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How to Buy a Home From a Family Member Without the...

Buying a home is hard, but if you want to learn how to buy a home from a family member, you're entering truly treacherous territory. Have a family meeting Difficulty can easily occur when a homeowner and a potential buyer in the same family agree to a sale but keep it to themselves until the deal is in motion. "Two or more people often come to an agreement about a piece of real estate only to have their ideas ruined by someone who wasn't kept in the loop," says Seth Lejeune, a real estate agent at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, in Malvern, PA. The biggest issue occurs if someone secretly promises a house to a family member and then dies. Work with a real estate agent Doing a home sale transaction without an agent may seem like a great way to save money and, hey, you're among family, right? Some real estate brokerages can act simply as a transaction broker, which means less commission dollars. By seeking an independent property evaluation through an appraisal before you agree on a sale price, says Michael Kelczewski, a real estate agent with Brandywine Fine Properties in Pennsylvania and Delaware. In that instance, the buyer and seller would need to renegotiate the deal. But if you have every nickel agreed upon upfront due to what was discovered during inspection and at appraisal, monetary expectations are set for everyone. Don't skip adding a contract contingency that the deal is void if you can't get a mortgage.