Home Buying in Carmel>Question Details

Jude Silvers…, Home Buyer in Carmel, NY

how do i approach owner of abandoned house on my street to see if he wants to sell it cheaply?

Asked by Jude Silverstein, Carmel, NY Sun Sep 9, 2007

should i let a real estate agent handle it on my behalf?

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Answers

18
J Lo’s answer
I never advocate approaching an owner directly. In this atmosphere of fraud, etc. it's always better to have a professional representing you.

There is two-fold reasoning behind my advice:

1. Credibility: You want the owner to know you are serious & not trying to pull anything. Since many abandoned homes have been used in mortgage fraud - you may find the door closed tightly towards you. First impressions are extremely important.

2. What would be an appropriate offer on this home? What is the current market? If this is abandoned; what type of shape & therefore what type of repairs will be necessary to bring it to habitablity or actual code? A professional RE Agent knows the market and will be invaluable in getting the the bottom line price point.

Much luck to you & would love to follow your progress!
5 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2007
At the risk of sounding defensive: (and Jude please forgive my sidebar)

I would like to direct this comment directly to Sasha:
By saying you have not represented yourself as a real estate agent - isn't 100% true.

You are a lawyer - therefore you should stipulate this. Your profile pic shows RE Pro. While there isn't an indicator for your particular profession - the consumer and pro alike will make a quick assumption if they don't visit your full profile. So, I would say, yes, I for one - thought you were an agent.

Second - you continually list your website as point of reference - so to some degree you are utilizing trulia in a manner in which the written rules discourage.

Please don't take offence when RE Pro's advise people to seek professional advice from agents - we also advise those same people to seek "legal" representation when necessary.

However, the price for one is much less than the other - and unfortunately - the agents not only get alot of the questions answered - but most times we don't seek compensation.

I make no objection to your input or advice - but it really should be clear that you are not an agent. At this time it is not.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 11, 2007
I can't believe Sasha got 5 thumbs down. Her advice is as good as all the others. Just as suggested that approaching the owner might seem suspicious, an owner approached by a real estate agent might be just as counter productive. "I have a client interested in your property," sounds like a false sales pitch to get a property listed. Where as, "I live next door and I am concerned about potential crime and deterioration of the neighborhood property values" or "I've always loved the house" or "I need something bigger but love the neighborhood" is far more sincere.

Sasha's advice about price is excellent. The owner might have a lower amount in mind or an unrealistically high value in mind. If it is low, why pay more? The owner might know something that he's not going to disclose and you are taking a risk. If it is high, a low offer would insult him and you would never get the house. In that case, you just say, "I'm sorry, that is too high. Please let me know if in the future you come down in price."

You are better off trying yourself first and then getting a agent if you need further help.
Ruth
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 11, 2007
Ruthless, Other/Just Looking in 60558
MVP'08
Again, Jude, please excuse the sidebar. As I said, in order to keep us all here answering your question, we have to discuss other things as well.

Jeannette and Sasha:
I don't think it is Sasha's fault that she appears to be an agent. Trulia doesn't give you a choice between "Real Estate Agent" or "Professional in the field of Real Estate". A mortgage broker would also be a Real Estate Pro. This is something that Trulia is working on to improve. Also, the website reference, in my opinion, is a cross between disclosing that she is not a real estate agent and a signature line. Do you read every word of every single "I agree to follow the rules" check box you get on your computer and websites? We all know not to use profanity, direct people to inappropriate websites, or to use spam. We know that we are agreeing not to sue the website. But, the "(optional)" Web References line seems like a signature line to many people. I actually believe it was you that pointed out to me and so I read the Community Guidelines in detail. Now I don't automatically put my web address in there every time. But I do still put it in as a disclosure signature line if where I am coming from perspective wise would make a difference to the post.
I hope this clarifies things a little.
Ruth
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 11, 2007
Ruthless, Other/Just Looking in 60558
MVP'08
You write him, or call him, and leave your info as to YOUR address, phone, employer, etc.. You make the owner feel at ease, by being very forthcoming about what your plans for it are... You tell him you would make him a net offer, and you would pay the fees of the realtor you would use. You tell him you would have it appraised and you would share that cost with him.

I am a Realtor in SF, Ca.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 11, 2007
Jude the quality of agent you hire is most important.

You have received a varity of great advise in this post.

If I were your Realtor.
I would write up a offer. So that it would not sound like a " False sales pitch", and it would hold more wieght than a neighbor "Just talking".

How does the seller know if the neighbour ( buyer ) is sincere. As in sincerely having the money to buy the house.

I would enclose a cover letter explaining who you are, how we have come to market value, and how you plan to pay.
I would also suggest the seller to hire his own Realtor to represent him. I think Dual agency in this case would not be helpful.
Good Luck
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 11, 2007
Mr.P, Other/Just Looking in Arizona
MVP'08
Sasha:
I hope we get to hear a lot more from you on this forum and I sincerely hope you did not take offense to my comment. On a forum filled with agents doing their job, a "consumer advocate" is often the "devil's advocate". I'll be hearing from Jennifer next on this one.

Unfortunately for you and Jude, a lot of banter has gone on between the "regulars" (such as Patrick and me) in order to keep us answering the same questions over and over again by having a little fun. And there is also a Thumbs Down bandit ruining the credibility of differing opinions. There is so much to be learned from spending time reading through old posts and receiving differing opinions on new ones. So thank you for chiming in Sasha. And thank you Jude for asking your question.
Ruth
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 11, 2007
Ruthless, Other/Just Looking in 60558
MVP'08
Simply because I am a Realtor, I would not always simply say, "You must use a Realtor." In the case you describe, I would defintitely use a Realtor. There is usually a story behind a situation like this, and often the owners aren't interested in discussing the story.

I have seen estates where the children were in disagreement, divorces, financial stresses, medical problems, etc. There is usually a story here, and a neutral third party (Realtor) is a better route.

I suggest that you hire a buyers agent and pay the buyers agent directly. You can probably negotiate a favorable fee since the agent is only focused on this one property. The agent might not quote you a fee without doing a bit of research first. That agent can approach the seller without asking the seller for money, negotiate in your best interest and will be better equipped to deal with a potentially guarded home owner.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 11, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Rumson, NJ
MVP'08
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Ooh Ruth,

I took this little tidbit from Sasha`s website
"Caveat Consultants is not a real estate agency"

She is not a Realtor, because you technically cant be a Realtor with out a Real estate company, to hang your license.

Her company charges a hourly fee to "educate" the consumer on the Real estate process. How can they do that and not be "Caveat Consultants is not a real estate agency"
She is not the Realtor she claims to be, I can`t think of anything more harmful to the consumer.
She is only here to sell a education package, that Realtor offer for free

Hmmm
Maybe that`s why she received 6 thumbs down, yep I gave her #6
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 11, 2007
Mr.P, Other/Just Looking in Arizona
MVP'08
Hey Jude, I have a friend who lives in Carmel,and his wife is a realtor,email me the address and I'll have her help you,track them down.

Thx

TJ
Web Reference: http://visitsignature.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2007
Hi Jude:

I used to live in Carmel, Indiana; great place. Nice to see somebody from that location! Did not remember we had abandoned house there. :-)

The best is to find a Realtor to handle that for you.

As this is an abandoned house, you will have to first find the owner of the house, and then if the person is willing to sell, you will need somebody to really help you to make sure the person who owns the house has the correct title to sell, the purchase price is right, the inspections are done correctly (abandoned house might have a lot of problems) and the options / estimates for making repairs/upgrades are well thought of (your bottom line is at stake), the real estate regulations are followed thru and much more.

So, if you don't have a realtor already, get some referrals so you can get started.

Sylvia
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2007
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin County, CA
MVP'08
Contact
I notice that no answer has appeared that refutes my plan, as below stated.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 10, 2008
Hey Jude I answered this last year? why is this showing up now. I 'll ask truila

TJ
Web Reference: http://tjroberts.remax.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 10, 2008
If you give me the address I can look up in the tax record the owner of the home and contact them for you. If he is interested in selling I can arrange for an appraisal and help you determine the value of the property. Please give me a call at my office 317-814-5273

Jacqueline Graham
Century 21 Scheetz
Web Reference: http://Century21Scheetz.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 8, 2008
Yes, Patrick. And I gave you a thumbs up for your response to Jude after my comment. I saw Sasha's web address and I meant to go read her profile to see if what I suspected was exactly what you said. But hey, I'm hear to play Devil's Advocate. So if Sasha (nothing personal) is the Devil, I guess that means I'm hear to support her.

JUDE: The best advice is BUYER BEWARE!!!

I like Deborah's answer as well.
Ruth
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 11, 2007
Ruthless, Other/Just Looking in 60558
MVP'08
Ooh Ruth,

I took this little tidbit from Sasha`s website
"Caveat Consultants is not a real estate agency"

She is not a Realtor, because you technically cant be a Realtor with out a Real estate company, to hang your license.

Her company charges a hourly fee to "educate" the consumer on the Real estate process. How can they do that and not be "Caveat Consultants is not a real estate agency"

Hmmm
Maybe that`s why she received 6 thumbs down, yep I gave her #6.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 11, 2007
Mr.P, Other/Just Looking in Arizona
MVP'08
Jude,
I would have to agree with Jeanette on this one. An owner might indeed be very suspicous of someone approaching them off the streets. By having a 3rd party represent you, you are proving you are legitimate in your offer. It would also serve as a buffer should the owner resent the initial contact, and then when they have had a little time to thin about it decides it may not be such a bad idea, they won't have already severed the connection.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 11, 2007
Jude: Do you know the owner of this home? If so, a casual conversation may get the ball rolling. (I would avoid the "cheap" part.) If the owner is interested, get your local Realtor involved. An experienced Realtor will know what to look for and help you negotiate the best price possible, as well as protect you through every step of the procers.
Web Reference: http://www.cindihagley.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2007
Cindi Hagley,…, Real Estate Pro in San Ramon, CA
MVP'08
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