Home Buying in Seattle>Question Details

oyeai, Home Owner in Seattle, WA

What's the best way to approach a property owner regarding a house that's not on the market?

Asked by oyeai, Seattle, WA Tue Feb 5, 2013

I live next door to a house that's typically a rental. In the past month however, the house has been sitting empty. I'm interested in the house, and would like to approach the owner to make an offer on the house, but I would like to know what's the best way to approach the owner. What tips, advice would you give me in order to make a successful approach?

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7
Kary Krismer’s answer
I agree with the point Jirius made, and wish I'd thought of it.

Given that the house is right next door they may believe you'd be willing to pay more than someone else. It would be better to have an agent make the contact so you can remain anonymous during the negotiations.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 8, 2013
Hi Oyeal,

I would recommend you hire a real estate broker to make the contact. It is very difficult to negotiate for yourself. Also, buying a home now days is quite complex. If you are not paying cash, you should get pre-approved for a loan, so you can make a strong offer if the owner is interested in selling.

Finding a motivated seller who will sell at the market price is the biggest challenge we real estate brokers face.

Good luck and I am happy to answer any further questions you may have.

Warm Regards,
Karen
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 7, 2013
Do not do anything on your own as they will see you coming & ask for much more then the house is worth. Eapecially true since you are right next door. Have a real estate broker contact them to get some general feedback as to their possible intentions about selling & go from there depending on what is discovered.

I would be happy to help you if you contact me directly.

Good luck to you in any case,
Jirius Isaac
Isaac Real Estate Team
Champions Real Estate Services
TriStar Finance #MLO-107799
Office: 425-483-6849 Cell: 206-841-9976
Winner of Seattle Magazines 5 Star
Real Estate Agent Best in Client Satisfaction Award
Mortgage Loan Originator Best in Client Satisfaction
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 5, 2013
Before you send a letter, or knock on the owner's door, you really need to do some basic research. You need more information about the property before approaching the owner with an offer.

I recommend that you review the public records to see if there has been any recent activity on title, such as the filing of a lien or or quit claim, or other legal notice. For example, if the home is going into foreclosure, then it may be useless to approach the owner.

Next, you should review the tax-assessed value and the date & amount of the last sale. The public records will show you what the owner paid for the home. If the owner paid $400,000 and you're thinking about offering the owner $300,000, then you may want to re-think your offer.

May I also suggest that you could contact an experienced Realtor? This is what Realtors do. They evaluate real estate, provide opinions of value, and help buyers with purchase strategies. A Realtor is your advocate in these situations, and he/she is working for you. An experienced Realtor could be invaluable in helping you approach and successfully negotiate with the owner. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 5, 2013
One concern on an unlisted property is possibly violating the Distressed Property law. Off the top of my head I'm not sure whether that would be applicable to an empty house that was most recently used as a rental, but violating that law could have severe consequences.

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2013/01/vietnam_v…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 5, 2013
Bring a pre-approval letter and knock on the door or work with you agent to present a fully drawn-up offer!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 5, 2013
Call the owner, be sincere, tell them you are pre-approved with a local reputable lender, and that you have an agent who can help facilitate the sale. If you truly are ready, wiling, and able to make a purchase the owner might consider selling. Express to the owners that you should stay in touch, even if they aren't ready to sell now, maybe they will be in a year or two. Good luck!
Web Reference: http://Www.leahpham.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 5, 2013
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