Lotus1922, Other/Just Looking in 75023

How to perform credit/ background check on BUYER?

Asked by Lotus1922, 75023 Wed Jul 11, 2012

This is my first time doing ANY of this, so please excuse the silly questions :)

I'm new to investing and have the opportunity to seek out buyers for an owner-financed property. I do not own the property but am working on the owner's behalf to expedite the process by pre-screening interested parties before referring them to the owner.

- I'm looking at either NTNonline or TenantScreen to order the reports. But they want to know if the subscriber is a landlord, realtor, or property manager-- and I'm not any of those! Is this something I can actually do as a third party, or does the owner have to do this themselves?

- I've found some rental applications online from property managers to use as a template, but can the same/ similar form be used for a BUYER? I can't imagine the requested info could be too different, but wonder if some of the language referring to tenants/ landlords and the like might be a problem?

Would appreciate all other insight too . . . Thanks!

Help the community by answering this question:


Sorry to state I would recommend for you to become educated in real estate prior to perform task(s) as a professional . You could also be sued.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Credit Repair Advisor
Multimillion Dollar Sales Producer

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1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 11, 2012
Great info, thanks to everyone. Had been finding mixed information as to whether or not this was possible because the sources assume it's a rental and/or that I'm the owner. Obviously I want to be safe and not create some horrible trouble for acting outside my capacity; but I would like to know to what extent I can assist the seller in locating a buyer. They are currently doing some extensive repairs and remodeling to have the property ready so anything to make the search go smoothly would be a big help. I am currently doing word-of-mouth advertising among friends/ family/ colleagues so I guess I will just turn over the serious inquirers directly to the seller to follow through with.

Thanks again!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 11, 2012
You do not have any business doing any of the above unless you are an employee of the property owner.

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 11, 2012
Keep in mind that there are laws that guard one's privacy/personal information, therefore it really is in your best interest to consult with an attorney who specializes in real estate before taking on such a task...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 11, 2012
I can't imagine doing this.....or think that you can legally do it. Credit reports are pretty sensitive information, so for the producers of the credit reports to allow you access there are usually a lot of guidelines they make you follow as you have seen.

Just be aware, that chances are most of the people you will deal with that want owner finance will have bad credit. That's why they want owner finance, as they cannot get credit from a bank.

Probably what you want is a LOAN application. I'm sure somewhere in a google search you can find one.

As my attorney often says......look at the banks ...they have all kind of economists, underwriters, experience, models, systems, history and expertise on lending and they often can't get it right. Why on earth do you think you can do better? Not saying you can't, but I think it is a good question. The other thing he says is that the lending laws are pretty strict and tough to follow. For example let's say the buyer is 3 months late and calls for a September 13th payoff. Can you accurately calculate the payoff? How familiar are you with escrow account laws? If you can't do this to the penny or screw up the escrow account, they may be able to come after you for a lot more than you loaned them and tie up your house. Then you'll wish you had never ever never heard the word owner finance.

Just something to think about.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 11, 2012
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
The websites you are using are for rentals, not for owner financed home sales. If you want to use that information, you could certainly do so - but it will not be tailored to your needs. If you were renting the home, you (or your boss) would be the landlord, so you could always start there.

However, I do agree with Lynn that you should definitely make sure your paperwork is buttoned up and that you are very well educated on this process. She has a good point that if you don't know what you are doing, the likelihood of being sued is quite high. Professional Realtors and Mortgage Lenders go through extensive training in their field prior to being licensed and then must complete continuing education annually to ensure that we are updated on the most recent changes in the industry.

Additionally, you (or your boss) as the home seller have rights in this type of situation. You will want to be educated on those as well. What if the buyer doesn't pay? How do evictions work? How much do they cost? How long do they take? How does title convey with your lien? How much interest can you charge? There are sooo many things to take into consideration.

Keep in mind, that since you are involved (even though you don't own the property) you can be liable for incorrect information or errors.

Good luck out there! I hope that you find the information you need and that you get a speedy sale.

Melissa Hailey - North Texas Top Team, Realtors
Coldwell Banker Jane Henry Realtors

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 11, 2012
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