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Q. My wife and I would like to purchase a home that is currently in very good condition, and vacant. It has been vacant for over a year. The owner lives several hours away, is quite open to a friend of ours that keeps an eye on the house that he intends to sell it, but has given little indication of when he'll list it. He also seems disinterested in selling off the market without an agent. Any suggestions about what we could do in the mean time?
Keep saving money so you have more to put down on it. If you don't have to be in this home, keep looking, otherwise just be patient and the longer it sits vacant, the more likely you'll want a whole house inspection. Funny how things can go bad from not being used in a home.
find yourself a buyer's agent that is not afraid to contact the seller. Ask the neighbor to ask the owner what price he/she might consider. Have the agent go in with an offer contingent upon inspection. If you are in Lancaster County, you can find a lot of information on the home through the Property Assessment website.
Don't rush into this house. It may be the right house for you. And if so, go for it. But go into it informed and protected. Hire a Buyer Agent as Julie mentioned above.
You have right to representation. I would always recommend a Buyer Agent. Your agent would represent your best interest. And that way they can help you with answering all sorts of questions. And it typcially doesn't cost you anything for representation. Each agent works differently, so you would want to ask them that question. But often the Buyer Agent gets paid a commission that's actually being paid by the seller and/or the listing agent. Even though they represent you. Interview a few agents and be sure they explain to you the process and that you read over the Buyer Agent contract. That's typically how it works though unless you work something different out once you sit down with an agent and if you two decide on something different. You should always be informed, though. So if the agent doesn't want to explain the process to you or rush you through, then that might not be the agent for you.
If you ever need help in the State College/Penn State University area, I am happy to help you. I promise to take my time and explain the process thoroughly to you. If you are in a different area, I'm happy to help you find an agent.
If that is your dream house, I would definately get yourself a buyer's agent to represent you. The agent could contact the home owner and see what his intentions are. You could also have your friend refer a realtor to this homowner. If he is serious about selling, maybe having an agent referred to him would make him more comfortable to sell now. If you have any questions, contact me.
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