If you find a home that’s not listed by a traditional real estate agent, both you and the home seller will need to work directly together throughout the process. Since no agent commission will be involved, you both can save money.  Here are the suggested steps:

  1. Educate yourself about the process. Use the internet or purchase a book to learn as much as you can. This website contains much information as well as links to other helpful sites.


  1. If you are not paying cash for the home, visit a mortgage lender to determine the price range in which you should be looking within. They will ask about your income, your debt and will also run your credit score. Afterwards, they will provide a “letter of prequalification” that you may present to the seller.


  1. Since you are working directly with the seller, ask questions about the quality of the home. While viewing it, if anything sparks a question, be sure to address it with the seller. Ask the seller to provide you with a completed “seller property disclosure statement.”


  1. Negotiate price and terms and make an offer. Hire a real estate attorney to help you make the offer. Additionally, if the seller has listed the property on, the seller was provided all the needed forms. The seller has access to the broker in charge of this website and may call with questions. It is very important that you and the seller complete all of the required forms. For example: if the home was built prior to 1978, the Lead Based Paint Addendum is required to be signed by both buyer and seller, prior to seller accepting an offer to purchase. Other required documents include but are not limited to: Septic system contingency addendum, HOA Disclosure Certificate, PID Disclosure Certificate, Tax Levy Estimate, FIRPTA disclosure, to name a few. If you are buying directly from a FSBO seller not listed on this website, you may call the broker in charge with questions about any of these or other potentially required documents.


  1. Deliver the signed purchase agreement, along with all addendums and attachments as well as the earnest check to the title company. Once this occurs, you have “opened escrow.” You, the seller, the title company’s escrow agent, and the mortgage company will work together to get all requirements of the purchase agreement completed. Make sure all parties have the contact information of each other.


  1. Mark all of the performance dates (from the purchase agreement) on your calendar so that you are sure not to miss anything. For example, the purchase agreement states that you will get your home inspections completed by a certain date, and that you will request completion of repairs from the seller by a certain date, and that the seller will respond to your requests by a certain date. Make sure you do not miss any of the dates.


  1. Contact your lender as soon as you have a signed purchase agreement. Provide them with a copy. It is suggested that you speak with 3 or so mortgage providers in order to determine which will give you the best interest rate and terms on your loan.


  1. If the purchase agreement states the purchase is subject to an inspection, you will be responsible for selecting inspectors and scheduling them.


  1. The owner will make arrangements for closing the transaction, handling title insurance, and transferring utilities. You will also need to call the utility companies and request services be transferred to your name effective date of closing.


  1. Once the title company “clears title,” and you get final approval from your lender, and all contingencies in the purchase agreement have been satisfied, you are ready to close. Title gets conveyed to buyer. Seller gets the proceeds of the sale.