Getting the Schedule E is not the first thing you need. The GSI and the actual operating numbers are.
Once you’ve got the purchase offer signed and agreed to, then it’s time to do your due diligence. This is also the time you renegotiate the price, based on the information the seller tried to keep you from seeing in the first place.
Plus you don’t want or need to waste time doing due diligence on property you don’t have a contract on.
Now, that doesn’t mean you don’t try to ask the seller a lot of questions before you make an offer, so that you can see how to tailor an offer that will work for the seller; assuming you’re attempting some creative financing. If not, then just make an offer that YOU can’t refuse, and then start negotiating once you’ve got the seller engaged in a counter. Sellers will naturally have to justify their price with a counter, won’t they? And so that’s the time they cough up the actual numbers.
My negotiating doesn’t start until after I get a contract signed (as a buyer).
Also, I’ve been known to give the seller 10 days to provide ‘x’ documents, and then I’ve got 10 days to approve of same, or this contract is null and void and all monies to be returned in full.
Do sellers always accept this? No, but it then becomes a negotiation. However, I’ve given the seller 1/3 of a month to cough up details about his property, so I want 1/3 of a month to analyze them. It’s only fair. I don’t always want that much time, but it’s there.
What’s this actually mean? This means that if the seller is slow giving me documents, it gives me that much more time to get my act together without endangering my earnest deposit. Actually earnest deposits just show our ‘earnestness’ about buying, but no court will award the deposit to the seller in practically any case.
In law, the seller ‘has to sell’, but the buyer does ‘not’ have to buy. So the earnest deposit deal is pretty much geared to the Buyer’s benefit, not the sellers. Now…the time it takes getting it back, is another story. But getting it back is not.
Forget requiring the Schedule E, unless its part of your negotiating scheme.
IE: I’ll give up the request for the Schedule E in advance, if you’re willing to repave the parking lot prior to closing. (OK, that’s a ridiculous trade off, but it makes your first request seem tame by comparison, doesn’t it?) Would I do this? In a verbal negotiation, why not? It keeps the ball rolling, and it sets the tone that if the seller doesn’t agree to the first request, they get worse, not better.