Whittier, CA asked in Real Estate Law for Arizona

Q: Can I use just real estate attorney to buy property directly from owner, and avoid the title company?

I want to buy a piece of property in Arizona for $42K directly from the owners. The owners will finance the loan. They don't want to involve outside parties like real estate or title company.

I talked to a title company and they want about $3,500 to handle everything. I'd rather not pay that much.

Can I do this directly with the owners with help from a Real Estate attorney or would that be very risky?

My concerns are that the owners live across the country from me, and they are elderly.

if they pass before the loan is paid off, can I be assured the title will get signed over once it's paid for? Can we just sign a contract then I just send them checks or money transfers and keep records?


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1 Lawyer Answer
Peter H. Westby
Peter H. Westby
  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: It is legal to do as you suggest but I strongly recommend against handling a real estate transaction this way. You would be much better served and better protected to have a title company handle this matter so you will have a title insurance policy and know that you are getting clear title to the property. You should also consider appointing your title company as collection agent to collect your payments, transmit them to the sellers, keep records and, most importantly, record a release of your deed of trust when you pay off this property. This will eliminate problems in the event that the sellers die before your purchase price is fully paid.

I also recommend that you have a real estate attorney assist you with this transaction.

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