When All Else Fails, Try the Reverse Purchase Agreement

Real Estate Agent with Edina Realty

By Sara & Chad Huebener

In this market, an offer on a home is precious! While not all-encompassing, there is a belief we hold that goes a little like this:

  • First showing - No offer  =  Indicates initial interest in the home, but after viewing the property, the buyer has ruled out the home in favor of another.
  • Second showing - No offer = Indicates definite interest in the home, but after viewing the property a second time, the buyer ruled out the home.
  • Third showing - No offer = Indicates the buyer wants the house, but is looking for a reason NOT to buy it. 

In this market, when someone expresses true interest in a home, our job when representing the seller is to do all we can to retain the potential buyer. Of course, not knowing anything about the buyer's needs, wants, and personal situation makes this difficult.  In cases where a buyer has had multiple showings on a home but has not made an offer, something as simple as "cold feet" could be the issue. A proactive approach using a rather uncommon tactic called a reverse purchase agreement may be worth a shot. 

With a reverse purchase agreement, a purchase agreement written by the seller is compiled.  The purchase agreement contains the terms the seller will accept for his home.  We then send this purchase agreement to the buyer who has expressed genuine interest but has not moved forward with the offer process.  Seeing the terms the seller is willing to accept is sometimes enough to motivate the buyer to find value in consummating the sale. 

The reverse purchase agreement is a relatively new concept in practice.  We have used reverse purchase agreements in the past.  Sometimes they work.  Sometimes they don't.  Regardless, in this market, we find it is certainly worth the extra effort to give it a try.  Until our market resumes to more normal conditions, it is our job to find creative and innovative ways to bring buyers and sellers together.  The reverse purchase agreement proves to be one of these methods.


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