Submitting an offer to a Buy Owner sellor

10 Replies

So I've been through the ringer this past week...looking at a few houses here in South Florida. I'll tell you what... I give credit to all of you real estate investors out there with cash on hand to buy property. Without a cash offer, a great property is hard to come by down here (at least an affordable one). 

I've found an off market property that my wife and I love. We want to make an offer on it today before anyone else sees it... and my attorney is taking forever to get back to me. 

I'm going to do an online search about submitting a legitimate offer to this buy owner seller..but what better resource is there than Bigger Pockets!

If anyone can steer me in the right direction with submitting a legitimate offer to a buy owner seller I appreciate it. I need something acceptable to give to an attorney so that he can write up a contract. 

In Florida apparently the seller chooses the title company, so his own attorney will likely be handling it. Should I just not wait for mine to get back to me, and have his call me after I discuss an offer over the phone with the guy? 

First time doing this soo.......


Reach some type of verbal agreement first, which is what the seller probably expects anyway.  Who picks the title co./closing agent is negotiable. Title co.s don't necessarily need to be attorneys, but most do.  I can recommend a couple if you want. "Standard practice" in PB county only, is for Seller to pick closing agent (and pay for title insurance).  Usually, the party who picks, pays for title insurance, about 0.55%.  Make sure you have an inspection period, 7-10 days, and make sure you're not buying I to some place with required golf club memberships, popular in Boca.

Feel free to call or email me.

Thanks for the response Wayne!

@John Andrews  I usually use the standard Florida Realtors-Florida Bar contract if I know it's going to be reviewed by sellers attorney. I also like to select the title company, and you can still have seller pay for title charges if you select the right boxes on the standard contract. I'd be happy to walk you through submitting the offer, just send me a private message or give me a call. 

@John Andrews John I don't know much about Florida law but you said something in your post that jumped out at me. You said you and your wife "loved" the property. As a once new investor so hungry for my first deal I too found properties that I loved. What you have to make sure of though is that the numbers work.
I have been guilty of this very mistake and it hurts. We all have to learn our lessons but take it from many out here it's not a good way to start. So I really encourage you to take a second look at your numbers to make sure the deal makes numerical sense. Don't get in too big of a hurry. I promise another deal will come along.

Good luck John.

@Aaron Wyssmann thanks for the advice. I have been in and out of a bunch of places that I love, and have learned to keep my emotions in check. 

This actually isn't a flip or rental property...We're planning on living in it. It would be our first home. 

Either way..the numbers do work. 

I've finally gotten in touch with my attorney and got the offer (contract) put together. 

My conversation with the seller didn't go so amazing yesterday though. He is a bit all over the place, and I'm not sure he's making 100% of the decision to sell at a certain price. He and his brother inherited the place...

Has anyone ever dealt with a situation like this? I'm comfortable offering his mentioned asking price if needed...He wants 240, and I offered 232,5 based on the bathrooms needing to be finished, the a/c unit needing replaced, refrigerator, flooring in 2nd BR among other little things. 

I might just need to wait a day and see if he calls...unless someone has some advice on influencing a fsbo on making a quicker there anything other than money that might sweeten the deal? 

@John Andrews Hi John, Two things to dig into ASAP. 

# 1, Who is the decision maker?  in many of these estate deals there are the worker bees and then there is the queen bee who makes the final decision. Make sure you identify all of the parties so you can sit down with right person, eyeball to eyeball to get the deal done.

#2, Sweeteners,  Usually the best sweetener for any seller in an estate sale is to not have to lift a finger. That can be everything from taking the house as is (no contingencies and close immediately) to cleaning out the junk that is non saleable. Sometimes the cost of dumpster and some time can knock 1,000's off the price and lock the deal in. 

One final point, even though I'm a broker in MN (for the record, it was a great All Star game last night in my opinion) there are times that some seller's just want the deal negotiated in a one page agreement on terms and conditions before a full blown contract is written. I've developed a one pager that works very well and can even be used for exchanging personal goods (additional sweeteners) in a deal. If you want to see it, just fiire me your email or send a colleague request and I'll forward it. 

Glad to hear you found your first dream home - stick to the numbers though as you move forward.

If the two brothers agreed on an asking price of $240, they should be fine with $232.5.  I wouldn't  raise your price yet, there may be some family dynamics at play here that have nothing to do with price.  A question about whether he and his brother are on the same page, are there any other estate issues that need to be settled, etc. might be the next inquiry.  Do you know if they have the actual authority to sell it yet?  How is it titled, if not in their names, has probate progressed far enough yet?

My attorney has told me that the probate is a non issue. Their attorney is a friend of theirs. The seller (to me) seemed unclear as to how much of a non issue the probate was. 

I'm thinking of putting in a call to my attorney again today for a more clear explanation of the probate (non) issue. This might ease the seller's mind and influence him to let it go sooner rather than later. 

He is also a cabinet guy so I think i'll be offering him the opportunity to finish some work on the house too...he did build out the kitchen himself, used to work for my father in law, and does good work. I think that may be a good kicker the more I think about it. 

Just keep in mind that every time you call your attorney, there is going to be a charge. It does not take much to get an attorney's fee up to the $500 price difference. I personally would contact the seller and softly try to figure out what is the trepidation. It is very possibly not price at all. Find out what is his concern and you will be in a better position to put him at ease with your offer.

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