Downloadable Real Estate Contract

 “…if you’re willing to do the legwork yourself there is no reason you should have to pay an agent if the transaction is fairly cut-and-dry.”

I have spent many hours this week researching how to make a real estate transaction happen as inexpensively as possible -since we’re paying for both sides of the upcoming real estate transaction- while still covering all proper bases.

In the beginning I was told that if you don’t use an RE agent (for which our cost would be ~$9,600) you would at least need a RE attorney (cost:~$3,500); but then I learned you don’t have to have an attorney unless there are disputes about the contract, so if the Seller is someone you trust it’s perfectly legit to simply pay an agent to write up the contract for you for a flat fee (cost: ~$1,500).  Now, even this much smaller $1,500 price tag seemed awfully steep to me, probably because that’s still $1.5k even before the Title company charges you for all their goodies too. So after a lengthy search for Colorado Real Estate contracts I eventually found the colorado.gov DORA site. Lo and behold, the Department of Regulatory Agencies is where all RE agents get their contracts from. Jackpot!

I hunkered down and read through the 25+ pages of the contract and addendums and the closing statement we’d need and realized I could totally do this myself with a little guidance from an agent where needed. So I called up the agent my mom had recommended (the same one who gave me the $1.5k price quote for her services) and asked her what she would instead charge to answer my questions and help me if I get stuck filling out the contract myself. Her initial reaction was one of shock because I had found the DORA website and that those mystical sheathed-under-cloak-and-dagger documents could be simply downloaded by just anyone. Her second reaction was that she refused to give me an hourly rate for her services and offered to check them over for free when I was ready. For free?!  I think I’ll send her a huge thank you gift card for such a generous offer. If I end up pulling this off I will be saving us upwards of $1.5k (or really $9.6k if you consider how agents charge around 7%) in exchange for a few grueling hours of research and paperwork.

I’ve come to realize there was a reason I had so much trouble finding information online about how to complete a real estate transaction without an agent/attorney or contract writer; because if you’re willing to do the legwork yourself there is no reason you should have to pay an agent if the transaction is fairly cut-and-dry… and I’m thinking this is information agents prefer not to share liberally. This DIY approach, of course, only applies if both Seller and Buyer are amicable and can work together civilly; but who’s to say in this bad economy folks can’t learn to work things out on their own if it means they’ll save more than $10,000 just for being well-behaved, hardworking grown ups?

Need your own state- or region-specific Real Estate Contract?

Colorado’s DORA website

Regulator Agencies for North America 

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