Home Buying in Minnehaha>Question Details

Norm Chansen, Home Buyer in 56301

Is it possible to make a purchase offer anonymously?

Asked by Norm Chansen, 56301 Mon Jun 30, 2008


I am curious if it is possible to make an offer to purchase property anonymously. I know the seller as an acquaintance, and do not wish their opionion on what I personally might be willing to pay interfere with the numbers or terms of the agreement.

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Real estate contracts must identify a buyer against whom the contract can be enforced. That is a matter of law. Yet sometimes buyers will seek to remain anonymous. For example, Bob wants to remain anonymous because a nearby neighbor won't sell to Bob or because the neighbor might charge a premium for the property if they knew Bob was the purchaser. This is also common in commercial transactions (e.g., past competitor issues).

The KEY is for the anonymous buyer or Principal to purchase the property through what is often referred to as a nominee. Here are two scenarios. (1) Nominee enters into a contract to buy property and then assigns contract to Principal -- Principal, not nominee, closes on purchase or (2) Nominee takes title to the property and later conveys it to Principal.

What might be more important here is your reason for Anonymity and/or the circumstances surrounding the transaction. It is easy to perceive of what could go WRONG under such a situation. If your intent is to proceed with this purchase, it would be in your best interest to see the advice of an attorney.

See 5th question in LINK below:
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 30, 2008
Norm, unfortunatley to the best of my knowledge in order to have a valid contract a name will be required. Jack Vance
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 7, 2008
Good advice from Bruce.

A similar technique (and, in fact, it's compatible with Bruce's scenarios) is to form either an LLC or land trust. The offer is made in the name of the LLC or land trust. (You'd still have to apply for, or at least sign for, the financing; few lenders will actually lend to a newly formed LLC or land trust.) I'm not a lawyer, so this isn't legal advice. However, for privacy and other matters, I'd favor the land trust, though I know investors who are perfectly comfortable using an LLC.

The the purchase could be made in the name of the LLC or land trust. In the case of the land trust, you could keep your identify hidden for as long as you want.

Technically, you could keep the LLC or land trust in place. You then could lease the property from the land trust or LLC. Or, if you don't mind revealing your identify after the purchase, you could transfer the deed from that legal entity to yourself.

A good lawyer should be able to structure it in whichever way works best for you.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 7, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
The short answer is "yes", and you have a good reason. I'd suggest consulting with a real estate attorney or good real estate agent and they will guide you through the details and your options.

Best wishes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 7, 2008
As Bruce mentioned, there are ways to write the offer such that your identity is protected, however it does have its challenges. Another way you could do it would be to write all the terms up but leave your name blank and do not execute until you have a verbal agreement on terms, and have your agent explain your preference to remain anonymous until terms are negotiated.

In many ways I feel it is best to be forthright from the beginning. If the seller finds out later that it is you they might feel wronged somehow and bad feelings are never good for a transaction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 30, 2008

Minnesota requires an earnest money check (probably has your name and address on it), and in addtion the MAR approved pruchase agreement as for the buyers name on the 2nd line. If you told us a little more about why you want to be annonymous an agent here might have a great idea of how to accomplish your goals.

Cameron Piper
Web Reference: http://www.campiper.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 30, 2008
gee i don't see how, unless you have a trust that would be buying it for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 30, 2008
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