My first question is why is the Realtor/Owner willing to sell to you at such a discount? Are there several other condos for sale in the complex? There has to be some value to her, otherwise she would not absorb the discount. If she sells as owner, and not through her brokerage, she may be saving by not paying a broker split.
If you do not have a buyer broker, you do have a greater risk of an oversight on the contract and purchase process that could cost you more now, or later. You can ask the Realtor/Seller to pay your buyer broker fee.
Due diligence for you would include, but not be limited to, verification of ownership and any liens against the property (title), verification of current taxes, review of association by-laws commonly called CCRâ€™s in some areas, review of the association financial strength and preparedness to handle upcoming needed capital improvements, building inspections, wood destroying insect inspections, radon inspections if appropriate for the property, post inspection negotiations, carefully choosing the right lender and loan program, and awareness of any pending changes or discovery in the immediate area which could impact property values. I recommend using a buyer broker to assist with the above. Your representative will also research the comps and discuss the details (average DOM, how many sold, list-to-sale ratios, + ) with you to help you determine a fair price to pay for the property.
If you don't hire a buyer broker, do get yourself an attorney to review the docs.
Best of luck!
If you have ever purchased a house, or refinanced a home loan, you would know that there is a MOUNTAIN of legal documents that need to be signed. (In CA there are seemingly hundreds of disclosures, agreements and contracts that must be signed.)
"Hey, did you know about the asbestos in the walls? No, well it's right here in Section 6, of paragraph 12, of Form 19, titled "Hazardous Material disclosure".... Side B. Now what? You need more than an attorney, you need Real Estate expert who deals with this everyday.
Due Dilligence Task #1 - Hire an agent.
Due Dilligence Task #2 - Hire an agent who is a Realtor
As a licensed Realtor, my job is to tell you what you NEED to hear, not what you want to hear.
You are right. One of the short of it is that you don't have a Realtor presentation to make sure your best interest is represented.
Assuming you are very familiar with the up-to-date market in the location and type of property you are purchasing; you are confident you are getting a good dea; you will still need somebody to negotiate on your behalf, both for purchase offer and for later repair/credits, The Realtor will also help you find somebody to do home and termite inspections, order preliminary title report, as well interpretation the reports and negotiate repairs (if any) on your behalf; follow through to make sure all the steps taken are relevant and timely until close of escrow.
The other part is that if the Realtor is representing herself and bypassing her brokerage; anything she presents to you will probably be for her best interest instead of yours; does she have E& O insurance to cover any possible errors and omission from her part in case something goes wrong with the deal?
She has the advantage. Be sure you use an attorney and that she does the mandatory disclosures. The only fees you are going to save are the fee that a Realtor that represents you would be paid. Proceed with caution when not represented and at least consult and pay for a lawyer to review the documents.
Hopefully she is as honest as the day is long and only wants what is best for you and her, in that order. You need to remember that she has considerably more knowledge that you do and in any negotiation that is an advantage.
If you proceed then have inspections and consult with an attorney at the least. My best advice is to hire an agent that will represent you and that you will pay. This can be done by using a Buyer Broker agreement. If you have any questions call me.
If you're buying directly from a private party, there are numerous points to review and address concerning property condition, financing, compliance with local ordinances, etc. A private person may not be fully aware of the numerous requirements, but in the case of a "Realtor" seller (ideally a practicing one), that person will insure that all requirements are in check. However, as a private buyer, it would be to your interest to have all your paperwork and processes checked by a capable attorney who specializes in real estate, or find yourself an experience Realtor who can do you the service for a small fee -- it is worth your while.
You will also want to make sure you receive and review all of the necessary disclosures. Some are filled out by the seller (your landlord in this case) but others are not. In the purchase contract it lists all of the disclosures required by law. Make sure you read through the contract and recieve all of the documents it lists. Some examples are the 3R report (residential record report) which comes from the building department, the natural hazards disclore report which is ordered from a private company, and a preliminary title report from a title company. All of these and a few others are ordered and paid for by the seller.
As the buyer, you can choose which escrow company you would like to use as you will be paying escrow fees. Also make sure you check with a couple of different lenders before you lock yourself into a loan, and be sure to get a "Good Faith Estimate" from you lender which itemizes the closing costs for you.
In addition to the home inspection there should be a termite inspection on the property. Sellers typically pay for all "section 1" parts of the termite. As far as the repairs, they are all negotiable. As for what you want as far as repairs, then be prepared to negotiate!
Also, get a home inspection from a professional