Profile picture for Rob A Benavidez

Is there a need for real estate agent when buying my parents home?

I have recently decided to buy my parents home. The house is valued around $375k. I already have a pre-approved mortgage and my parents have agreed to sell me the house under market value at 300k. I will receive a gift of equity and include extra money for the down payment. Since I am not searching for a home, I'm guessing there would be no need to involve a real estate agent. Can a real estate lawyer help me proceed with the documents and complete this transaction?
  • March 03 - Germantown
  • 1Yes

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Answers (7)

Profile picture for j3350489
Plain answer is No . But call lawyer and tax accountant
  • March 03
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No, yes.

You don't really even need a "real estate lawyer," you can have a title or escrow company handle the closing. The big thing to me is to have a CPA and estate attorney offer an opinion on the effects of a below-market sale.

With the current tax laws, you're starting out $75,000 below market, but if you sell the house for over $550K, you will trigger a taxable event. (the first $250,000 of gain is currently not taxable).

If your parents have other heirs, this may also be an issue; so may the $75,000 "gift of equity." So I wouldn't just jump into this - I'd consult with my legal/financial team to make sure the sale is structured properly.

All the best,
  • March 03
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I love how zillow edits my comment to "shoot me if you're interested in getting their names. I guess I should have said, contact me through my zillow profile so that zillow can stay in the middle of as much of our communication as possible!
  • March 03
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Profile picture for sunnyview
Your parents sound nice so that's great to hear. :) You can use a standard contact and the required disclosure for Maryland then submit them to a local escrow/title company to handle the rest of the process. They will also check for any unknown liens and handle the money as a third party. 

If you have questions about the contract, you can take your contract to an attorney to look over, but you will still probably want to use an escrow/title company to make sure that title is transferred properly. 
  • March 03
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Rob, not necessary (unless you want an agent's opinion on the purchase). Hire a good settlement/title attorney, and they'll take care of everything. I know a couple of great attorneys, one in Gaithersburg and the other in Bethesda. Shoot me [Content removed by Zillow Moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy] if you're interested in getting their names. Good luck, and congratulations!
  • March 03
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Profile picture for user75048061
You do not need an agent. I did the same thing 13 years ago. Just find a good lawyer to do the paperwork and settlement. 
  • March 03
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Profile picture for Joe Vickers
Absolutely!--But be sure the Attorney specializes in Real Estate.
  • March 03
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