Let them down gently

Hello All. I have a seller begging me to buy her house and has so far refused to take ‘no’ for an answer. What is the nicest way I can say no without being cruel? I honestly don’t see a deal with this house.

FSBO. Seller relocating.
Seller Asking Price: $345,900 (will not accept less than $342,000)
Seller Owes: $342,800 (seller wants to sell for amount owed)
Comps: $347,000
Repair costs: $3000 approx. (seller says no repairs needed).
Mortgage Payment: $1700/month (area rents $1000 - $1400)
On Market since May 2006. Seller says she is desperate to sell so she can leave.

I offered to speak to seller’s lender(s) about accepting a lesser payoff amount (short sale) than what she owes.

Also offered lease/option where I could pay the majority of seller’s mortgage payment and cover maintenance so she could leave and not play landlord. I told her that she would still have to pay some, but anything beats having to pay $1700/month alone, on an empty house.

She didn’t say no to these suggestions, but continues to tell me what a great deal I would be getting at $342,000. I disagree.

I need my first deal to be something easy like a wholesale or assignment. I have already told this seller the house is not a fit for me… What else can I say? Does anyone see a deal here, that I don’t see? I sure would hate to pass it up, especially since this lady is trying to sell me on this house.

Of course she believes that it’s a great deal…she obviously fell for it! The reason that you’re not seeing a ‘deal’ in this is that it’s not a deal…!!! It’s a retail sale request…she is asking for 99.4% of the comp price!

Tell her that it’s a great deal for you at:

Comp price X 70% - repairs <— standard investor pricing


($347,000 X 70%) - $3,000 = $239,900

Make her the offer in writing and tell her it’s your BFO (best and final offer) - period. Tell her if she declines (and it sounds like that’s a certainty) then any and all discussions with you on this property are over.


I would say something like this “no”.
If someone has to tell you how much of a deal it is that is probably not deal.

Thanks people! By the way… If anyone wants to help a newbie in Sacramento, CA get her first deal, please let me know. Thanks.

Sacramento is one of the areas where investors from the Bay Area absolutely threw money at over the last few years. People were buying anything they could get there hands on, many times sight unseen, just to get a foothold in the market. I would guess a lot of these properties will start to become available at huge discounts before too long as people discover they’ve bought overvalued houses that won’t cash flow.

Be patient. I’m in the Bay Area and I’ve also got a careful eye on the local markets. Meanwhile, look out of state as well.