There is a flurry of real estate activity of all sorts in the southeast states, following hurricane Katrina. No doubt this will prove to be a timely post for many buyers and sellers, though it is timeless information.
You ve advertised your property by owner successfully, you ve found a buyer, and you re ready to proceed. Or you ve found a property For Sale By Owner, and you re ready to buy. As you proceed through the transaction, you will very quickly come to one of the most intimidating steps of the process: the paperwork.
The paperwork should not intimidate you. Depending on how comfortable and familiar you are with real estate transactions, different solutions below will seem attractive to you. Each option is rated will be rated on a 5-star system. Regardless of what option you choose, when it comes time to sign the contracts and close the deal, you should absolutely obtain the services of a closing attorney or title company (this is actually required by law, in most areas).
1 star = ideal for people not at all comfortable with real estate paperwork
5 stars = ideal for people completely comfortable with real estate paperwork
Fee-for-Service Agency Contract Work
Unfortunately, most real estate agencies have not embraced the fee-for-service model, where you pay only for the services you need/want. But if you happen to have a company locally who provides these discounted services, you may look into it. The going rate completing paperwork and closing a sale like this is somewhere between $500-$1500, depending on the company and location.
Have a Closing Attorney or Title Company Complete All Paperwork
If you have a local For Sale By Owner assistance company, call them and ask who they suggest for closing assistance. If you don t know of a local company, pick up the phone book and call an attorney or title company and ask who typically handles real estate paperwork. They ll be happy to explain to you the local process, and you can then choose an appropriate company to hire.
Complete the Paperwork Yourself, Take to Closing Company for Closing
If you feel confident with the real estate process and just need a brush-up of the laws and forms, you can check your state s real estate commission website for appropriate forms to download. Forms are also available for some states from mortgage companies, closing attorneys, or FSBO websites like FSBOzone.
For the convenience of anyone in areas with the most, fastest activity related to hurricane evacuees, here are links to some of the appropriate real estate commission sites:
Louisiana Real Estate Commission
Mississippi Real Estate Commission
Texas Real Estate Commission
(Alabama is a buyer-beware state, with no property disclosures and no official standard forms)
(Tennessee does not have forms on their real estate commission site)
Once you have the contracts / forms / disclosures ready that apply to your property, talk with the involved mortgage company to make sure financing is ready. They will probably take the lead in scheduling a closing with the appropriate entity. If no lender is involved, then you will just schedule a closing directly. Call the closing attorney or title company, as appropriate, and arrange a time to go over all the documents and then close on the sale.
As locations for state-specific forms appear, I ll post them.
As the dust here settles, the cream is rising to the top
The Dust Settling
Well, after a tremendously busy last few weeks, everything is finally slowing down enough to where the content of this blog can get the attention it deserves. As great as blogging software is, and as easy as it has become to setup a blog, it s still not that easy when you re trying to get everything working EXACTLY the way you want. But FINALLY the technical setup is finished, the tweaks are done, and we ve begun inviting additional contributors to author for The FSBO Blog (if you believe you have something to offer this audience, drop me an e-mail).
The Cream Rising To the Top
Now that we ve gotten everything up and running and can finally spend time reviewing statistics and comments, some very interesting - and very helpful - information has surfaced. The search history is giving insight into the best posts on this blog, along with what kind of topics you re looking for and interested in. And unfortunately, some of your favorite topics aren t posted about enough. Some searches are for specific people or companies, and one can only guess why. But others are very clear - such as “what percent are realtors paid” or FSBO Paperwork.
We re listening! Starting now, we ll begin posting as soon as we see you re looking for it. Being a blog, of course, we d love to have your interaction and comments - post questions or requests if you have them. But if you don t post, and you simply search for something that s not here, rest assured that alarm bells will go off and lights will start flashing so we know something needs to be added.
Over time, an About the Contributing Authors section will appear over in the right hand column so you can learn a little about who we are and why we re running this blog. We look forward to a long and bright future ahead!