Trying to buy a property through a third party. Is this a problem?

I got a response to a mailer by submission on my website by someone who is not the owner of the property. He says he’s a friend of the owner and she had asked him to help her with this. I’m presuming she is an older woman (husband has died) so in that case, it would make some sense that her friend is helping. It also turns out he is a real estate agent, however, he says he is not acting in any official capacity in selling the land, simply helping his friend.

Has anyone had a situation like this come up. Should I be wary of anything here?

I do have a purchase contract signed by the seller (as far as I know, obviously could be signed by anybody haha). I haven’t dealt with the seller directly at all, as everything has been back and forth by email with her friend. Wondering if this is normal or something that would raise a red flag for someone? I can’t imagine this guy would try to do anything shady for 1.5k, he is an agent and I can find his info on google etc…

@wes I wonder if he would need POA to do this.

@suitedconnector not sure, but I wouldn't imagine he does based on what he's doing. Basically he just found out what the process is for closing the deal and communicated that to her. I got the purchase contract to him by email and he got her to sign in and got it back to me. So he's just serving as an unofficial go between for us, however of course I'm trusting all this is true as I have no direct communication with the seller.

@wes, doesn't sound bad to me, provided all normal due diligence is ensured when actually closing the deal, and presuming that you're not paying an earnest money deposit (at least in any amount you'd be heartbroken about losing, in the worst case scenario). Are you self-closing or closing through a title company? As long as the identity of the person who signs the deed for closing the transaction (witnessed by a notary) is verified, you should be good.

Title company would take care of that for you, but it's certainly doable self-closing, as well. If I recall correctly, I think someone mentioned in a thread here a few weeks ago that when self-closing a purchase transaction they send the check to the mobile notary that they hire, with instructions not to issue the check to the Seller until their identity had been verified by the notary, and the Seller had signed the deed. Sounded like a good idea to me, but one I haven't personally put into practice yet, because I've closed most of my deals through a title company, except for two transactions (one purchase, one resale) where I just took the lowest-risk approach for me, on both sides of the transaction (didn't mail a check to Seller until I received their signed/notarized deed; didn't record a deed selling the property myself until my Buyer had paid me).

AS long as the rightful owner signs the deed and the payment is made to that same rightful owner - it is not as critical who signs the contract. If you close with a title company, they'll insure it is all in order. If you self close, I would encourage you to ensure the actual owner signs the deed and it is witnessed by notary.


As Karl said it is fine as long as the owner signs. I had a self close on one like this recently where the couple were older and the supposed "son in law" was the go between.

I had a notary go and requested they both have photo ID to verify identity. It went through without any issues.