Q: What is the required process for remotely buying a for-sale-by-owner home with cash in Maine?
We are out of state, and want to buy an inexpensive "as is" house in Maine. We want to complete the sale as simply as possible, and we do not intend to travel there for viewing or to sign documents. We're not asking for any contingencies (i.e. no inspection etc.), we just want to buy it. We do not have a real estate agent, and neither does the seller.
What do we need to do? For example, do we need to hire a lawyer, or can a title/escrow company handle everything? Is escrow required in a simple sale (it so, does the buyer or seller find the escrow company)? Is a formal offer letter required (if not, do we present the seller with a drafted purchase and sale agreement, or would the seller do that?
A: Although a title company can likely handle everything with respect to closing the sale (but not with respect to preparing a purchase and sale agreement), you are probably well-advised to speak with a lawyer about your situation, especially given that you do not intend to travel to Maine for viewing, you are buying the house “as is” and subject to no contingencies, and you do not have a real estate agent. Assuming you speak with a lawyer, you should ask her or him how much they would charge you for the services you need.
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