To Sign or Not to Sign

Posted on May 31, 2013 by

Over the years, it has become easier and easier to identify a motivated seller. As an active real estate investor you will run across plenty of, what I like to call, price checker. These sellers have no motivation to sell but will sell for the right price. The problem is the right price to these price checkers rarely matches an investor’s price.  But, when you do identify a motivated seller, it is up to you to find out what will make the seller commit to you. Commitment may mean a verbal commitment or a contract. I have purchased numerous properties directly from home owners and each person committed based on different motivational factors. Many times the price was agreed on but the seller still did not sign. The reasons for the sellers not signing have been all over the board.

Once, a seller did not sign because he was an older gentleman and was not comfortable signing a contract on an ipad. He wanted a physical contract to sign and a copy for himself. I told the seller I would go down the street to print one out but he assured me that the deal was mine. He said I could return the next day and he would sign. He promised he would not sell to anyone else. The next day, I returned with a physical paper contract and he signed as promised.

Recently, I came to an agreement on a price with a seller but after four weeks I still did not have a contract. I met the seller three times and each time she had a reason why she did not want to sign. At the first meeting, I agreed to the asking price but she decided not to sign. She wanted an attorney to review the contract, even after explaining I was a licensed real estate agent and she was signing a local real estate commission form. After a few days of not being able to reach her I drove by the property but she was not available. A couple of days later, she called to invite me to see the property now that it had been cleared out. Asking if she was ready to sign, she assured me she was. Once at the property, we discussed the terms of the contract once again. Again, she refused to sign explaining that she needed money to relocate her six dogs and to fix her car. I explained that earnest money will be placed with the title company but we would be willing to give her time to move once we closed. Of course, we would keep money in escrow and deduct from it daily if she is not out by the agreed upon date. She did not sign because she had to think it over. Days went by and she called me again to explain how she had contacted the title company to discuss how to sell the property that was still in her deceased grandmother’s name. We scheduled a meeting to pick up an heirship affidavit and sign the contract to get the ball rolling. Finally, I thought to myself, I am going to get a signed contract. After two hours of reviewing the same contract we had already gone over many times before she decided she was not signing. At this point, I had enough!! I told her I was no longer interested in her property and to feel free to sell it to another person. This completely changed her attitude. She signed the contract and we are waiting for one more heirship affidavit in order to close.

In the first scenario, it was clear the seller just wanted a paper copy of the contract. In the second scenario, I am still not certain why the seller was so hesitant and why she finally signed. My guess is she finally signed because she appreciated that I was going the extra mile to take the house off her hands. Maybe she was worried she would not find someone else that would put up with her like I did. She could have been concerned that if I did not buy the house she would not be able to find another buyer. Whatever the reason, the contract was finally signed and another win-win situation was created. Never give up until the property is yours or sold to someone else!

Michael VazquezMichael Vazquez has been offering properties to real estate investors significantly below market value since 2006 in both Texas and Georgia. Michael taken on projects starting with just 4 brick walls (literally) to managing his own rental portfolio. When it comes to investing in real estate he has done much more than many twice his age. Michael is always looking for more investors to work with.

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