I believe a true (real estate) professional lacking specific knowledge or expertise should willingly state so and diligently seek it on the clients' behalf. Why not ask your realtor friend for their advice on the matter?
I will add that (even if not lender-required), you obtain a market value appraisal of the property, AND final abstract continuation with title opinion if you are in an "abstract" state. In Black Hawk county, Iowa, the appraisal is nominally $325, with final abstracting and title opinion, approx $500.
If you plan to list your property for sale, contact (3) local real estate brokers to prepare a market valuation. If you plan to sell "FSBO", contact a residential appraiser for a market value appraisal.
Location + Lifestyle? = Do you mind spending free time mowing & shoveling?Is the condo "stand-alone" or apartment style? How much privacy do you (need) or want?
NO WAY, JOSE! I don't recommend this at all. For what possible reason?
Yes, it is inappropriate. Perhaps your realtor's managing broker will contact the listing agent on your behalf.
Some USDA programs offer buyer incentives that include "100%" options when purchasing qualified (rural) properties.
I'm assuming the property has closed and the selling price is public knowledge. As in any transaction, the seller "weighs" the attributes of each offer based on price and any other terms/contingencies. If you "smell a rat" ask your real estate broker for guidance. Additionally, there's a difference between bank-owned (REO) and short sale, so you may want to clarify that moving forward.
A simple address search on google / yahoo or your favorite search engine should reveal whether or not the listing address has a dedicated website.If not, multiple listings are syndicated to any number of real estate portals, including Zillow.com, realtor.com, Trulia.com, etc. That being said, most brokerages carry "all" local area MLS listings on their websites. You'll have to sift through the respective sites to find exactly what you want... or simply call your favorite realtor!.
For a confidence boost, I'd look for continuity of professional pest control services performed at the property. Certainly the seller can provide information known and may be pressed for that known to the previous owner.