Tips on How to Negotiate Real Estate

Palos Verdes, CA. When I first started buying and selling rental income property, I put an offer in on a building. I had my appointment set at 1:00 PM and I had to wait until 3:00 before the seller would see me. So, I sat in the office for nearly two hours anxious to present my offer. When I finally did get into the seller’s office to present the offer, he looked at it and started laughing. He pulled a stack of offers about 3 inches deep out of his lower left-hand desk drawer. He said, “You’re kidding. Get me another offer”. Right then and there, I should have asked for a counteroffer, but still being new at the game, I went back and rewrote another offer. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the property.

About a year-and-a-half later, the same seller had another property for sale. I presented the offer, but this time I made sure he was on time. When I presented the offer to him, he started laughing and again he reached in his lower left-hand drawer, pulling out a stack of offers and said, “You’re kidding. How can you offer me this; get me another offer.” I said, “May I see them?” After a brief tug-of-war, I was able to look at them. They were for other properties and some of them were two or three years old. He was playing “real estate poker.”

I sat down with him and said, “If you want to sell, we want to buy; I have offers on two other properties.” Actually, we didn’t have any. Nevertheless, I was playing “real estate poker”, too. We negotiated. He got the price he wanted, and I got the terms I wanted. I made a substantial profit on it and I saved money on my taxes.

Why is the seller selling? Finding the answer will give you the negotiating edge. For the most part, being in a weak market is enough motivation in itself. However, there are other circumstances beyond depressed market conditions that motivate owners to sell; it could be poor management, seller’s personal tragedies, retirement, tax problems.

• POOR MANAGEMENT: It’s possible that the owner is doing a terrible job managing the property, and there might be more vacancies than normal for the area. Maybe the building is run down and the seller just doesn’t want to put any more money into it. The seller could be an absentee owner without a competent local property management company, or one that simply doesn’t know how to delegate.

• PERSONAL TRAGEDIES: Death, divorce, bankruptcy, or illness could force the sale of a property. These are trauma situations for the seller. We’re not suggesting that you take advantage of people in distress. You should certainly treat them fairly.

In personal tragedies, the seller usually wants cash-which is diametrically opposed to your standard operational procedure. Your investment plan calls for leverage created, in part, by seller financing. However, if the price is right, you can still maintain leverage by structuring the transaction with outside financing. You’ll probably be negotiating with a trustee, and the trustee’s primary goal is to get as much cash as quickly as possible for the beneficiaries. Be prepared to act quickly when working with personal tragedy circumstances.

• RETIREMENT: When some people retire, they want to pack it all in. They don’t want the problems of management. The motivational key is the monthly income check. If you can structure your purchase to give the seller the required monthly check, you will have an excellent chance at the deal. Notice I said required monthly check. Monthly payments can be in any amount. However, you must arrange them to give you the maximum cash flow and tax write-offs.

• TAXES: Taxes are one of the most compelling motivations in real estate transactions. A seller might want to trade his or her building for another piece of real estate to defer taxes. The seller might want your property or might have another property in mind. If you’re able to accommodate the seller in a trade, you might be able to gain advantages in other areas such as price and terms.

The seller might be amenable to selling on an installment basis with little or no money down and carry back accrued paper. This financing package ideally fits into your plans.

Whatever the seller’s motivation, be flexible enough to explore all avenues of approach. Try to work and rework the transaction to suit everyone’s needs. Your success depends on finding the right motivation and the degree of intensity. Don’t attempt to negotiate any real estate transactions unless everyone is motivated. Ideally, the more the other party is motivated the better it is for you

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Finding a Down Payment for Your Real Estate Investment

In order to meet their loan to value ratios (LTVs), nearly all lenders require borrowers to have some “skin in the game” or equity in each fix and flip project. How does a real estate investor who is just starting in the business or is tied up in another project obtain the down payment necessary to qualify for a hard money loan?

Friends and Family: A Logical Start

Friends and family are a great place to start when looking for help with money down. You know them, have a track record with them, may have worked with them before on other types of projects, and you have access to them to propose your deal.

Laying out your Proposal: Risks and Rewards

Before you approach friends and family, prepare a detailed analysis about the specific investment opportunity. Research the project thoroughly, and be very clear and honest about the pros, cons, and associated risks fix and flip success.

Next, devise a business plan that clearly articulates the time line, projected milestones, and budget of the project as well as the terms of the proposed partnership, joint venture or investor relationship you wish to enter into with them. Approach the entire process like the business relationship that it is.

Real estate partnerships offer your chosen family and friends the chance to invest money into your fix and flip project(s) in exchange for a designated ownership percentage. As equity partners or investors, your family and friends will have an opportunity to receive money that the property generates at closing. So, while they will be taking an investment risk, they will also be in a position to benefit from the sale of the property.

Partnership Considerations

· Legalize your arrangement. This is a business partnership and should be structured as such. The most common way to structure these partnerships are as general partnerships, limited liability companies (LLC), limited partnerships or corporations. Consulting with an attorney who specializes in real estate partnerships can provide valuable information about the process and the best type of agreement for your situation.

· Clearly establish the role of each partner or investor. For example, your friend or family member might contribute the cash needed to make the initial down payment and closing costs, while you will be responsible for securing the remaining funding, buying the property, and managing all of the construction. Alternatively, your partner may want to take a more active role in the day to day operations of the renovation. Spell this out clearly ahead of time.

· If you choose to set up a partnership, determine the aspects of the deal that will be included in the partnership and split. As partners, your family and friends will be able to participate in all aspects of real estate property ownership. This will allow them to receive a designated ROI percentage that might include: property appreciation, loan paydown, cash flow, and monies from the sale of the property. Remember that the addition of your partner’s funds reduces the amount of your construction loans so that should be taken into account as well when determining what is included in the profit split.

· Decide how the NET (profit or loss) will be split. Remember to include all costs when determining the profit (or loss): fees, refinancing costs and any appreciation. There are many different ways to split the profits, and not one right way. It all depends on how much money each party brings to the deal, how the work is divided, who takes the most risk, etc. Splits range from 50/50 to 80/20 based on the above factors and what the two parties agree to. The key is to decide and formalize the split ahead of time.

Five Basic Tips for Investing in Real Estate

There are a lot of things to learn in Real Estate before you start investing. In fact, investing in Real Estate is much more complicated than the stocks investing. That is why Real Estate has become the common investing area for many people and thus have become more popular over the years. One needs to have financial and legal knowledge before investing in the Real Estate.

So, here we are providing you five basic tips which helps you to familiarize yourself with the basic concept of Real Estate.

1. Location:

Location Matters which is an old age saying perfectly suits when we think of the investing in Real Estate. The first thing you should make sure while investing in a property or proceeding forward is whether it is located in a good place or not.

If it is the best location, it can be the worst house there, but that doesn’t matter as you can just fix the issues or resell it to someone who wants a house in the best location. This is called as the Fixing and Flipping formulae by the professional Real Estate investors.

2. Wholesale properties:

Being wise is also very much important while investing. You need to follow the Warren Buffet formulae from the stock market investing which says “You need to be greedy, while everyone else is feeling fearful.” You need to look out for the wholesale properties that are being offered at great discounts and thus avoid paying full prices.

Using this technique, you can buy the property at low price and keep the selling price twice the buying price which helps you in maximizing your investment return.

3. Connect with local investors:

Hanging out with the local investors and talking with them about the local Real Estate market will help you in knowing the things better. Ask them to show their properties and take in every single bit of information they give you.

4. Reading helps a lot:

There is a tremendous amount of information available online these days. You can also gain information that you may need regarding the Property field and investing as well. Buy and read books that give you practical knowledge about buying, flipping, renting and selling the properties.

5. Find a good Realtor:

This is the best part. When you are all set and finally ready to invest in some property, then a Realtor is the person who helps you with it. And a good Realtor who understands the concept of investing returns and also have sold a number of properties can be the best choice.

Property investment can offer fabulous returns, but there are also people who are bankrupted after investing in Real Estate. It is all in your hands, so be sure and know everything involved before you invest.