If you are buying a property that is not listed on the MLS, you will probably not be using a real estate agent. While this can seem intimidating, this happens all the time, and although an agent won’t be there to hold your hand, you’ll get through it just fine!

Related: The Easiest Way to Find “Off Market” Deals: Pocket Listings

Making an offer to a private seller usually begins with a verbal offer, offered in casual conversation. It’s usually far less official at first, and it’s usually just brought up when touring the property. When I am trying to buy a home from a private seller, I like to start by asking the seller how much they would like to get. Then, after some negotiation (which I’ll cover later in this chapter), you’ll come to an agreement on price. At that point, you can pull out your official purchase and sale document and sign in all the necessary places to make it official.

Letter of Intent

Another casual way to make an offer without being too official is by using a letter of intent. A letter of intent is a simple document that lists the conditions of the purchase and sale, usually on one page, and doesn’t use all the legalese. It’s not a legal document, just a way for both parties to see…