What To Do When a “Client Wants to Buy” Your Property

Jan 29, 2018

One day, you open your mailbox and sift through the mail. As you file through them, you find junk mail, bills, and an envelope that you don’t recognize. After throwing away the junk mail, you open the envelope to find that “a client wants to buy” your property for $450,000*.

If you’ve received one of these letters, you may be unsure of what to do next. Do you throw it away and forget it ever happened? Or do you reach out to the realtor who contacted you to find out more information about the client who is interested in your property?

Before you make a decision, here’s a breakdown of what this letter is all about and what to do if you receive one in the mail.

What is a Letter of Intent?

The letter you’ve received is commonly referred to as a letter of intent to purchase a property. It’s a non-binding agreement that states a desire to enter into a real estate transaction based on tentative terms outlined in the document. In many cases, these letters are designed to let you know of someone’s interest in purchasing your property.

Most letters will explain, as you may have seen, that a client wants to buy your property. Although the rest of the actual letter may vary, it will generally express a desire to purchase your property along with proposed terms. These terms will often include:

  • An offer amount
  • Commission %
  • Earnest money
  • Inspection timeline
  • Closing timeline
  • Desired condition (usually as-is)

These letters are generally sent on behalf of a real estate investor who has demonstrated a deeper level of commitment or serious than simply “we want to buy your property, tell us how much you want.” If you’ve received this letter, it’s generally because the client has done research on your property and taken the time to come up with an offer that, ideally, fits your market value.

What To Do When You Receive a Letter of Intent

This depends on what you’d like to do with your property. If you’ve thought about selling but didn’t want to deal with the process, then following up with this realtor and their client might be a good way to find out about your options.

On the other hand, if you have no intention of selling your property, you may be tempted to ignore the offer.

If You’re Thinking About Selling…

The first step when you receive a letter of intent to purchase is to do your research on the contact who sent you the letter in the first place. Ask the realtor who sent you the letter is who their client is and try to find any testimonials for them. If you can’t find any information on their name or company, proceed with caution.

Once you’ve conducted your research and trust the client, the next step is to ask yourself: should you sell your home as-is and save yourself the money and effort cleaning and fixing up your home? Or should you go the traditional route and sell with an agent?

According to a recent article, the pros to selling your home as-is include:

  • You don’t have to make any repairs
  • You don’t have to worry about the hassle of inspections
  • You get the opportunity for a flexible close

The pros to fixing up your home and selling traditionally include:

  • The ability to list your home at full market potential

If you’ve decided to sell as-is, it’s time to reach out to the client who wants to buy your property. Follow up in a manner that’s most comfortable for you – either call or email. If you can, try to do this within a few days of receiving your letter so they know to make your property a priority. At this point, you can let them know you’ve received the letter and are interested in learning more.

It’s important to note that the terms laid out in the letter of intent you’ve received are negotiable. If the offer is too low, read further to see how to handle this conversation. However, if the offer sounds reasonable and you’re interested in selling your property, your contact will walk you through the process.

If You Don’t Want to Sell…

If, upon reviewing the letter, your first reaction is to wrinkle your nose and throw away the letter, pause for a moment. Ask yourself:

  1. Is the offer too low?
  2. Do you want to sell in the next year or two, rather than right now?
  3. Or do you just have no intention of selling anytime soon?

The offer is too low.

If the offer is too low, but you’d sell at a higher amount, consider placing a counteroffer rather than throwing out the letter altogether. In many cases, it doesn’t hurt to do so, as your counteroffer will either be accepted, rejected or countered back again.

Sell in the future, rather than now.

Whether your child has another year left in school or you have some loose ends to tie up before you can sell, the letter of intent may be useful even if you’re not looking to sell right at this moment.

If you’re thinking about selling in the next year or two, consider reaching out to whoever sent you the letter and let them know. In many cases, they will be more than happy to set up a system to reach out again when you’re closer to being ready to sell.

Note that your home doesn’t need to be in perfect selling condition to sell to a local real estate investor. In fact, many, like Beachworks LLC, will purchase your home as-is. This means less work and less stress for you, and the ability to move on to the next stage in your life.

No intention of selling in the near future.

If you have no intention of selling your property anytime soon, that’s completely understandable. The best way to handle a letter of intent, in this case, is to reach out to the contact and let them know. This way, they will take the focus off your property and you won’t receive letters for a while.

Have you received a letter in the mail? If you’ve ever thought about selling, this might be a good time to reflect on your options. Whether your letter came from us or someone else, click here to request an offer from our local, family-owned company based right here in North Seattle.

*$450,000 is a made-up number used for example purposes only, and in no way reflects the actual value of any given letter that you may receive.

425.278.HEIR (4347)