3 Real Estate Purchase Agreement Mistakes to Avoid

I see it all the time. New investors writing offers all the time that pretty much guarantee they will lose their earnest money or, sometimes, their entire deal.

In particular, there are three mistakes that investors most commonly make when writing their real estate purchase agreements.

Making any one of these mistakes will put you at risk to lose your earnest money (at the very least).

Let’s go over each mistake and how to easily avoid them.

#1 Real Estate Purchase Agreement Mistake

-Writing Your Offers as “Cash”

DO NOT write your offer to purchase as a “cash” offer unless you can prove that you have all of that money in your own personal bank account.

I don’t know why, but a lot of investors are getting this advice from somewhere to submit all their offers as cash offers. Not only is this extremely dishonest (unless you actually have the money in the bank), but it is killing their deals flat, too.

Once the bank finds out that you’re pulling a real estate loan for the deal, they almost always will deny your offer on the grounds that you misrepresented your position.

The Solution: Write your offers as “financing”, “private financing” or “hard money” offers. This way you don’t risk having your deal summarily rejected over one tiny issue.

#2 Real Estate Purchase Agreement Mistake

-Making Your Deadlines Too Close

There are two dates on every deal that you should know better than your own wedding anniversary:

  1. The Inspection Deadline
  2. The Loan Denial Deadline

Like with mistake #1, missing either of these deadlines could cost an investor a deal and their earnest money.

Here’s what drives me nuts about this one: INVESTORS WRITE THEIR OWN DEADLINES INTO THE OFFER!

OK . . . I’m sorry for All-Caps-ing you like that. I feel better now. It’s just frustrating for me to watch investors lose money on deals over an issue that they have so much control over.

The Solution: Give yourself plenty of time on deadlines.

Especially on your first deal, I recommend that you give yourself two weeks on the inspection deadline and one week after that for the loan denial deadline. It’s better to miss a deal completely than to enter a deal and lose money on it.

#3 Real Estate Purchase Agreement Mistake

-Making Your Earnest Money Non-Refundable

There are a number of reasons why you could lose earnest money on a deal. Missing one of the deadlines mentioned above is a good example of how that might happen.

When investors lose earnest money, they’re that much less capable of moving forward on their next deal and making a profit—which is the whole point of REI.

Granted, sometimes deals just go bad, and earnest money is usually the first casualty. But you can avoid this from happening in most cases.

The Solution: Write your real estate purchase offer so that your earnest money is refundable.

Most investors that I talk to don’t even know that they can do this, but it’s true. Usually, you want the refund language in your offer to center around the common reasons why you might choose to exit the deal, such as an inspection coming back with unsatisfactory results.

Final thoughts

You’ll no doubt make many mistakes starting out; we all do! However, if you can avoid these three top mistakes you’ll be so much further ahead than your competitors!

4 thoughts on “3 Real Estate Purchase Agreement Mistakes to Avoid”

  1. I’m in motion to take steps in to , hehabing house’s. when I am able to submit my first. Loan request do I pervide the inspector or the lender.. And if posable can I wright the buyer as a company name. In case there is a time limit of staying or living in the property.

    1. Hi, Vincent. I’m glad to hear that you’re in the process of a rehab. We’d love to help you with funding or with anything else you may need. Yes, it would be in your best interest to submit your loan application under a company name. Also, we only provide loans for properties that are not occupied. If you haven’t already, submit a loan application to us and one of our loan specialists will call you to talk more about the details. Hope to hear from you soon. And thanks for the comment!

  2. You can also write in your offer that your EM will only transfer to the seller if you close on the property, that way if financing falls through you won’t loose out.

  3. Hi.
    I’ve applied for my first of four loans on 4 single family homes through this network. I acquired them on tax sale at $12,500.00. Now I’m looking to fix and sell them. After 3 bids I have selected the one which met my objectives and I can work with. Hope to here from you guys soon.

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