Q: A developer expressed interest in buying my home. We talked casually on the phone and he arranged to stop buy and talk with me in person.

In short, after his visit I am feeling like I am in over my head. I did not sign anything (nor did he ask me to) but he wants to return with a letter of intent which I would be completely uncomfortable signing.

I have no experience in this area and want to just pull back and think this over. How would you advise me to proceed if I wanted to end negotiations or if I wanted to keep it open? Thank you!

A: When the developer comes back, thank him for his time and effort and tell him that you never sign legal documents without your attorney looking them over. Tell the developer you’ll need some time to review your options and discuss the offer with your attorney. Make sure you get the developer’s contact information and his attorney’s contact information.

Then, get on the phone and hire a real estate attorney to handle the negotiations for you.

Have you discussed price? If not, or if you’ve just talked in generalities, you may even want to pay a local real estate agent to tell you what your house is worth (or, you can hire an appraiser to do a quick appraisal of your property).

Telling the developer that you need 7 days or more to get the contract to your attorney for review buys you some time and allows you to keep the door open while you consider your next move.