Home Buying in 78733>Question Details

Vj, Home Buyer in Austin, TX

Dear Friends:We are looking to buy a house on our own. As we do not have a realtor, we would like the

Asked by Vj, Austin, TX Thu Jun 5, 2008

seller to give us 3% check at closing. Is this possible and if yes, how should we word the offer? Alternately, can they contribute 3% out of our 5% down payment. All help offered is greatly appreciated. Best Regards!

Help the community by answering this question:


It seems that your objective is cash assistance. You can also look into grant programs. Nehemiah is one. While the grant money comes from the organization, a seller must be willing to make a donation, also.

New homes also qualify.

Here's a link for more info. This page lists builders who work w/ Nehemiah. Individual sellers of resale homes can also choose to work w/ Nehemiah. You can search for Realtors familiar w/ the grants on this site, and find resale homes. Just because a resale home is not listed on the site does not mean that it might not be possible.


good luck,
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 5, 2008
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
I agree with Janine. If you are looking for seller assistance, check out the FHA loans that are available. The Niemiah loan will allow the seller to give you back up to 6% but you must use it towards your down payment and/or closing costs. Check with your lender and ask if you may qualify for the loan and how it works.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 5, 2008
VJ, You could do an FHA loan with 3% down and the seller can contribute up to 6% towards your closing costs. Problem solved! Let me know if I can help. Shoot me an email and I can direct you towards out online application. I can run a pre approval and have you qualified within 24 hours of receiving your application. Thanks, Ted
Web Reference: http://www.prodigymtg.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 29, 2008

If you are financing the house with a mortgage, the seller could not legally write you a check. That would be mortgage fraud. A contribution towards your closing costs is still something that can be done but you need a good loan officer to help you. If you would like more information please give me a call. I can steer you towards a talented loan officer who can help.

Carol Pease
Web Reference: http://www.LeanderHomes.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2008
I just recently closed a transaction, where the buyers represented themselves. They made their offer with an addendum stating that there would be no selling office commission and asking the seller to pay their closing costs, not to exceed........x amount. They bought the home FHA and were able to get into it with very little down.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 6, 2008
I have concerns if you going to do a FSOB, we answer so many emails and calls a day when things went wrong it 's tooo late for a realtor to become involved. There are many seasoned veterans out there who search of people who try to purchase a home w/o a realtor next thing you have lost $1000's of what you thought earnest money.

Having a realtor who represents you not a builder, seller, listing agent you also have coverage for your realtor e & o insurance so if something goeesss wrong you have someone on your side. Sometimes during to save a few $1000's can cost you more than you can imagine.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 5, 2008

So you have found the house? Are you waiting for feedback before approaching the listing agent, or have you been in talks with them already?

Regardless, the good news is there is an option that could allow you your 3% and the seller his desired price. Have you ever heard of a "buy down”?

This is an opportunity for a motivated seller to contribute to your loan amount and his purchase price by contributing to the cost of your loan up to 3%. If you get your loan locked at 6% for example, the first year you will pay 4%, the next year 5%, and then the third year you will hit the ceiling at 6%.

So in short, there is the best way I see you the 3% that you are looking for. This is common in Austin. Going about that without an agent is entirely up to you. It sounds like you may not see the value in seeking representation specific to your interest. I will only say that buying a home is a detailed and intricate process. In any case, we are always available at the GoodLife to answer you questions, share our knowledge, and offer you a safe and successful real estate experience.

Furthermore, if you have found the property you can visit http://www.goodlifeteam.com to receive a house value report specific to the property that you are interested in at no cost. On our home page there is a button that says, "what’s the value of your property". Simply Input the required information specific to your property of interest. The report will be mailed in less than 30 minutes and will contain, graphically and specific to the home, up to 3 months of comparables, asking vs. selling %'s, time on the market, etc… Each graph has information to be expanded for detailed explanation of each point. All of these points can help justify your offer.

You can reach us direct, anytime at 512.406.1076. Please do not hesitate to call!

Thank you for your question VJ.


Krisstina Wise
GoodLife Team
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 5, 2008
I can appreciate the logic of wanting a 3% rebate but most banks have fairly strict guidelines on these sorts of credits as Janine mentioned below. Also, a wise person once said to me, two people can't save the same money, so a seller may not follow your logic or want to split the difference with you. Also, in effect the listing agent may not be able to take a sale for less than that amount, especially since anything they might do for you could possibly be construed as agency, in which case there may be liability issues to the brokerage. Not to mention that the listing agreement usually specifies the listing agency's commission as a contractual obligation on the part of the seller to the brokerage. Good luck! With some of the FHA loans now you can get into a home with little down if you meet their qualifications. Or perhaps the seller can finance a part of the price. It all depends on the particular situation of all the parties.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 5, 2008
If you are financing your house, chances are good you will NOT be able to receive a 3% check at closing as the lenders do not normally allow this. Sellers can normally contribute 3-6% towards closing costs, but again this is up to lender guildelines. If you are trying to get into a home with little or no money down, you should apply for a loan, see what you qualify for and then work at getting your realtor to work the deal possible. I hope this helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 5, 2008
amazing --- am curious, vj -- why are you intent on doing this on your own? if appears you could use some help or you wouldn't be asking for it -- i appreciate your gaining the experience however a trusting relationship based in clear communication with a full time realtor might get you even better results than what you've negotiated -- with significantly less hassle -- how do you even know if the house is overpriced? -- amazing
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 5, 2008
I appreciate all the feedback. So, it seems the only thing I can ask is take 3% price of price which the seller should be more than willing to do in this market. Any other good options? THanks much to everyone who contributed with their answers.~~~~~~~

Thanks Vj, aren't realtors nice people? We help even if we aren't getting paid. We don't get paid a salary, you understand. All we are paid is our commission, at the closing table. How often do you work for free, Vj? Personally I resent you asking how to word an offer. I know how to word an offer because I do it all the time. I know how to present an offer also. It is a skill I acquired on my own time over the years. A skill I like to get paid for.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 29, 2008
You would really have to check with your lender. If you are paying cash then write it in the offer. See what happens.
Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 10, 2008
Sarah, Were you the listing agent on the subject transation? Did they get the ....X amount from the amount agreed upon in the listing agreement? in other words the listing agency's commission? Or did the sellers pay their closing costs from their own proceeds without affecting the listing agreement?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 6, 2008
Are you considering buying a home for sale listed by a Realtor, or for sale by owner?
Web Reference: http://www.bigdrelo.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 6, 2008
VJ. Neat idea but it doesn't work exactly like that. If the buyer doesn't have a realtor, the seller's agent gets the whole commission. So it's worth your while to get a Realtor. Saving the commission doesn't work. Now if you need 3% down payment assistance you can also have your realtor write that into the contract. Depending on the home, you may have to up the price to get that back, but as long as it will meet appraisal you can potentially do this.
Web Reference: http://www.teamlynn.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 5, 2008
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
I appreciate all the feedback. So, it seems the only thing I can ask is take 3% price of price which the seller should be more than willing to do in this market. Any other good options? THanks much to everyone who contributed with their answers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 5, 2008
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