Need your thoughts - Change to cash sale?
Sigh. Sorry this is so long. Hopefully it will be entertaining enough to keep you engaged.
After a bit of online investigation, we felt fairly certain that our land contract buyers were actually who they said they were, and to all appearances responsible people who probably do have the wherewithal to buy over time. So maybe a little eccentric but in some ways that were working to our favor and likely to check out financially.
However, when given a qualifying worksheet to complete (identifying information, income and/or assets showing ability to pay, list of debts and liabilities, criminal background release and credit report release), they said they were offended and offered to pay us cash in full to get things done more quickly -- but at more than 10% less than what they signed in their P&S (which was contingent on us agreeing to a payment plan).
We've explained that we are not interested in and don't care about anything more than what they need to show ability to pay and that this request is pretty much crossing the t's and dotting the i's in terms of selling our house responsibly. That it only seems odd because it's a seller financed deal--after all, people hand far more info over to banks all the time. But still, they're offended.
Why would anyone think that we would execute a land contract with them without getting basic qualifying information? In our state, equitable interest builds with each payment - so even with protective damages clauses in the contract, the could be some risk if they defaulted and demanded their money back. A judge could decide the contract damages were inequitable and then we'd have to pay back some or all of the money that we'd already spent on building the new house and would probably have to do a fire sale on this one to swing it--which would mean nothing left to build with and nowhere to live.
For various reasons unrelated to the sale, we really do not want to receive the full amount this year, nor do we want to transfer the title now. That was the attraction of the original land contract offer.
The original price was already rock bottom even with the other benefits of the deal. If it were only that they didn't want to turn info over to a private party, we could have worked it out for it to go only to our lawyer or something, but there was no opening for that, although we might still try to suggest it.
Not sure what prompted all this, but "the deal" seems to be a constantly moving target with the buyers proposing payment idea after payment idea before we've responded formally to the first proposal. Our own attorney and the buyer's also may have mucked things up by starting (without a go-ahead from us) to engage in "negotiating" payment structure and terms [racking up a bill, I think] before (a) the buyer was qualified and (b) we'd sat down with him (our attorney)and got on the same page as to what we wanted out of the deal and in the agreement -- so there may have been some fallout from that, with our lawyer possibly bringing up "concerns" (his) that we didn't have. [He is opposed to doing a land contract even though we've told him that that structure is what makes the deal appealing to us in the first place and willing to come back on market for this buyer. If he has concerns, we think he should discuss the risks with us before telling the other side that it's not a good way to do it.]
So it now seems like a mess. We have wanted to stay at arm's length as much as possible with the buyers, and you'd think that would happen given that we have a REA and an attorney, but somehow not.
Tomorrow, I need to talk to our attorney to re-clarify (for the third time) that we only want to qualify the buyer first before spending money on developing a contract and that we want to sit down with him so that he can explain the various seller financing options and risks/benefits and work out those details before he engages in discussions with the other attorney.
Am I missing something, or is that not reasonable?
Everybody agrees to an orderly process, and then none of them stick to it. It's crazy making. If there's a question in here somewhere, I'm really not sure what it is. My head is spinning and some outside perspective would be appreciated. Thank you!