Unsolicited offer on real estate

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boglerocks
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Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by boglerocks »

I'm looking to buy a house in a certain neighborhood and my broker believes a particular house would be a good target for an unsolicited offer. He wants me to send an official 30-40 page form offer but I'd rather do something simple like a 1 page offer letter since we don't even know if the owner is interested in selling.

Any advice? If an offer letter is a good strategy, any tips for putting it together?
Marseille07
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by Marseille07 »

boglerocks wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:16 pm I'm looking to buy a house in a certain neighborhood and my broker believes a particular house would be a good target for an unsolicited offer. He wants me to send an official 30-40 page form offer but I'd rather do something simple like a 1 page offer letter since we don't even know if the owner is interested in selling.

Any advice? If an offer letter is a good strategy, any tips for putting it together?
I don't understand this approach. What's preventing you from finding properties already on the market? If you absolutely love this property then that's a different story, but I'm not getting the vibe from the way you put it.
BogleFan510
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by BogleFan510 »

Would annoy the hell out of me to get a full offer without any contact and I would likely raise my asking price significantly as a result. We periodically get letters from bottom feeder realtors who comb public records and annoy homeowners with 'we buy homes' unsolicited. A waste of 0.00001% of a tree. We've never responded.

If the realtor knows the person, personally, perhaps.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by JoeRetire »

boglerocks wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:16 pmHe wants me to send an official 30-40 page form offer but I'd rather do something simple like a 1 page offer letter since we don't even know if the owner is interested in selling.
Does that mean you don't think the property is worth the work in filling out the form?

When I hire a real estate agent, I only do it when I trust their judgement.
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katrid11
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by katrid11 »

Not a full offer for sure.

I have seen Realtors send in a 1 page "letter" with an ask for the buyer to buy the house. I have seen people literally knock on the door and ask.

In a tight market - like where I am - a nice letter and a phone call is getting a few homes to budge. Mostly older stock homes that will need a reno and the homeowners are older and thinking about downsizing anyway. The market is so tight prices are up near $100k (on a $350k house) on some homes making it far more worthwhile for a retiree to sell at $450 what was worth $350 6 mths ago.

I can't see it working in a market that clears homes in 3-4 weeks or longer unless someone knows they want to sell.

If someone asked us, and put in a good offer, I would be game but my issue would be finding a good replacement home in the same school within the closing time.
advice789
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by advice789 »

My aunt receives unsolicited offers, often from either real estate agents looking for a listing or vultures offering cash offers at a bargain price. Perhaps chat with a neighbor to understand homeowner situation or ask your agent to make an informal offer. The offer my Aunt receives has a tone one of “ hey we are looking for properties . Can we contact you to discuss” on a postal card.
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djpeteski
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by djpeteski »

Thirty or 40 pages, no. Who would ever read that?

One page, describing that you are a real family looking for a place in the neighborhood and why, not looking to low ball them is a much better approach.
shess
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by shess »

advice789 wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:35 pm My aunt receives unsolicited offers, often from either real estate agents looking for a listing or vultures offering cash offers at a bargain price. Perhaps chat with a neighbor to understand homeowner situation or ask your agent to make an informal offer. The offer my Aunt receives has a tone one of “ hey we are looking for properties . Can we contact you to discuss” on a postal card.
We get unsolicited offers-to-find-offers or we-have-buyers-on-the-hook types of things, and my assumption is that it's not an actual interested party, but it's a real-estate agent shaking the trees to see if there's any fruit which falls. Those go directly to recycling.

I am kind of fearful that someone will come in with a "We want to make this offer" and we'll read it and be shocked. I'd honestly rather not know what our number is.
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TinyElvis
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by TinyElvis »

Two neighbors on my street are there because they simply knocked on the door asked the prior owners if they were interested in selling. You would be surprised at what you find out. Two close friends of mine are in their house now because they knocked on the door and asked the prior owner to please call them first if she ever thought about selling. If you really want the house, a personal introduction goes way beyond an unsolicited letter. Of course, all of this is assuming that you live in a friendly town. :-)
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Marseille07
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by Marseille07 »

TinyElvis wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:18 pm Two neighbors on my street are there because they simply knocked on the door asked the prior owners if they were interested in selling. You would be surprised at what you find out. Two close friends of mine are in their house now because they knocked on the door and asked the prior owner to please call them first if she ever thought about selling. If you really want the house, a personal introduction goes way beyond an unsolicited letter. Of course, all of this is assuming that you live in a friendly town. :-)
Absolutely. "If you really want the house" is the key though, and I didn't sense that from the way OP wrote it, which is why I'm questioning why they aren't going for properties already on the market first, before going the unsolicited route.
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Watty
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by Watty »

djpeteski wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:43 pm Thirty or 40 pages, no. Who would ever read that?

One page, describing that you are a real family looking for a place in the neighborhood and why, not looking to low ball them is a much better approach.
+1

Personally even if you made a generous offer I would assume that it was a scam.

I would also be real concerned about letting some stranger who contacted me like that into my house.

Even with houses that are listed for sale there is a scam in a hot market where someone will try to get a house under contract then resell the contract for a higher price before the closing date. If they can't resell the contract then they use some clause buried in the contract to get out of the purchase. In the meantime you will have had your house off the market for a month or more and you may have already even moved out of it so you could be in a real bind.

This costs the buyer nothing and it they can resell the contract they do well. There can even be a second part of the scam where they then have a buddy make a low ball offer on the house since they know you are in a bind.
PaunchyPirate
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by PaunchyPirate »

I can’t imagine what a 30-40 page offer would even contain to start the conversation. A one-page letter should suffice to figure out if there is interest. In non-COVID times, I would say just knock on the door. But I would not like someone doing that to me at this time.
pepperz
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by pepperz »

Plus 1-million on JoeRetire’s comment.

Sounds to me like your realtor has a smart way of getting you a house you really want. It’s not that the homeowner will read all 40 pages. It’s that they will know you are 100% serious and that might make the difference.

JoeRetire wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:31 pm
boglerocks wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:16 pmHe wants me to send an official 30-40 page form offer but I'd rather do something simple like a 1 page offer letter since we don't even know if the owner is interested in selling.
Does that mean you don't think the property is worth the work in filling out the form?

When I hire a real estate agent, I only do it when I trust their judgement.
LittleMaggieMae
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by LittleMaggieMae »

Is this like a million dollar plus house? Is this how millions dollar houses are sold?

I get all sorts of offers to buy my rental property (not a million dollar house) - phone calls and mail ( both mediums at least 2 or 3 a month). Some are from realtors or "professional flippers". Some are from "flipper wanna bees" who have apparently been to a seminar or something... I've even gotten a couple handwritten inquiries that were worded like the "flipper wanna bees" letters. I doubt I would get market value for the property.

I would be wondering why the real estate agent thinks a "cold call" in the form of a multipage offer would be appropriate.

It sounds kind of fishy to me. If I was in a bad way and needed to sell my house - I don't think receiving a multipage offer in the mail from someone I had never heard of would be the answer to my prayers. And if I took it as such (an answer to my prayers) - wouldn't there be some element of "taking advantage of the seller" involved? As in maybe you are paying too little... or giving them a reason to not act in their best interest(not a rational decision on their part)? Maybe I'm reading too much into this. Maybe the offer isn't really a "cold call"?
Last edited by LittleMaggieMae on Wed Nov 18, 2020 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
egrets
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by egrets »

If someone sent me a detailed contract, I'd think they'd lost their minds.

I have gotten unsolicited letters from individuals and realtors, and since I have no interest they just get recycled. My least favorite was some woman posted one on the front door saying Since you're not home, here is my phone number I'm interested in buying your house. Why didn't the idiot just title it Invitation to Burglars.
adamthesmythe
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by adamthesmythe »

The long contract is presumably complete with prices, names, contingencies, etc. It could in principle be accepted as is. A one-page says "I'm kinda thinking I might want to make an offer on your house."

I think a full offer is very unlikely to work while a one-page is extremely unlikely to lead to any action.

Like others above, I wonder why you would want to do this.

By the way, if somebody posted here saying they had an unsolicited offer, and they were possibly willing to sell, I would recommend putting the house on the market to find out what the real value is.
Cruise
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by Cruise »

Years ago, a friend was given an unsolicited offer for his house that was way above market value. That was one motivate purchaser. Friend sold, and got an equally great home a few miles away.
J295
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by J295 »

Go knock on their door and say something like… I know this is random, but we’re interested in this neighborhood and may be interested in your home if you think you might be interested in selling. Here’s my number if you wouldn’t mind thinking about it and then calling or texting and letting me know if you’d like to discuss further. I also have here for you my link to [Company website, LinkedIn, whatever] so you will have some context as to who I am. Thanks a lot and sorry for the interruption.

There’s no need to send anything formal or informal, or to send over a realtor. (note: my wife is a realtor).

Take this in steps.
rich126
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by rich126 »

My GF lives in a lower housing area compared to a lot of AZ and she gets a ton of unsolicited offers and just either says no or quotes an outrageous price to get rid of them. It is common either for investors to buy the home and rent them or do a tear down and rebuild since the lots are a decent size.

I'm not sure how an agent would think one particular owner might listen to an offer unless he knows the person is behind in payments or some other info on the house.
an_asker
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by an_asker »

BogleFan510 wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:25 pm Would annoy the hell out of me to get a full offer without any contact and I would likely raise my asking price significantly as a result. We periodically get letters from bottom feeder realtors who comb public records and annoy homeowners with 'we buy homes' unsolicited. A waste of 0.00001% of a tree. We've never responded.

If the realtor knows the person, personally, perhaps.
Not just letters; we keep getting phone calls as well that we never pick up. And one dude even sends regular text messages to my cell phone that I have been very careful in not sharing :oops:
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ResearchMed
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by ResearchMed »

One never knows for sure, without asking.

Some time ago, I was in the elevator heading up to my condo, and just as the door was shutting, a young man got in. (I'm female.). The lobby had locked access, but still... one stays alert,

I pushed my floor, at which point he turned to me and ask if I happened to live in condo "D" on that floor.
Yikes, did my spidey hairs go on alert, because I *did* live in "D"! :shock:

I hesitantly asked why he was asking, without yet mentioning where I lived (or even if I was just visiting or such).

Turned out he lived one floor directly above me, and had decided he'd eventually try to by the unit above or below him, and make it into a duplex.

At timing of my preference, I sold my condo to him, and got a bigger place elsewhere. It turned out the condo was much too small for me; I had made a mistake downsizing quite so much. I had already been thinking of selling and moving.
So I got a bit more than I had thought possible. (Given that there were 2 or 3 identical units on each floor of a medium high rise, including some with the identical view, there were occasional reasonable comps.)

If he hadn't asked... ??

My policy in general is that "it [usually!] never hurts to ask". The worst would usually be a "no", in which case one is back to the starting point, perhaps with a bit of awkwardness at the worst.
This does not only apply to real estate :wink:

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downshiftme
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by downshiftme »

Go knock on their door and say something like…
Are people really trying "knock on their door" approaches in the middle of a pandemic lockdown? I can hardly think of anything that would make me less interested in dealing with such people.
J295
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by J295 »

downshiftme wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:08 pm
Go knock on their door and say something like…
Are people really trying "knock on their door" approaches in the middle of a pandemic lockdown? I can hardly think of anything that would make me less interested in dealing with such people.
That was me, and you make an excellent point. I was incorrect. A mailed letter or something else would be a much more appropriate communication
Firemenot
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by Firemenot »

Extremely likely that such an owner would expect an above-market offer to sell. After all, they aren’t motivated enough to sell to have listed the house. That being said, you might get lucky, but it’s a low probability likelihood unless your agent has unique knowledge of the owner’s situation.
gonefishing01
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by gonefishing01 »

Send a personal one page note expressing your interest first.

I live in an old established neighborhood where there is rarely much inventory on the market and we get letters and offers a few times a year. I’m not selling anytime soon so i ignore them. Don’t waste your time with a 40 pager until you know the other party is interested.
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by Gnirk »

djpeteski wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:43 pm Thirty or 40 pages, no. Who would ever read that?

One page, describing that you are a real family looking for a place in the neighborhood and why, not looking to low ball them is a much better approach.
Our neighbors did just that when they decided to move to Arizona. They found the neighborhood where they wanted to live, identified several houses that suited them, and sent each owner a one-page letter explaining what they were doing and why, and that they would pay market value for the house. They ended up buying one of the houses.
Marseille07
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by Marseille07 »

Gnirk wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:47 pm
djpeteski wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:43 pm Thirty or 40 pages, no. Who would ever read that?

One page, describing that you are a real family looking for a place in the neighborhood and why, not looking to low ball them is a much better approach.
Our neighbors did just that when they decided to move to Arizona. They found the neighborhood where they wanted to live, identified several houses that suited them, and sent each owner a one-page letter explaining what they were doing and why, and that they would pay market value for the house. They ended up buying one of the houses.
What was the reason "why" to make unsolicited offers over searching properties already on the market?
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by Gnirk »

Marseille07 wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:50 pm
Gnirk wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:47 pm
djpeteski wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:43 pm Thirty or 40 pages, no. Who would ever read that?

One page, describing that you are a real family looking for a place in the neighborhood and why, not looking to low ball them is a much better approach.
Our neighbors did just that when they decided to move to Arizona. They found the neighborhood where they wanted to live, identified several houses that suited them, and sent each owner a one-page letter explaining what they were doing and why, and that they would pay market value for the house. They ended up buying one of the houses.
What was the reason "why" to make unsolicited offers over searching properties already on the market?
There were very few, if any, homes listed for sale in that neighborhood, and they wanted to live in that specificr golf and country club.
Last edited by Gnirk on Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by Gnirk »

Double post.
Marseille07
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by Marseille07 »

Gnirk wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:04 pm
Marseille07 wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:50 pm
Gnirk wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:47 pm
djpeteski wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:43 pm Thirty or 40 pages, no. Who would ever read that?

One page, describing that you are a real family looking for a place in the neighborhood and why, not looking to low ball them is a much better approach.
Our neighbors did just that when they decided to move to Arizona. They found the neighborhood where they wanted to live, identified several houses that suited them, and sent each owner a one-page letter explaining what they were doing and why, and that they would pay market value for the house. They ended up buying one of the houses.
What was the reason "why" to make unsolicited offers over searching properties already on the market?
There were very few, if any, homes listed for sale in that neighborhood, and they wanted to live in that specificr golf and country club.
Thanks. I see, in that case it makes sense to send unsolicited offers as a last resort.
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jfn111
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by jfn111 »

I think people are a little hung up on the "30-40" page part. This agent is just sending a full purchase agreement, with contingencies, to the prospective seller. I've never seen this done but maybe this agent has had success with this approach.
Clemblack
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by Clemblack »

Shave, put on a nice pair of shoes, knock on the front door, introduce yourself, ask the folks if they would 1) consider an offer, or 2) point you in the direction of any of their neighbors who might be interested in selling. You'll either get the house or you won't.



People tend to overthink these things, in my opinion.
Last edited by Clemblack on Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
michaeljc70
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by michaeljc70 »

Every time I've bought or sold real estate, the offer (which is the contract) was never 30 or 40 pages. Maybe 2-5.

Have you seen the house? I agree a one page letter is the way to go if you are really interested. It doesn't exactly put you in a position to bargain very well though when you go knocking on someone's door.
fatmike91
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by fatmike91 »

Why do you need a broker involved in this at all?

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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

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8foot7
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by 8foot7 »

jfn111 wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:04 pm I think people are a little hung up on the "30-40" page part. This agent is just sending a full purchase agreement, with contingencies, to the prospective seller. I've never seen this done but maybe this agent has had success with this approach.
It is, in my opinion, absurd to send an offer with contingencies on a house that isn't for sale.
If you want to convince someone to sell their house to you, then make them a serious offer.
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Abe
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by Abe »

As a way to get listings, I remember when some real agents would go door to door and ask if they (homeowner) would be interested in selling their house. I don't know if they still do that, but I know first hand that some of them would get listings doing that. I wouldn't submit a formal offer, but I don't see anything wrong with asking. You never know what you might get if you don't ask.
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boglerocks
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by boglerocks »

It's really interesting to read the varied opinions on this. The "best" answer must be known by some salty real estate people and the rest of us have to make an educated guess.
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by Marseille07 »

boglerocks wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:21 am It's really interesting to read the varied opinions on this. The "best" answer must be known by some salty real estate people and the rest of us have to make an educated guess.
I mean, if you already have a place you absolutely love and it's off-market, go ahead and compile an unsolicited offer. But if you don't have one like that, I don't really comprehend why you choose an uphill battle when you don't have to.
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by fsrph »

If you found your dream property but it's unlisted I'd mail the owners a letter explaining your interest. Otherwise, you never know their response. Why do you need an agent to do this? Even if they are interested in selling expect them to want top dollar. But, if it's your dream house maybe your willing to pay it.

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michaeljc70
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by michaeljc70 »

If the agent is going to be getting a commission on this, shouldn't they be the ones contacting the owners? It seems unlikely an agent would be cutting themselves out of a deal, but who knows?
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Re: Unsolicited offer on real estate

Post by jfn111 »

8foot7 wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:57 am
jfn111 wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 9:04 pm I think people are a little hung up on the "30-40" page part. This agent is just sending a full purchase agreement, with contingencies, to the prospective seller. I've never seen this done but maybe this agent has had success with this approach.
It is, in my opinion, absurd to send an offer with contingencies on a house that isn't for sale.
If you want to convince someone to sell their house to you, then make them a serious offer.
I don't disagree. I've never done it, but like I said, maybe this agent has had luck doing this. I'm a Realtor and I get these one page unsolicited offers all the time and I throw them away. If someone sent me a complete contract I would at least look at it, before I threw it away. :D
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