One of the most common questions I get from people who have started in the business of real estate with little to no money and possibly no credit is: How do I do a contract without earnest money or even how do I do an inspection without money.
A true question. If you had to pay earnest or even for an inspection than we could not consider the transaction a true no money down transaction. To add to this if you have no money how do you make contracts?
Here is what I would suggest.
When dealing in earnest money one of the easiest ways that you do not need to pay for this is to add an addendum such as "Earnest money shall be paid within ___ days from acceptance", or "Earnest money shall be paid at closing."
In addition to this you could give a promissory note to the seller. The note would say something like this " I ___________ (buyer) promise to pay the seller of real estate located at ______________ $1,000 dollars towards earnest at closing."
Either way will work. Many Realtors do not like this way but it is a great way to buy yourself time allowing you to get your end buyer to pay the earnest instead of you.
To get the cost of inspection held off for a period you can find inspectors that will allow you to pay them when you get paid.
The inspector would walk through the property; receive no payment until you get your assignment fee.
To make sure you fee does not shrink too much you could have the end buyer pay for the inspection in addition to your fee when they get the contract assigned to them.
Keep these ideas in mind and you could have a true, true no money at all transaction.
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