How can I tell if this offer to buy my mom's land is legit?

My mom got a letter in the mail from a company in Georgia offering to buy some land she owns in Florida. I’ve looked up what I can about the company and the man who signed the letter but I don’t see anything bad.

The “Purchase and Sale Agreement” states that a certain amount will be paid at closing. However, the cover letter says they “can deliver a check to your door within three days…”.

I’ll post a copy of the letter and agreement form with names/addresses redacted if that will help.

No idea if legit, but there are a lot of phone call / mail scam offers to buy land.
Proceed with extreme caution…!

1 Like

I get these on my Recreation Property… but they are always low ball offers.

From Google:
Does Florida require an attorney at closing?

The short answer: Florida law does not require the parties in a real estate transaction to hire an attorney. In other words, it is not mandatory for buyers or sellers to rely on professional legal guidance when closing a real estate deal.

Ga does require an Attorney do closings.

If you are really interested… I would ask them to send you a contract for sale. Then do some checking.

Maybe call one of the large Real Estate Closing Attorneys or Escrow Companies near you. Any Real Estate Agent will know several. Ask for the name of a corresponding attorney in FL. Contact them and probably fax them a copy of the proposed contract. Ask their charge to review a contract. In Ga the charge is usually on the actual closing… No close… No fee… not sure about Florida.

This may cost a couple hundred at most… better to be safe,
The actual closing can be far more… factor that into your acceptable price.

The Attorney can process the payment through their escrow account and send you the proceeds in a check drawn on the escrow account.

The land may be worth a bit more than they are offering if the company is legitimate.

I’m not an attorney and this is not legal advice… but, I’ve been involved in hundreds of real estate transactions.

Most legitimate offers are accompanied with guarantee of performance on the part of the Buyer. Normally that is in the form of earnest money. It sounds like your mom does not have that.

Your mom needs an experienced fiduciary to protect her interests. I suggest she contact a real estate attorney.

I have an investment real estate portfolio and I get these letters weekly on at least one of my properties. I would assume what you got is just the standard motivated seller offer where they are looking for people that need to get out of a property and will take a discount. I have actually sold a property to one of these corporate buyers a few of years ago for a special circumstance. Be aware that even if the initial offer is good, they will typically ask for reductions during the due diligence phase.

Like others have suggested, just make sure you have an attorney review the contract. In Florida they use title companies to close real estate transactions as opposed to the closing attorneys that are used in Georgia. Do not even think of doing a kitchen table closing…

Even if it is legitimate, it is almost certainly for less money that the land is worth. If your mom wants to sell, she should contact a realtor in the county where the land is to find out what the land is worth in the current market. Even if this is a legitimate offer and a fair price, your mom needs a real estate attorney.

First thing I would ask you: Does your Mom want to sell this property? Like the previous guy said (and Clark would say) use a local attorney from the area of the property. They know the local market. I’d throw the letter in the trash.

A Real estate attorney is always a good idea, even if the state doesn’t require it. My state (NC) requires it and I think it’s a good law.