Guidance on how to approach seller...

All, greetings. New member, and have a question. I have found very, very motivated sellers, so motivated they have decreased their sales price in 28 days being on the market by $100k! I rent a townhome in this community, and want to stay because of kids in school, nice neighborhood, etc. Due to utilization, I was not going to seek a mortgage until December, but after coming across this potential opp, my gears are spinning about how I can get into this place.

I was thinking perhaps I could offer them a lease purchase option for 6 months or 1 year, while my scores increased with the paydown of current open credit. Then again, I was thinking perhaps speaking with them on owner/seller financing. I have not spoken with the owners yet, so I do not know their complete motivational factor(s), but I suspect they may have already purchased another home. If this helps, they are selling the home for $599k. They purchased in 04 for $436k, so they have a substantial bit of equity. It was originally listed at $699, 15 days later they brought it down to $649, then $599. The most I have at the moment to offer them is $6k. I have good income, and can pay $2800 to $3000 month.

Please offer any insight on this. I really need to purchase a home! :slight_smile:

Please all… any, any advice as to how you would go about this, would be greatly appreciated.


This in NOT a motivated seller - at least you can’t conclude that from the lowering of the price. Just because they listed the house at the hughly inflated price of $699K and then dropped the price $100K doesn’t mean a thing, other than the seller was fishing for a hugh profit that didn’t happen. C’mon, a person that buys a house for $436K a year ago and is now trying to get $599K is definitely NOT a motivated seller.

An example of a motivated seller would be someone that purchased a house for $436K a year ago and is willing to sell it for $336K! That would be a motivated seller.

To answer your question, you certainly could do owner financing or a lease-option as you suggested. Just be sure that the property is worth what you’re paying for it. You need to know the value that comparable houses have sold RECENTLY. Many of the bubble areas have already started to deflate, so BE CAREFUL!


Mike, thanks so much for your response. You surely put a different twist on the motivated seller view. Yes, you are right, however, the houses in that particular subdivision, comparable by builder and model, are selling anywhere from $629-$649. This is in Northern Virginia, in Loudoun County. Yes, the houses have started to come down, and the evidence I am seeing is that a lot of the higher priced homes which have been on the market since the summer, are all being reduced, and by great amounts. Yes, this seller could’ve gotten what they were initially asking for, earlier in the year.

How would you make the offer? I believe the lease purchase option would be the best for me. I was thinking perhaps $5k down, $2800 month, $200 rent credit (ontime rent) 1 year term, sales price $580k. I pay taxes during this period ($5k/2004), and any repairs. (I would have an appraisal done, and inspection at my cost) Sound okay? How would you perhaps structure an offer of seller financing for this particular situation?

All, wanted to provide an update. I spoke with the seller, and found out a bit of the situation. He is going through a divorce, house is basically empty. He has a contract on the house now, but does not like the terms, and haven’t agreed on it. He is open to listen to my offer of lease purchase terms, and invited me over to view the property, and speak on it this afternoon. The divorce could be a back-breaker, as he may need to pay his wife a portion of sale proceeds, ala, terms of divorce, but I did not glean this bit of information from him yet. I will do so this afternoon. I know that this whole deal is a bit of a long shot, but God is telling me to make this appt. this evening. You ever have that feeling during any of your real estate ventures?

Also, another thing I failed to mention, he recently had the house appraised before listing, and it appraised at $668k.

I don’t know that I would jump that fast. If it is a divorce then you may see the property come down a bit more. Often times in a divorce situation one of them has to refinance to pay off the other person and if they simply do not qualify on one income then chances are you could actually obtain that property for the amount owed if you can finance it yourself.
What are your credit scores…on a scale of 1 thru 10 and ten being the highest , where do you think you stand.
Divorce situations can get very tricky. Also you don’t know what the divorce decree says. They may have to liquidate the property to satisfy that judgement.
If you can’t finance it but you could buy it on a lease option, you might offer more money for the house with little down or a bunch less for the house with a bit more down.
Find out what his needs are…maybe he only needs 20k to pay off his wife and you could buy the property if you could pay her the 20k out on terms. Get the idea?
Be creative and think out side of the box. Find there problem and help them solve it.
Good Luck to you.

Just remember !! Don’t let your emotions cause you to get the worst end of this deal! If the seller notice how eager you are to make this deal he may take advantage of the situation!

Thank you all…