Posted by JT (CA) on April 21, 2002 at 23:12:47:
It appears though you might not have the workings of a “great deal” simply because (1) you don’t have a motivated seller, (2) you don’t have enough information, per you mentioned that you haven’t seen the property yet.
One suggestion that comes to mind is to simply play “poker face” and don’t give away the fact that you absolutely love the house, if you do end up totally liking it, if you do, you’re prone to be the one being negotiated on, not the one negotiating. Treat the house, or simply think of the house as one that is an investment property, never fall in love with it (common advise on the site).
Moreover, the reason for this is so that you don’t get into the deal way over your head. Keep calm, breathe, and think through the deal carefully. I.e., just because they told you there are no liens, back taxes, etc. on the property, doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t. Make sure you first talk to a local title company to do a search.
It may work on your favor to negotiate what they actually want for the home if you can have them carry the financing since you mentioned that it appears that it’s owned free and clear. If so, you can negotiate a term that would work for both you and the seller, and that is a win-win situation, and potentially a no-money down deal.
A lease option might also work but the only thing I don’t like much about l/o’s is the fact that in our state, there are no tax consequences, you can’t write-off your rent, tsk, tsk… but could be great for you if they’re willing to agree, therefore again, a no-money down deal.
Hope that helps.