I was working with a guy that found me here on DG and wanted to do a partnership. I didn't agree to become his exclusive partner because I wanted to have the freedom of doing other deals with other investors as well.
This is the thing... I had to meet with the Realtor to sign the contract. She needed a check for the earnest money and one for the option fee. Before meeting with the Realtor, he (partner) said not to give the Realtor a check but a copy of a check (so that they can't cash it) I was embarrassed to do this. I took my check and not a copy of it and the guy got upset with me because of it.
I found out from the Success Academy that the Realtor who takes a copy of a check instead of a physical check will wind up having to pay that out of their own pocket because the Title Company will expect it. So, the Realtor would lose whatever amount the earnest money is, and usually NEW Realtor's fall into this trap because they don't know any better.
This is bad business and is unethical. I'm glad I didn't do it. Use a real check or money order, not a copy of a check.
The other thing was, I had several General Contractors who are also Investors go through the house we put a contract on to see if they wanted to buy the property. Everyone of them said that the structure of the house was weak and it would take too much work in repairs, plus it was in a city with a smaller population and we wouldn't be able to find a buyer for the house. Anyway, because of feedback from the contractors/investors, I felt it was wise to back off during the option period, and he felt we should not. And because he said that he knew what he was doing, I listened to him even though I didn't agree so we lost the earnest money because we backed out after the option period.
I learned that if all the signs are there to back off, just do it even if the other person is saying not to especially if I had heard the same message over and over from several contractors who do this for a living and have been investors for years.
So, my first deal was not a good experience but I learned a lot. I'm just glad we didn't purchase it and then got stuck with it. We added an attachment that basically said that we would buy the property if we were allowed to flip it. No Buyer, No Closing, so we backed out.
Together WE can make a difference!