I received a call recently from an Austin homeowner looking for a place to rent. After further questioning I learned of her situation. The neighbors have offered to buy her home, and she is willing to consider selling it. The neighbors have outgrown their smaller home and would love to move up to her larger home while remaining on the same street. The homeowner is now exploring rental options in case she were to sell.
“Have they indicated a price they’re willing to pay?”, I asked? No.
“Have they provided a pre-approval letter indicating their financial ability to buy?”, I asked. No.
“Well”, I said, “you’re out looking for a place to rent but you haven’t first established that your prospective buyers are legitimately interested. How do you know you’re not wasting your time? Do you really want to spend time looking for a home to rent before knowing that your neighbors aren’t just daydreaming about your house, and that they might turn out to be flakes?”
“No”, she said. “I guess not. What should I do?”
When you, as a home owner, are approached about selling your home, and your home is not on the market for sale, there are a couple of up front requirements you should request before you spend even 3 seconds thinking about it. Assuming you are open to the possibility of selling and you wouldn’t simply say “no thanks” immediately, you would tell the prospective buyer the following:
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