“Think before you act and then act decisively. Fortune favors the brave.” — Brian Tracy
One of the most nerve-racking steps for beginning investors is to write an offer on a property. It is an exciting time, but can also be a little intimidating for even the most experienced of investors. But it does not have to be – if you know how to write a purchase offer properly.
Now I want to make sure I provide my legal disclaimer on this one. Real estate law varies from state-to-state, and of course changes over time. I am not an attorney, and do not play one on T.V. You should run any investing advice you wish to implement past your broker, attorney, CPA, and any other competent professional before putting to practice.
OK, now that we have got that out of the way, let me tell you a story about what I've discovered…
I just got done wrapping up a property purchase with one of my clients. He purchased a 32 unit apartment property, and what this guy did that I really liked was use “The Superclause”. You see, when I work with people, especially people that are good, I am careful to take notes at what they do that makes them successful.
You are probably aware that most standard purchase and sale agreements include provisions to protect both the buyer and the seller. For example, most standard real estate purchase contracts include wording such as, “subject to financing,” or “subject to seller obtaining clear title.” These are the standard items that need to be included for a sale to complete, but my successful investor client had something much better in his agreement.
The “Superclause” was the provision he wanted inserted in the contract in order to make sure that he would find out all relevant financial and property information. In other words this one paragraph would protect him from being surprised by something that could come back to bite him during the purchase process.
The majority of investors I have seen do not use a superclause when buying apartment properties. Most should.
But remember, any contract clause does not substitute good homework on the property. It also does not solve any purchase or property problems in and of itself. But it can help the buyer out during the process.
I have included the Superclause below for your reference. However, before we get to it I think it is important to understand that one clause in a contract does not totally protect you. You have to spend time looking at all facets of the property too.
The bottom line is just do not spend your time on one clause and rest your profits on that. Make sure you are proactive throughout the entire due diligence process.
Here is the Apartment Investor Purchase Contract “Superclause”:
“Seller to provide the following for buyers examination and approval in the next 15 days:
- All leases
- All property management agreements
- All vendor contracts
- Current Rent Roll
- Property Income and Expense History for the last two years
- Year to date property income and expense history
- Last two years tax returns as they pertain to the property
- All units, buildings, grounds and mechanical systems.
Buyer may void this contract at any time during this 15 day period if the information found does not meet buyers approval”
How about that one! This is a true “success strategy” from a real-life professional investor. I would highly recommend that you print off a copy of this and save for future reference during your next apartment property purchase. Be sure to run any and all of this past your attorney, but this one single clause could potentially save you thousands of dollars in costly mistakes.