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My landlord of 4 years needs to sell his townhouse and has offered us first crack at buying it without a realtor or listing. He also gave us a 60 day notice if we decide we don’t want to buy. Clearly he will see some savings without the use of a realtor. So we are hoping that means we will get a great deal as well. What are some things to look out for when buying this way? Do I need a real estate attorney? Should we get our own appraisal? Any other tips are also appreciated.

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If you’re using a loan, the lender will order an appraisal for the property to insure the price is reasonable. If you’re paying cash or if the seller is financing, you would want to obtain an independent appraisal.

To right the contracts, it’s recommended that you use either a real estate attorney or real estate agency to represent you. If he is having everything drafted through one party, be aware that the agency or lawyer will have a fiduciary duty to the seller; and if you have not also signed an agreement for them to represent you, they may be working in the best interest of the seller.

The best way to resolve this is to request a Homebate. For this type of transaction you can typically have full representation for as low as $2,500.

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