How do you know when your real estate investor is giving you a good deal? In this reader’
Q: I’m in the process of selling my home fast to an investor. The settlement is soon. I chose this way of selling to avoid showing my home.
The truth is, it’s too expensive for me to maintain my home and I can no longer keep up with the bills. The investor buying my home has had me meet him at my home several times so his crew could take measurements and plan for the renovation.
As the closing date is approaching, he now says he will have to put new roof and air conditioning unit in the house and wants me to split the cost with him. If I’m selling the home “as is” and taking a significant loss, I don’t feel as if I should help pay for this. I’m ignorant to the selling process and would appreciate your advice.
A: You’re right. You shouldn’t have to pay or split these costs with the buyer if you and the buyer made a deal. What we don’t know is whether you’ve done your homework when it comes to selling your home. We would have hoped that you talked to several real estate brokers and had them discuss the home selling process with you and give you an evaluation of what they felt your home was worth.
On the one hand, this investor might be taking advantage of you and your situation. On the other, this investor might be your best bet to sell the home quickly even if you have to reduce the price of the home further.
We wonder if you’re so in over your head that you might not be able to see the big picture and can’t make an informed decision. And without more details of your sale and other information, we can’t give you specific guidance.
If the investor is giving you a great price for the home, then splitting some costs might still be the best deal for you even if the price you get would be lower than if you listed the market, did work on the home and then had the home go through showings. But if you’re not getting a good price, then the deal is going from bad to worse.
Try to take a step back and look objectively at whether the sale is a good, fair or bad deal for you. Then, decide whether splitting any expenses to get the deal closed is worthwhile. If the answer is “No,” then say no. If you just need to get out because you’ll lose the house anyway, then say “Yes.” But understand what the ramifications are if you let the house go for even less money before you make your final decision. (Hint: Use a paper and pad so that you can write out all of the numbers.)
Given that you don’t seem to have much information on the selling process and may not have someone there to advocate for you, this might be a good time to find someone to help.
You’re pretty far down the path with this buyer but if the deal falls through, you might wind up listing the home with a broker. We suspect are some real estate brokers in your area who’d be willing to help. If you call them, they can sit down with you and give you some information about the market and your home’s value. You can even offer to give them some flat amount of money to help you through the sale.
Another option for you is to hire a real estate attorney to help you from this point forward. Having someone by your side to help you might save you quite a bit of money in the end and can negotiate with your buyer.
You’ve got nothing to lose by gathering more information, learning even more about the process and getting someone to help you get your deal done.