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Old 05-29-2008, 01:24 AM
 
23 posts, read 89,894 times
Reputation: 28

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We are first time home buyers and are buyng a house by owner to make it much more stressful. Can anybody share your experience on how much it would cost to hire an attorney and what his role exactly would be? Is it necessary to hire one? One fee we were given from the attorney is 1% of the sale price, which seems too much on a more the 500K house. What essential things we should be aware of in this very painful process of buying a house? What not to miss in a contract and in closing? Any advise is greatly appreciated
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:35 AM
 
Location: SW Austin
314 posts, read 843,445 times
Reputation: 81
Seriously, you need to get a realtor. Have you already signed a contract? There are so many parts to a real estate transaction that need to be considered. The title company takes care many of those aspects, but your realtor will "babysit" to make sure everything is moving in a timely manner.

If you are going to work through an attorney, make sure it is a real estate attorney. Also get your inspection and negotiate repairs. Do you know how much escrow to put down, do you understand the option period, are you getting a service contract, who is paying for the survey, how much have other homes sold for in the area and will your appraissal be high enough for the bank?

Last edited by jenkirk; 05-29-2008 at 07:35 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
485 posts, read 1,308,562 times
Reputation: 132
If you're coming from the Northeast (where attorneys have inserted themselves into the process for easy cash), you may not know that you don't need an attorney for a real estate transaction in Texas. If you have a smart realtor, and you're doing a straight buy of a normal home on the market, you will be totally fine in the process. Texas uses a standardized contract so you don't need an attorney to look it over because it's the same basic form every time (I just learned this from a realtor on this forum!). Apparently this isn't the case in the NE so that's why attorneys are used.

As a buyer, you do not pay any fees to a realtor - the seller pays all fees, so...don't pay an attorney to do something that a trained realtor will do for you for free.
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:54 AM
 
35 posts, read 110,725 times
Reputation: 23
Default do we really need real estate attorney

new town and i are buying fsbo in eanes. no real estate agent is involved on either side. the question do we really need to hire an attorney and pay close to 4000 to babysit this transaction. We're first time buyers and don't want to make big mistake we regret. however, we're not sure if this fee is reasonable for Austin area and this type of service in particular.
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
16,392 posts, read 22,627,024 times
Reputation: 12591
If you're not using an agent, and you are a first-time home buyer, yes, absolutely you need someone to make sure that you both comply with all the laws involved in a real estate transaction regarding disclosure and many other things. The title company will take care of making sure that the requirements in the contract are complied with and that the money is distributed appropriately (per your lender), but there are things that can come back to bite you down the road if one or the other of you doesn't do something right, and an attorney can save you money (and time and aggravation) later.

Most people don't use an attorney for their real estate transactions in Texas (using agents instead), but it's a lot better than learning on the job, so to speak, with all the things that could go wrong that way.

This assumes, of course, that the seller isn't using an attorney, either. If they are, there's less risk - for them. You're still basically the party with no one representing your interests, in that case.
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Old 05-29-2008, 09:09 AM
 
35 posts, read 110,725 times
Reputation: 23
Default house by owner

thanks for your responses. We did have a realtor who showed us the houses from the MLS. Good person, but, unfortunately, very slow and we lost several houses because of him. This last house we found ourselves, without his help. The sellers did not want to deal with real estate agents. When he heard about this possible transaction, he suggested that we pay his commissions, instead of the seller. Is that something that people normally do, considering the realtor did not find a house??? What would be customary fee for the attorney's services in this transaction? Can someone recommend a good real estate attorney ( maybe via PM )

Thanks.
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
8,732 posts, read 17,948,761 times
Reputation: 3546
Quote:
When he heard about this possible transaction, he suggested that we pay his commissions, instead of the seller.
Did you have a contract with the agent?
Did the agent show you this house at all?
If you are going to use your agent to help with the closing, then you might consider paying him some sort of commission, or work with the seller to pay his commission, or sort of figure it into the price. I would negotiate something other than the typical 3%, if all they are going to do is look through the paperwork. Whatever works. If you are going to do everything yourself, don't pay him anything. If you feel you are not contractually obligated in any way, and he wants too much money to do the closing, I am sure you can find a different agent that will sit through the process for a minimal fee.
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
16,392 posts, read 22,627,024 times
Reputation: 12591
If you've signed a buyer's rep agreement with the agent who was working with you, then what you owe him will be spelled out in that contract and he's owed a commission (payable by you if not the seller) on any purchase you make during the period of that contract, assuming it was not terminated. If you haven't, then he's not owed anything, but, remember, the real work starts AFTER the house is found, in crafting the offer, negotiating terms with the seller, and shepherding the deal through to closing. However, you say that the sellers don't want to "want to deal with real estate agents" - does that mean that they don't want to pay a commission, or that they won't deal with a buyer who has someone representing their interests? If the latter, that would be a big red flag for me, and I'd highly recommend that you get, if not an agent because the seller doesn't want you represented, then a real estate attorney to make sure everything is aboveboard and protect your interests.
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:51 AM
 
Location: SW Austin
314 posts, read 843,445 times
Reputation: 81
If you did sign a buyer's rep, do not take the agents word that he will not try to collect commission. Get something in writing.
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