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What kind of agent should I be looking for and is it smart to hire an agent in my case?

I found a few properties online and I would like to purchase one but I know nothing about researching leins. Is there a certain kind of agent that will not only take care of the paperwork/contracts for purchase but also check title and leins? Also does it make sense to use an agent for a distressed property that is selling for less than 12,000?
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July 05 2011 - Cleveland
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Wheter you use an agent, attorney or do it on your own, make sure a title company is involved in the closing. A title company will research any leins on the property and make sure the are satisfied prior to, or at closing. The title company will issue you title insurance, but that only protects you to the amount of the purchase price.

Laws probably vary from state to state, so you should consult an attorney or a local realtor (or two) for their input.

Good luck!
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July 05 2011
It would be doubful an agent would get themselves involved in a $12,000 transaction unless you want to compensate them for their time and expertise to assist you with making the offer, negotiating the terms, hiring the title company or ensuring a title company is involved, and helping you with the contingencies.  There are a lot of things to worry about when you don't have someone knowledgable to guide you.

I see it all the time, where people think they are getting a good deal and find out they are responsible for the HOA or Condo liens, back taxes, and municipal liens.  After paying all those liens, the property was not such a great deal after all.

Call an agent in your area familiar with distressed properties, and let them know your situation.  It might be worth offering them $1500 to help with the transaction.  Money well spent.

All the best.
Craig Fialkowski GRI,CDPE
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July 05 2011
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Agents will not check for liens in most cases. That is something that a title company generally does. Title companies will also check for a clear title just make sure that if you are buying a distressed property that you buy title insurance for yourself not just for your lender.

They are two different things and in this day and age with questionable paperwork floating around it is worth looking into.
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July 06 2011
You can attempt to reasearch for liens via public records which can generally be found at your county court hourse (via the clerk and recorders office).  But I agree with the prior comments ...... emply the services of a Title Company for a thorough search and your own 'peac-of-mind'!  Its doubtful that a 'buyers' agent will conduct a lien search for you!!
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July 06 2011

I would recommend to defintiely use a knowledgeable Real estate attorney that also does title services to help with transactiosn like these. I have purchased distressed properties at low prices and having an attorney review everyhting and ensure clean title and issue a title insurance policy is absolutely worth it no matter what the purchase price is. I would poke around online maybe in some forums to try to find a knowlesgeable RE attorney in your area.

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July 07 2011
 
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