What would you recommend?
I noticed that there is a great mix of real estate pros, DIYers, and sellers on this board. I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice.
My DH and I are older (nearly 40) first-time homebuyers. We've been looking at home over the past three years, but only seriously within the last year. We worked with a great buyers agent since June, who showed us four houses, and gave us comps on the last one per our request in August. We did not sign anything with her- she said she would only have us sign once found a home.
It's been surprisingly hard to find a home that we would seriously consider. We are renting a great old farmhouse, and have not been in a hurry as rent was about 65% of a mortgage (the ratio has been getting more favorable as the "bubble" in this area has taken a long time to unwind). We haven't found anything that we like, in as nice an area, as our rental. We are in a rural area so we have a good handle on what's available and what has sold (and for how much.)
A house is now available in my neighborhood. The elderly husband died, and the wife requires too much care to stay in the house. The daughter asked the neighbors if they knew anymore who might be interested; the neighbors introduced us.
We first saw the inside of the house in Sept; at that time, the daughter told us that they would want to sell "soon" but not yet. She told me that they planned to hire an appraiser to get the price and would be interested in selling to us directly, they would like to avoid listing if possible.
This week, the daughter emailed us to see if we were still interested, and let us the know the price they wanted.
We are very interested in this house. The price they want is well below the sold comps. We know this because only one other similar house has sold since we got the last set of comps in August- that sold house has the info listed on-line. All the similar (type, sq foot, BR/BA, lot type) comps since June have sold within $3000 of each other. They are asking for about 12% less than the comps. With our downpayment, the PITI will be just a little higher than rent.
We are first time buyers. We do not know what is next or what to expect. The sellers do not want to use a realtor- they have an attorney. I don't blame them- they already have possible buyers lined up- us, and I think there are other people who are also interested.
Should we use our buyers agent to help us through the contract/closing process? And if so, how do we pay her? Should we ask the sellers to add 3% to the cost of the house and pay her from that? Is 3% reasonable, since we found the house on our own?
Should we forego the BA and just get our own real estate attorney?
We won't use an inspector; we'll use my FIL, who is a licensed contractor and makes his living rebuilding homes, so we will save a little money there. He is coming to look over the house tomorrow.
We have a mortgage broker who we were working with in the summer. This MB was recommended by our BA.
Can an attorney take care of the contract and title/lien insurancce?
What do you think? What would you do? What would recommend for a couple of newbies?
Thanks so muchc!