advantage (or don't sell if you don't want to ).
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerome len View Post
....If they sincerely want YOUR home, they should pay a premium and you should avoid realtor expenses. .....
Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
...Since this buyer wants your house for a specific reason, he should be willing to pay top dollar for it so you might do really well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tryan View Post
....Then insist on full value. They came to YOU ... use that to your advantage (or don't sell if you don't want to ).
While I agree that you should get a full price for your house in this situation, just keep in mind that pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:33 PM   #10
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Friends of mine were in this situation. A family from out of town wanted a nice house close to the local synagogue. Location, location, location! As it happened, my friends had recently become empty nesters and were planning a move to a smaller home within the next few years. They had bought their house about a decade before in a down market and had decorated it beautifully. The buyers were coming from a city with higher property prices and made an offer my friends couldn't refuse. Only the buyers' realtor was involved. The downside was that in a then strong market my friends, who were picky, couldn't find a house they loved before the closing date and had to move in with mother in law for several months.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:38 PM   #11
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Friends of mine were in this situation. A family from out of town wanted a nice house close to the local synagogue. Location, location, location! As it happened, my friends had recently become empty nesters and were planning a move to a smaller home within the next few years. They had bought their house about a decade before in a down market and had decorated it beautifully. The buyers were coming from a city with higher property prices and made an offer my friends couldn't refuse. Only the buyers' realtor was involved. The downside was that in a then strong market my friends, who were picky, couldn't find a house they loved before the closing date and had to move in with mother in law for several months.
Lots of real estate markets are very tight, with multiple offers above asking price. So I'd start looking at properties and probably find a realtor. In most cases like this the buyer is in a hurry, so you'll want to get a firm idea of when you need to be out of your house.
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:38 AM   #12
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Consider getting a real estate attorney. They can review all the paperwork and they cost a lot less than a realtor
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:00 AM   #13
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Unless I missed a key post, you haven't had any offer for house, unsolicited or no. You have had an expression of interest.

Hold the moving van!

Ha
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:47 AM   #14
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Recently someone left a note on our door asking if we are interested in selling. Called them and found out their daughter & family live a couple of houses away ( we dont know them) and they want to move here from out of state to help the young family. .... Also, received an email from them yesterday that daughter's friend purchased the house next to us (a big one...while ours is a smaller 1story which is perfect for the couple interested)...so think their motivation is even higher.
The next email will tell you the daughter is selling her house to escape her friend and her mother

DH's cousin sold her house exactly in this way, unsolicited offer, knock on the door, done. If the timing is good for you, why not pursue it.
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:14 AM   #15
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red flag

I have gotten a letter in the past to buy. It looked to be hand written on yellow paper but when looked at closely it was typed with a cool font.

I would watch out for any deal that you did not generate. And I would always want my own ,not shared, agent.---I learned the hard way once---
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:22 PM   #16
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I have gotten a letter in the past to buy. It looked to be hand written on yellow paper but when looked at closely it was typed with a cool font.
Too funny ... I just opened one of those. Dude said he "local" but the post mark was Austin TX (house is in MA).
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Old 03-20-2014, 03:48 PM   #17
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I have gotten a few recently . Mine are from this company that is buying up real estate in Florida . The good news is they usually pay above value . I may let them give me a quote .
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Old 03-20-2014, 03:55 PM   #18
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Get a list of 5 Realtor's in your area and have them tell you what the house is worth.
Look for agents that have listings in your area.
It's free.
Those online sites will give you an idea but that is it but an agent will give you a more
accurate picture.
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Old 03-20-2014, 06:39 PM   #19
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We bought our future retirement home about a year and a half ago. Only about six months later, we received a letter supposedly from a couple that was looking to buy a house in the area and asked if we would be interested in selling. I did some searching and found out it was some real estate investor guy that ran a small company a few hours away. We ignored it, but received another one just last month. I'm guessing that the guy watches the public records of real estate sales.
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:20 PM   #20
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It may very well be legit story and could work out for you. Get an official appraisal, about $350 cost, and also talk to a few realtors as well. This should give you an idea of fair market price.

You do not need a realtor to sell it, but use a real estate attorney to cover your interests and ensure it is all legal. You will need a title company to process the paperwork, but you need that regardless of realtor or not being used. You save the 5-6% realtor fees if you can do it without. You will need to do a bit of the work that a realtor does, such as getting inspections done. Overall certainly something you can do.
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