Q: I’m currently renting and my landlord wants to sell me the property. My landlord is a real estate agent himself. He owns a real estate firm and loan company or something like that.
I am interested in purchasing the property, but was wondering if I should use a real estate agent or try it on my own. I’ve already been preapproved for a loan. Thanks for your feedback.
A: Having a real estate agent who is also a mortgage lender as your landlord sounds like the prefect scenario or the perfect storm.
To make sure you’re not being railroaded or led astray, I think you should find an attorney to help you out. The attorney should be able to walk you through the transfer and will make sure the documents you sign protect you.
You also need to know how much the property is worth (it may be more or less than what your landlord is asking). You could hire an appraiser to appraise the property (that will cost $300-500) or you can try to figure it out based on what other properties are selling for in the area (your local recorders office will have the sales figures for properties and these are public records).
Another idea is to pay a local agent on an hourly basis to help you comb through sales prices of comparable properties that have recently sold in the neighborhood and figure out what this property is worth.
April 2, 2007.