Seller wants to change my contract??? - Posted by Kristy-AZ

Posted by David TN on June 27, 2003 at 05:03:03:

I also don’t like to let anyone shop my contract around. If they want a copy of my contract to show their lawyer, or who ever they want to show it to, I just give them a blank. This way, if they really want to show it to their lawyer to see if everything is legal, they can do so.

If their lawyer must see the contract filled out, then he can come to my office when we are actually filling it out, but I’m not going to let him have one he can make copies of.

It’s just a deal. The seller is trying to sell, and you are trying to buy. You need to stay in control of your own deals. Don’t give that control over to the seller or their attorney.

David in Tennessee

Seller wants to change my contract??? - Posted by Kristy-AZ

Posted by Kristy-AZ on June 26, 2003 at 21:53:44:

Hello everyone,

I had a seler call me who has a house he wants to sell. Told me he had 3 other investors look at it and he would take the best offer.

OK, ours wasn’t the best offer, but it was real cash, I showed him proof of our funds(which he could easily call the bank and verify) Plus he liked me and knew we were not newbies. He tried to get us to come up on our offer, I told him "nope, can’t do it, this is our best and final price"
He asked us to fax over a contract so he could show it to his attorney to make sure he was protected. I had no probelm with that. Our contract is basically the same as the contract we use for Realtors, except all the Realtor stuff is taken out.

Now, we put a deadline of 5PM today to have the offer accepted. He called me this afternoon saying he has gone over the contract with is attorney and wants to make some revisions. I haven’t seen the revisions yet, as he only left me a message. It is now 7:30PM, so the time for acceptance has passed.

Now, I am not even sure if this guy is really showing this contract to an attorney or to his RE Agent who is helping him find a new house. The contract is pretty simple:

We are putting up $1,000 Earnest Money
Paying all cash and closing when he wants which is approx 30 days. We are buying the house AS-IS, with no repairs required or requested. We have asked for an inspection, no appraisal, no mortgage fees, no commmissions, all closing costs split normal etc.

What could he possibly be wanting to change?? He knows we won’t go up on the price. And we won’t pay any additional closing costs. He says he’s not desperate to sell, he’s not behind in payments, he just doesn’t want to have to go through the hassle of listing with a Realtor, dealing with all the Realtor BS and possibly having to make repairs.

How do I tactfully ask him who his attorney is? And can I contact that attorney? By the way, we DO NOT need attorneys to close or do RE transactions here. Title Companies handle the closings. I also disclosed in the contract that I am also a RE Agent.

If we get this house, fine, if we don’t, no big deal, but, having to wait on him, wondering what changes and why is driving me crazy! I am holding off on making offers on other properties till I know if we will be getting his house or not.

Any suggestions??


Guess I should have asked if… - Posted by Kristy-AZ

Posted by Kristy-AZ on June 27, 2003 at 10:26:51:

he was going to take any contract his REaltor writes up on the purchase of his new house to his attorney!

I didn’t think of that till this morning. Chances are, he won’t be doing that with his Realtor.

Oh well, no big deal. We will just keep looking for more properties.
GL- is right, this guy is a real pain.

Re: Seller wants to change my contract??? - Posted by Anne_ND

Posted by Anne_ND on June 27, 2003 at 09:34:21:


I don’t think it matters who his attorney is (if he has one). The offer is now dead. If he does get back to you, make your new offer much lower. I’ve run into sellers like this, often they will come back days, weeks, months later. If that happens, explain that you’ve put money into other deals and make a new offer that works for you.

Remember: she who cares least wins.

Good luck!


Re: Seller wants to change my contract??? - Posted by GL - ON

Posted by GL - ON on June 27, 2003 at 09:06:43:

My standard policy in such cases: Once the deadline has passed the offer is dead.

If the seller accepts it as written, within a reasonable time, (a day or 2) and the seller is a reasonable person, I will let it go.

But in a case like you describe, if the seller comes back, I will tell him the offer is dead and I have made an offer on another property. Therefore I am in no position to buy his property. Then let him talk me into making him another offer… more favorable to me.

By the way this guy sounds like a pain in the neck. I suggest you put your foot down because if you don’t he will only get worse.

Right now he is on his best behavior because he is trying to get you to buy his property. Imagine what a pain he will be after you have a signed deal.

Re: Seller wants to change my contract??? - Posted by ken in sc

Posted by ken in sc on June 27, 2003 at 08:10:35:

Many people are ignorant of that date on the contract that says when it must be accepted by. They may read it but figure it doesn’t count because they asked you for time to show it to their lawyer. I would fax over another quick note saying that you only have X dollars and are making two more offers tomorrow afternoon. If they want to accept, they need to do so by 2 PM so you will know that some of your dollars are allocated to their deal.


Re: Seller wants to change my contract??? - Posted by BrokerScott (Mich)

Posted by BrokerScott (Mich) on June 27, 2003 at 06:52:51:

My rule of thumb: Never let an unsigned contract out of your sight. If they want to “have their attorney look it over” offer to meet the attorney. Same goes for leases: Mine has always held up without question, but I don’t want some potential troublemaker going to their lawyer to look for loopholes. Should this occur, I’d make sure to not be available for a couple of weeks so I could advertise and interview new prospective tenants. Just my .02 Scott

Re: Seller wants to change my contract??? - Posted by Lyal

Posted by Lyal on June 27, 2003 at 06:18:43:

Here’s an old reply to a similar question by Merle Wooley.

By Merle Woolley

In 16 years, I don’t know of one of our sellers or buyers who have consulted an attorney. Yes, the subject has arisen, but I always respond exactly the same way. (Attorneys reading this … please do not take offense).

"Folks, I would be very happy for you to take our contract to your attorney. But, let me say this. No matter what your attorney says, we won’t be changing anything on our contract. We spent thousands of dollars developing our system and the contracts we use. They are designed to make the business work for your benefit. Quite likely your attorney would look for changes to benefit your interest … perhaps even more than ours.

And yes, he/she will find changes to make. After all, if he handed the contract back to you and said it was all OK, you might not like paying his fee. After all, he didn’t do anything. Not true, but that is a concern. He will find something.

Take it to him, listens to advice, then make your decision as to whether or not you want to do business with us on the terms as they are described in the contract. If not, that’s Ok with us … we respect your decision just as we hope you respect our opinion to run our business the way we want to."
Or, something like that. Writing it out sounds different than when we say it. Like I said, we’ve never had a problem … never lost a purchase or sale because of it.

Hope this helps you.

I think it’s safe to say that this guy is either “shopping” your offer to other investors or trying to wring more money out of you (he’s certainly not going to decrease his price!).
My inclination would be to explain that I’ve found another property that makes better sense and to consider the offer withdrawn and see what happens.
All the best, Lyal

Re: Seller wants to change my contract??? - Posted by Brent_IL

Posted by Brent_IL on June 26, 2003 at 22:28:50:

Since the first offer has expired, I’d shave a few thousand off of the purchase price and fax him a new offer. If he doesn’t respond in a day, I’d write him off.

Re: Seller wants to change my contract??? - Posted by David TN

Posted by David TN on June 26, 2003 at 22:07:58:

You said - “If we get this house, fine, if we don’t, no big deal” - I don’t think I would wait on him. Tell him you buy about 3 or 4 houses per month. If he wants to sell then lets get on with it, if not, then you are going on to the next house. You are not trying to be ugly, just business like.

It also depends on how good the deal is, and how many deals you may have in the wings. What it actually comes down to is to do what your insides tell you to do. — Good Luck!

Re: Guess I should have asked if… - Posted by Tim Fierro (Tacoma, WA)

Posted by Tim Fierro (Tacoma, WA) on June 30, 2003 at 09:31:05:

Just a follow-up; did the seller ever get back to you on what changes he wanted?

Re: Seller wants to change my contract??? - Posted by John (Rome)

Posted by John (Rome) on June 27, 2003 at 10:39:00:

Remember: she who cares least wins

how true - lesson I was recently reminded of…



Re: Seller wants to change my contract??? - Posted by Kristy-AZ

Posted by Kristy-AZ on June 27, 2003 at 10:10:23:

Yes, he does seem to be a pain. Especially when he already has a RE Agent. She could easily review this contract and agree that it is the standard RE contract except no Broker verbage.

The terms were simple enough and no “out clauses”. Except the time to accept the contract. I know he had talked with other investors, one of which was “HomeVestors” so I knew he wouldn’t accept their offer. It would be much lower than mine.

Plus this guy is not a “desperate seller”. Just wants a fair price for his house, which we did offer him.

Oh well, we have made the other offers on the other properties. Maybe those will come through.


Re: Seller wants to change my contract??? - Posted by Kristy-AZ

Posted by Kristy-AZ on June 27, 2003 at 10:15:33:

Thanks Scott,

We are not lookng to rent this out. We were going to rehab and resell. Guess I need to be more firm on the fact that they want “their attorney” to look at it.

Like I said, this is not a real HOT deal. It would be nice to have it, but no big thing if we don’t get it. We already have a project starting this coming week. I don’t need complications from a seller who wants to try and change the verbage of my contract.

Guess we hope for the other contracts to be accepted.

Thanks again,


Re: Seller wants to change my contract??? - Posted by Kristy-AZ

Posted by Kristy-AZ on June 26, 2003 at 22:25:09:

Hello David,

The deal is just OK. Not a big thing. That’s why if we get it great, but no big deal if we don’t.

Seller knows we buy houses all the time. But now, since the contract has expired, I guess we can just make offers on the other ones we have seen. Chances are we won’t get those as they are REO’s, but knowing my luck, we’d get a contract or 2 accepted then this guy would say OK, I’m ready to close.

I am just curious if he REALLY has an attorney. Because I’d like to know who it is what type of experience he has with RE contracts that he would think this one has to be revised.


Re: Guess I should have asked if… - Posted by Kristy-AZ

Posted by Kristy-AZ on June 30, 2003 at 22:44:38:

Hi Tim,

I did post again, as a follow up, and I don’t know how to put that link here so I’ll just let you know. :slight_smile:

First, we finally did get the property. Just opened escrow today. Now this attorney thing.

Item 1. Wanted us to take out the part about assigning the contract…That was no big deal, we were planning on fixing it ourselves anyway.

Item 2. Attorney said that Earnest Money “had” to be certified fund or cashiers check…I told seller that is not how we do that in the State of Arizona. And we weren’t going to get a cashiers check.

Item 3. He wanted me to put in the contract that we would be buying the house AS-IS… Well, no kidding! That was already type written in the contract.

Item 4. (this was the most stupid) Attorney said HE (the seller) should get a Pre-Lim Title report BEFORE signing the contract. I had to explain that this is also stated in the contract and that having a title search happens AFTER we open escrow!!

This guy was REALLY an idiot! Come to find out, it’s a friend of the seller, they have known each other since 4th grade, went thru High School together and College and so on. This “attorney” is supposed to know his stuff on Real Estate, but obviously has no idea! PLUS he doesn’t charge the seller for his services, since they are long time friends. He is an attorney here in AZ.

Sellers comment to me was “I get all my legal advise FREE”, and he felt so smug about it. I felt like telling him…that’s what it’s worth, but I bit my tongue!

In the end, we got the house. We close on July 18th! What a pain in the a$$! Thanks for checking in.


Re: Seller wants to change my contract??? - Posted by David TN

Posted by David TN on June 27, 2003 at 04:46:27:

Kristy: I liked Brent’s advice. Shave a few thousand off your offer. You are not obligated to him. If he doesn’t like your new offer, then go on to the next deal and forget this one. Sometimes it’s better if you don’t get the deal.

Re: Seller wants to change my contract??? - Posted by JohnBoy

Posted by JohnBoy on June 26, 2003 at 22:27:45:

Perhaps the type of attorney that feels the need to revise things just to justify his FEE for looking over the contract? :slight_smile:

Great Sentence, Great Sentiment - Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA)

Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA) on June 27, 2003 at 10:18:13:


“Sometimes it’s better if you don’t get the deal.”

Well said. Maybe we need to make up plaques with that quote on them and sell them to the beginners.

Good Investing and Good Posting*Ron Starr

LOL, you’re probably right! - Posted by Kristy-AZ

Posted by Kristy-AZ on June 26, 2003 at 23:15:28:

This is true, since he already as an agent he is working with to find him a house. That agent could easliy review the contract and give him any advise.

I still feel he may not even have an attorney. But we will see. Our offer has expired, so we will be writing offers on the other properties tonight. Besides, it’s 9:15 PM and the seller still has not called me back!