I want to start by making the following observation–then I will jump to the next subject. Enjoy your reading. With that said, there are some obvious exceptions. “For Sale by Owners” notoriously get callers asking for owner finance and rentals. People that are turned down at lenders and/or have had non-accepted contracts through an agent hop on the FSBO bandwagon thinking the process is different, it isn’t. A lender does not care whether or not the home is sold through an agent. An unacceptable contract is unacceptable regardless of agent involvement. If you are willing to offer owner financing, then these calls aren’t a nuisance, otherwise, just be patient and bear with it.
In spite of that, do not be too quick to dismiss all of these calls. There is a remote possibility that there is financing available to less than credit worthy applicants. Be aware that there are mortgage companies that service customers with far less than perfect credit. Banks will also lend to these customers if they have a favorable loan to value ratio, making the loan very little risk to them. You should inquire of these callers whether or not they have tried these options.
Don’t get your hopes up, but it is worth at least a few minutes of your time to know that you thoroughly investigated this prospects ability to buy your home. Consider the possibility of a co-signer, it is just a matter of asking the prospect a few simple questions. Agents don’t often bother with this because it is more work on their part, and frankly, many are not familiar with creative financing or financing for credit impaired persons. The more you know, the better. Who knows, maybe this added knowledge will put one of these callers in your home! Being creative pays off.
You will also experience a series of “low ball” offers, probably sight unseen. Many publications, materials and programs suggest to their listening audience that real estate is a great way to get rich quick. It very well may be, but not at your expense. People looking to make a bundle in real estate often try to buy low and sell high. They set a limit of what they will pay for a property and are not at all embarrassed to make a ridiculous offer. I suppose after making around a hundred offers someone, some where will say “Yes.”. Don’t be surprised to hear a $40,000 cash offer on a $90,000 price. The caller isn’t really expecting you to accept this, or even counter it. Give them an “A” for effort and suggest that they try their luck elsewhere. Don’t get discouraged over these calls. You have done your homework and know the accurate value of your home. Understand, that these people are only trying to make money off of you. Avoid the inclination to get discouraged and do not second guess yourself. These callers picked your telephone number out of the classified ads and dialed it. That is all the preparation that went into their attempt.
Also be aware of individuals that offer to buy your home on some sort of short-term lease purchase or owner finance deal. Often times, during that short term, they are trying to re-sell your home as if it belonged to them and do a simultaneous closing with the third party at the same time they close with you. Typically they will buy from you at a lower price and sell higher. They can avoid closing costs by having you provide the title policy directly to the third party. It can be an agreeable situation to you as it takes you out of the real estate business. It does, however, increase your liability and take money out of your pocket. I would suggest you rather list your property with a broker and try to get a more conventional sale.