How To Make The Seller Sign Your Agreement

We have been talking a lot recently about how to locate great deals. When dealing with individual sellers I recommend following these steps:

· Make contact (advertising)

· Speak on the phone and set an appointment

· Negotiate the deal

· Due diligence

· Closing

In the above list, closing refers to actually buying the house. There is no turning back after you close the deal. In the negotiation process there is also a close. What I mean by this is getting the seller to agree to the deal and sign the contract. I want to talk today about how to actually close the negotiations and get the seller to agree to your offer. This will only come AFTER you have verbally agreed to the offer.

For some reason people get scared of this. I have actually been in the house with other investors when they had a deal but did not get the seller to sign (they objected to their own offer), that is crazy. There are many rules, especially dealing with pre-foreclosures that give the seller time to back out after they sign. The right thing to do is to give them this time but your chances are much higher if they sign a contract on the spot. Always, always get a written commitment when you can.

I never bring anything in the house with me so once we are at the kitchen table and ready for the paperwork I go over all the terms we talked about again and ask them if I should go get the agreements. It goes like this:

Investor – “I think we can agree to those terms. So you want to sell us your house for $90,000 cash and you want all your money within the next two weeks. Did I get that right?”

Seller – “Yes that is what we agreed to”

Investor – “I am sure that will not be a problem, does it make sense for us to go ahead and write this up on an agreement?”

Seller – “yes, do you have one?”

Investor – “I normally carry a few in the car. Do you mind if I go check?

Seller – “no”

Investor – “I will be right back. When I come back should I just come right back here or would you like me to knock again?”

Seller – “No don’t knock, just come back here.”

At this point you will go get your contract and come back in. Sit down and pull the agreement out. NEVER call it a contract because that word scares people. Go through the agreement and complete the blanks BUT ask the seller for input on every line you can. For example you would say “How is your name spelled? And is that how it is listed on title? What is today’s date? What is the address here?”

Even if you know the answers, ask as many questions as you can so they feel as if they participated in putting the agreement together. Once the agreement is done say out loud “it looks like I put my name here” and sign it. Pass the agreement and say “it looks like you put your name here”, at this point hand them the pen.

They may or may not read it. If they start to read it and it takes a while you need to become very reluctant. You will want to start asking questions like these:

“How is the school system?”

“When was the last time the roof was inspected?”

“How about the furnace?”

“I noticed a problem with ___________, how long has it been like that?”

As you ask questions, especially ones about the house, they will want to sign it quicker. They don’t want to lose you as a buyer. I am OK putting pressure on them like this because they have time after I leave to review everything. You might even tell them to call you the next day if they have any questions about the agreement.

Be upfront with them as you go through the agreement and explain things that they should know, like the inspection period, what they can expect in closing costs, etc.

After you leave get your financing lined up and do your inspection and due diligence. If anything comes up that will cause a delay or a reason for you not to buy the property, call the seller right away. It is also a good idea to call every week or so leading up to the closing letting them know you are excited to work with them. Give them updates on the progress with closing.

 

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How To Find Homes For Sale In The Right Track

Buying a house is a major financial decision that will not only give you a peace of mind, but also a wonderful place to live, and of course, the perfect location to start a family for those who are planning to settle down. Sooner or later, you will have to decide to settle down on your own home that will be considered as the best location to start a family.

That being said, it is important to greatly consider the factors that will affect your everyday living experience. The following tips will help to get your search of to the right start. While it is important to note the number of rooms, the size of the yard and the layout of the kitchen, there are several important things you need to consider before making an offer.

Avoid trying to time the market

– Trying to time the market when you are planning to purchase is impossible. Considering whether the market drops low or gets too high will only prolong and possibly make you lose your chance of owning your perfect house of choice. The best time is when you find the best one that you can afford. The real estate market is cyclical, and waiting for the perfect time will only make you miss out on an opportunity.

Location

– Proximity to essential establishments and the surrounding people can give great impact in your living environment. You can overlook a couple of imperfections in a home if you love the neighborhood and neighbors. As most would say, three of the most important factors in buying a home is location, location, location. When choosing, you need to consider its proximity to your work and other essential establishments, environment or the neighborhood, and public transportation.

Inspection

– Of course, you will need to check everything out inside the house. When you have finally narrowed down your list of choices, it’s time to hire a home inspector. It may cost a little but in the long run, it will end up saving you thousands. This will help you gain the best information regarding the new home so that you can make the best decision as to whether or not take it.

Situation factors

– One important thing to note: when buying a home, you can easily replace furniture, and other things inside however, you can never change the location. This is why it is important to also check the situational factors. Is the location suitable for kids, pets and gardening? Do the neighbor’s window look directly to your home? Has the driveway elevation properly installed for safe access to the property?

 

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Tips To Buy Rentals With No Down Payment

This tends to be a pretty controversial subject, and for good reason. When I was getting started in the business, I was young and broke and had no credit to speak of. I was not qualified to borrow money, yet I figured out how to buy properties, and I bought a lot of them. It was not long before I became a full time real estate investor, and on paper, I was a millionaire long before my 30th birthday. I accomplished this with a lot of hard work, education and tolerance to take the risk.

With all this said, just because you don’t need money to buy houses, does not mean you should have no money. I am a big, big believer in this. You see, although I was a millionaire at a young age, I basically lost it all when the market shifted. I was too aggressive with my growth, and did not establish an appropriate amount of reserves. After starting over, I structured things differently and am in a good position to not only survive a down turn, but to thrive in it. In this article, I will briefly walk through 4 ways to buy rentals with nothing out of pocket, but want you to understand that this does not mean you should own rentals with no reserves.

Owner Finance: This could mean many things, but for the purposes of this article I am going to assume that the seller of the home is extremely motivated and is willing to basically sell the house just to get away from the mortgage payments. This is commonly referred to as a subject-to transaction because you, as the buyer, will take title subject-to any other liens that are in place. What this means is you get ownership of the house, but the seller is still on the hook for the loan. You as the buyer will agree to either pay off the loan or make payments on the loan on their behalf. If you don’t, the lender can foreclose and wipe you off of title.

The seller is taking a tremendous amount of risk with this type of transaction, so it is difficult to negotiate and they need to be extremely motivated. It works well for you because you don’t need down payments or to qualify for a loan. It works for them because they have someone else making the payments on their loan, which relieves them of the payment pressure, and potentially can improve their credit. As you become more experienced, this is a strategy you will want to look into. This allows you to purchase an unlimited number of cash flowing properties without ever needing to qualify or sign for a loan.

Lease Options: This is the strategy that really worked for me when I was just getting started. I like it a lot because it is easy to explain to the seller and it is not difficult to get them comfortable with it. They still need to be motivated to want to do this, but nothing like the subject-to transactions.

The way this works is you negotiate with a seller of a home to lease the property for a set period of time. I would typically negotiate 10 years on these, but it can be anything you are comfortable with. The rent amount will be set. From there you agree on a price to buy the property for sometime during the lease term. The price is typically locked in close to today’s value. You then sublease the property, hopefully for more than your rent payment, and wait for the value to increase. If the value does not increase, which has happened to me, you can either re-negotiate the deal or let the property go. You have no obligation to buy, so you are not taking the risk of market fluctuation. If and when the value does increase you have several options: You can sell your option, exercise your option and resell the house for your profit, or just exercise the option and keep the property in your portfolio.

Bridge Loans: The idea here is to find a property that needs a lot of work that will make a good rental. You need to negotiate a price were you can buy it, fix it, and roll in all closing costs, and still be at or below 70% of the after repaired value (ARV). This does not work well unless the property needs to be repaired. This is very different than the first two strategies discussed, and is commonly used with bank owned foreclosures. Although, anytime you can negotiate a great deal will work.

After you purchase the home, you want to get it repaired and get a tenant in place as quickly as possible. You then refinance the loan into your permanent rental property loan. There are some additional details for this to work that are beyond the scope of this article.

Partners: At the time the market was collapsing around me, there were tremendous buying opportunities everywhere. Using the Bridge loan strategy, I was able to pick up a handful of deals that I still have today. I did not qualify for loans, so I brought in a partner to sign on the debt for me, and I shared the deal with him 50/50. Neither one of us put money down, and the properties all cash flow, net of vacancies and maintenance, a minimum of $300 a month. There has also been a tremendous amount of appreciation over the years. The houses have more than doubled in value!

No matter what your strategy in real estate, partners can help you reach your potential. They can provide anything that you are lacking to get deals closed. I have a great deal of respect for partnerships because I think they are necessary, but I also think they can be the worst decision ever made.

 

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All About Homeowners Association

The phrase “Homeowners Association” may sound innocuous enough to some but it sends shivers down the spines of many. In books and movies this group of home-owners is typically portrayed as power-hungry, meddling and suspicious. Think Big Brother meets Mussolini and you’ll have an idea of this group’s image.

Is this reputation deserved? It’s hard not to believe the rumors while being bombarded with news stories about Homeowners Associations (H.O.A.’s) that force residents to take down American flags, or those that take homes when residents are late paying their dues.

H.O.A.’s are like “little governments,” according to Jackie Faye of NBC News. Like all governments, they exercise the power granted to them in one of two ways: with benevolence or authority. Perhaps Abraham Lincoln foresaw the rise of the H.O.A. when he claimed that “… if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

So, who are these people?

A H.O.A. is actually a legal entity whose purpose is to manage a group of housing units, or a common interest development, as they are known in some regions of the country. These developments may be single-family dwellings or condominiums. The decision-making body of this entity is typically known as “the Board,” and there may be committees as well. The association board is composed of homeowners who act as volunteers, and are generally chosen in annual elections open to all homeowners within the community.

The reasons for volunteering to sit on a homeowners association board are varied. Some homeowners want more of a say in how the money is spent, others are concerned with maintaining home values.

Duties and responsibilities

Although it seems as if their boards have unlimited power to do as the members wish, most states have laws that govern what they can and cannot do. Yes, they sometimes overstep these laws. While duties and responsibilities vary across the country, here are some that are common to most:

• Paying taxes on the common areas
• The enforcement of the association’s rules, such as the bylaws and the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs)
• Creating the association’s budget
• Creating rules for the use of the common areas
• Disciplining homeowners for violations of H.O.A. rules

Buying a home in a H.O.A.-governed community

They must supply the homeowner with certain documents when there is an offer to purchase the property. The seller then gives these documents to the buyer. There is usually a charge for the copies and the seller typically pays this fee.
The doc packages are usually quite thick and may be extremely complex and boring. It is essential, though, that you read and understand everything in them. If you need help, contact an attorney. Once you own the home, you are obliged to follow the rules.

Some items to pay close attention to in the CC&Rs include:

• Pet policies, if you have pets
• Parking rules, for yourself and guests
• The rules and restrictions for the use of on-site amenities
• Landscaping rules
• House color, exterior decorations allowed
• Restrictions on the construction of outbuildings, such as sheds and gazebos
• The rules regarding leasing your home

Look at the H.O.A.’s budget:
• Does the income cover the costs? If not, why?
• How is the money spent?
• Does the reserve account hold enough money for emergencies?

Check out the board’s meeting minutes:
• What type of issues does the board typically face?
• What type of actions have they taken against homeowners?
• Have they talked about increasing fees or any upcoming special assessments?

Read over the governing documents, or bylaws, to determine how and when elections are held, how to sit on the board and the length of board member’s terms.

One of the most important aspects of purchasing a home governed by an H.O.A. involves determining if there is pending litigation. Sometimes the association is suing the developer or a homeowner or the homeowners association is being sued. If there is litigation pending, you may not be able to get a loan, so make sure you get all the information you need about this.

Buying a home regulated by a homeowners association has advantages, such as security and the regulation of the area’s appearance and noise levels. The drawbacks, on the other hand, are numerous and include the additional monthly outlay for association fees and the sometimes-meddlesome members of the homeowners association. Do your homework when considering purchasing into a common interest development governed by a homeowners association. Investigate it thoroughly to make sure you don’t end up in a horror story on the nightly news.

 

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