The Best Damn Doc, Period
Well look what we have here, another Swipe & Deploy for ya!
JP Moses here, hookin’ you up with one of the best documents in my whole, fat arsenal of real estate investing forms.
It’s called… “Seller Acknowledgements!”
I know… impressive, right?!
Truth be told, this little document is quite literally one of the most important and critical pieces of every “mom-and-pop” real estate deal I do. It’s kind of the ultimate “butt protector,” which is precisely why, in spite of its supremely boring official name, it's much more appropriate nickname is the Best Damn Doc, Period (BDDP).
So, chill with me a minute, as I enlighten you with a truth bomb:
“You want to play this ‘real estate investor’ game, you’d better know how to sit down with a seller and make things happen.” ~Joe Kaiser
Credit where credit is due…
Before I tell you more about this document and what it’ll do for you — and walk you through how to deploy it — let me say this:
I did not come up with this thing.
I actually swiped and deployed it myself years ago from one of my long-time REI heroes Joe Kaiser. In fact, Joe’s the one who so aptly named this little beauty.
If you’ve been around REI for a minute like me, then you may recall Joe Kaiser from back in the day — he was one of the “old dogs” who used to form the very backbone of the old REI forums back in the heyday.
He was also one of the bestest, awesomest & smartest guys around—second to none when it comes to being a true dealmaker through and through.
Seriously, if you ever went through one of Joe’s training courses back in the day (Mechanic’s Lien System, anyone?), then you know there was zero, zilch, nada fluff or hype… just brass tacks, tactical genius oozing all over you.
I had the pleasure of meeting Joe personally when our paths crossed at a private mastermind event back in 2010. We spent a couple of solid days together in a lakehouse somewhere in Maine with around a dozen or so other folks… it was awesome, and yes, I was totally star struck.
Anywho, enough with the man-crushiness. Joe was a pillar of my learning curve in the early days. And it’s incredibly tragic that he passed away, far too young. The real estate investing world lost a time-tested, tried-and-true, sergeant at arms. Those coming after him have missed an opportunity to learn from him in person. He’s sincerely missed.
And thank you, Joe, for passing this “best damn doc” gem along.
What the heck is this?
Well, this is a document I always, always, ALWAYS have any “mom-and-pop” seller fill out and initial/sign, immediately after they sign a purchase agreement.
Quite simply, it’s one of the finest examples of CYA disclosure I’ve ever seen.
The BDDP (for short) is a tool for getting everyone’s cards on the table, all in plain English, and easily understood by anyone and everyone. It overturns all the rocks and clears the air so all parties can move forward with full disclosure.
With the seller initialing each item on this baby, there can be no evidence of deceit, wrongdoing, or fraud occurring or later claimed by anyone.
Why this stuff matters…
Best I just let Joe explain that himself. And I quote…
As a real estate investor specializing in high-risk foreclosure real estate, it’s vitally important to document all aspects of any transaction, and we do this through the methods described in my course, 37 Ways to Bulletproof Every Foreclosure Deal. (Currently out of print.)
We know that if we do not, sellers have the opportunity down the road to unwind the deal by saying they didn’t understand, thought it was a loan, or any of the 20 other issues contained in my seller acknowledgement form, the Best Damn Doc.
The purpose of the Best Damn Doc is to document what took place so that any seller later claiming he or she was treated unfairly will have the burden of explaining documentation that clearly establishes otherwise.
There’s nothing sinister about it. Any documentation that sheds light on the transaction and makes each party’s intentions all the more clear is a good thing. The fact it serves to prevent sellers from making untruthful claims about the transaction is a good thing as well.
Sellers are always free to decide for themselves if they want “independent counsel” to review our documentation, and we always advise them they should.
They rarely do.
How to deploy the ‘BDDP' yourself…
OK, now that you know what this is, where it comes from, and why you totally need to be using it in every single deal from this minute forward, let me give you the bottom line:
There are 22 points on this doc. Don’t be afraid of using it… in fact, be afraid not to.
And remember, if you choose to follow our lead here, then these 22 items are not negotiable. If your seller refuses to sign off on a single item, you don’t close, and the seller doesn’t get his/her money.
Walk away. No one deal is worth it.
Just add a little fun and whimsy to how you go through it with the seller and you’ll be golden.
So, how should you go through it with the seller?
Check out this video below of me walking through the doc, how I use it and how I share it with the seller — which is an important part of the conversation. You’ll see exactly how I talk to the seller, step by step, with zero pushback or awkwardness.
Press play, friends…
Hey guys, JP Moses here. Hope you're doing well today. I want to share with you a document that is one of my sneaky little tricks that I got from a friend years and years ago. As you can see here on the face of the document, it's called simply Seller Acknowledgements, which is as boring as it can be, but it's actually called the best damn document, period. Now, I don't normally talk like that.
I actually don't use a lot of curse words and I kind of said that in a low voice so hopefully my kids in the next room wouldn't hear. But I didn't give this document that name. It's Author did. And that author is one Joe Kaiser. I don't know if you're familiar with Joe or not, but if you've been around in the business for a while, like I have, then you'll remember Joe from years ago.
He was this sage advice giver and guru in the truest, most positive sense of the word out there slinging guns, helping people invest in real estate. So back in 99, 2000, when I first got into the Rei game, I was a huge follower of Joe over on the Kree online forum and Rei Club. And I bought his courses, went through. The guy's a master negotiator. And there's just nobody better at going belly to belly with mom and pop sellers and negotiating like a ninja, like a samurai ninja.
You can picture a samurai and ninja and mash them up together and put a real estate investor hat on them. That was Joe Kaiser. So this is a document I got from him, and I'm going to explain it to you here, but I just want to give credit where credit is due. This is Joe's document and this is my version of it. I just tweaked it slightly, just added a couple of things to it.
And in a minute I'm going to walk through it with you here in this video, the way I would walk through it with a seller. But let me explain why it exists first, okay? It's not an unknown thing for a motivated seller. When you're sitting at the table negotiating to be all in, to be highly motivated and willing to play ball because they're desperate, their motivation levels high. And you know that you're clear in the way that you're explaining how this works.
You know that they know that you're doing your best to create a winwin situation and you're negotiating, but ultimately you're doing this for profit, not as a ministry. So you're not representing them as an agent or anything. You're representing yourself. So you're working out something that's a fair deal, but also is in your own interest. Right?
Because that's the way this works. It's not uncommon, though, after the fact for the seller to occasionally get sellers remorse, like buyer's remorse, but in the opposite, where they get beyond it and their motivation level comes down a little bit and they begin to think, man, I think I got to take advantage of there that crafty real estate guy. He pulled the wool over my eyes and I didn't realize he was offering to buy my house. He talked about helping me out of my situation. I thought he was giving me a loan.
What? Where'd my money? I thought this was a loan. Sorry insult to all motivated sellers out there by using a redneck accent, but you get the point. At times, as crazy as it may sound, a seller could standing in front of a judge could plead ignorance.
They really didn't know what was going on. They didn't have the professional expertise to really understand what was even being said. And it's not out of the question for a judge to unwind a closed deal by the seller claiming that they really didn't understand. And it could be any one of two dozen different possible reasons that an unscrupulous seller might claim that. So after a couple of times of this kind of thing popping up and Joe having to deal with it, he created this document to create an airtight crystalclear understanding.
I'm going to tell you right now, it may intimidate you to imagine sitting down and presenting the seller with this, but this is a work of genius in my opinion. It is a tool that gets all the cards clearly on the table. It overturns all the rocks and clears the air so all the parties can proceed with crystal clarity about what's really going on. In my opinion, one of the finest examples of disclosure I've ever seen. When a seller goes through and initials each of these steps and then signs the bottom, there can be no evidence or no claim made of evidence of deceit or wrongdoing or fraud occurring.
It's all right there in plain English and easily understood by everyone. So what Joe did and what I do and I have done for years now, is when I sit down at the kitchen table or wherever I am with a seller and we sign the contract, we put the terms that we would normally put in the contract. And I say, look, I have another document. It's company policy that we have to have this seller acknowledgments for every single transaction. We're going to go through each item.
It's a little laborious because I'm going to have to go through it one at a time and literally read it to you and you're going to have to initial each one. Some of them are kind of funny sounding even. But just to make sure that everybody has an understanding that I'm not your agent, I'm not representing you, and that I'm going to make a profit on this property. And I usually look at them and say, you don't have a problem with me making a profit as an investor, right? And they usually laugh back and say, oh, no, I understand.
Okay, so this is what this is. It's a seller acknowledgement. It's going to take us about five minutes to go through, but bear with me and we'll get it knocked out. That's the way I present it to the seller. And I have never had a seller bulk at it.
They're following my lead. They just kind of smile and go, okay, all right, well, we got to do it. We got to do it. You're still dealing with them in a position of gratitude where they're being they're grateful that you're there just helping them out of their bad house situation. So they're amiable to you going through a document like this blow by blow and making them sign each item.
And in doing so, they basically are giving up the ability in the future to claim ignorance on any of these items. So without further ado, let me take you into this document, and I'm going to literally walk you through it just like I would the seller. Okay? So pretend I gave that I set the stage with that little introduction explaining the document. Okay?
Now, all right, I'm sitting across from you at the table. We're looking at this one sheet of paper together, and I'm going through it line by line, and I say, all right. So, Mr. Smith, let's start at the top of the document here. I, John Smith, on the fifth day of May 2015, have agreed in writing to sell the property commonly known as your house.
Right? Okay. Just making sure you usually have a little laugh at that point. And I use quick side note, I use any opportunity I can to bring a little levity and humor into the reading of these types of things. So one, two, three, Main Street, that's your property.
Right? Okay. So two JP Moses and or signs according to the terms and conditions in the purchase and sale agreement of even date, a copy of which is attached to your two. I further state as follows, and I turn to the seller and say, all right, good so far. All right, let's keep going.
Item number one, ownership of the property. I am the owner of the property or I have an equitable interest in the property and I'm able to contract for a sale. Is that correct? And I turn and look at them and kind of smile, and they say, yes, that's correct. So you can see I'm just making this a fun thing that we have to kind of go through and endure but laugh about at the same time.
Number two, acceptance. I have reviewed the terms and conditions contained in the agreement, have accepted the buyer's offer to purchase the property. You agree? Yep. He initials it number three, good and Valuable Consideration.
I have received good and Valuable consideration in signing the agreement, and I acknowledge both the receipt and the sufficiency of the consideration. And I turn to him and say, that's our earnest money deposit that little ten dollar bill I just gave you. Okay, good. Deal. Number four in my best interest, I am satisfied with the agreement, and I have agreed to sell the property because it is in my best interest to do so.
And I turn to him and say, do you feel satisfied with what we've accrued to today, and do you feel it's in your best interest to sell the property? He says, yes, with a twinkle in his eye, and I say, all right, initial here. Number five fully informed and not confused. I have signed the agreement being fully informed and with sufficient understanding of all terms and conditions contained therein. I am not confused about any aspect of the agreement.
I look at him and say, Are you confused? He says no. Number six, satisfied with the sales price. I understand I may be selling the property for less than market value, but I have chosen to do so because circumstances dictate that an immediate sale, even at a discounted price, is in my best interest. And I emphasize that part.
In my best interest. I'm satisfied with the sales price I have negotiated. I turn to him again. Are you satisfied with it? Yes.
All right, initial here. Number seven. The sale is final. I understand by signing the agreement, I have agreed to sell the property to the buyer and am now bound by the terms and conditions described in the agreement. I further understand I can't change my mind or cancel the contract at some later date, nor can I continue to market the property to any other buyer.
So then I turned to him and say, you're not going to try and sell this to somebody else. We have an agreement here. Okay. You're not going to try and market it outside of what we talked about here. All right, great.
So you understand that once you sell the property to me, it's not yours anymore, right? We always have another little chuckle. He says, yeah, I understand. All right, great. Number eight.
Contingencies may exist. I understand the sale may be contingent upon buyers inspection and approval of certain items described in the agreement. I further understand that if the buyer does not approve of these items, buyer may cancel the agreement, and if canceled, I must return the buyer's earnest money in full. We have a deal on that? Yes.
Great. Number nine, not a loan. I understand the agreement I have signed is for the outright sale of the property and is not intended to be a loan of any kind. And I look at them again with a twinkle in my eye and say, you know, I'm not losing you money here. Right?
That's right. All right, everybody signed number ten. Agreement may be assigned. I understand the buyer may assign the agreement to another party, and I may be closing the sale with someone else other than the buyer. And at this point, if I haven't had the conversation with the seller about that already, then I usually just quickly say basically I may end up closing on this or possibly my partner, possibly my funding partner or maybe another partner that we bring to the table sometimes.
We're not sure yet which one of us is going to end up actually on the title. So it may be me or I may assign it to one of my colleagues here in the business. But either way it's not going to change the terms of our agreement. Just that's basically disclosing somebody else may end up at the closing table besides me if it ends up in all everybody's best interest to do that. Makes sense?
Great. Awesome. Initial here. Number eleven. No escrow.
I understand the buyer may choose to close this transaction without the use of an escrow company and may record the conveyance documents himself. Now this by the way quick sidenote is an optional one and this is for anyone who does from time to time may do owner financing closings at the kitchen table or something, which actually I don't ever do anymore in my business. So I could totally delete this one and not have a problem with it. But this is here just in case if part of your business model is possibly closing outside of a traditional closing company. But if not, just delete that altogether.
Number twelve, closing documents. I understand there will be additional closing documents to sign upon receipt and upon receipt agree to sign and deliver the closing documents either into escrow or directly to Buyer. And Buyer may direct as buyer may direct in a timely manner and I turn to the seller and I say so when we get to the closing table you agree to sign all the documents to required to sell me the property, right? All right. Good.
Number 13 copies of the paperwork. I understand the copies of the paperwork I've signed will be provided to me in a timely manner and I acknowledge that circumstances dictate that copies may not be immediately available to me. I turn to the seller and I say, remember I told you that I'm going to be scanning these when I get back to my office and I'm going to email you copies. That's what this is saying. Basically you don't have copies right this second, but you will shortly.
All right great. There you go. Initial number 14. Buyer entitled to make a profit. I understand the buyer may resell the property and may realize a profit in doing so.
I agree. The buyer is entitled to any profit that may ultimately result in the subsequent resale of the property. All right Mr. Seller, that makes sense, right? Okay, good deal.
Sign there. Initial there. Number 15 legal Counsel Advice I acknowledge buyer has advised me to seek independent legal counsel to review the agreement. All right. You can do that, right?
If you want to have an attorney at any point, look over paperwork, and that's all fine and good. All right, great. Initial here. Number 16 financial review advised. I acknowledge buyer has advised me to seek an independent financial adviser to review the agreement.
And I turn to him and say, you should always talk to your tax professional about any transaction so that you understand the tax impact. You get that, right? Okay, good deal. Initial here. Number 17.
Fairly negotiated. I understand Buyer has negotiated on his own behalf, and likewise, I have negotiated on mine. I acknowledge the agreement has been negotiated fairly and that the buyer has not taken advantage of me or my current situation. And I turn and say, mr. John Smithseller, do you feel like I'm taking advantage of you?
Do you feel like we've had anything unfair occur here? All right, great. There you go. Initial. The whole time, this is just us kind of chuckling back and forth.
Number 18 no precluding ailments. I have no physical, mental or emotional ailments that preclude me from signing the agreement. At that point, I don't even have to explain it. We all just laugh about it, and then they sign and agree. But it's important.
It's important that we say this, because why is this here? Because guys like me and Joe, we've had Sellers come back and say, I wasn't of sound mind to be able to sign this agreement. So number 19 not under the influence. I am not now under the influence of alcohol or any other mind altering substance, nor am I taking medication that would cloud my judgment or make me unable to think clearly. I turn again, kind of laughing.
Are you drunk or on drugs right now? They say, no, I'm not. We all laugh at the initial. Number 20 no other promises. I have not been promised anything other than what is described in the agreement.
There are no unresolved issues, no sign agreements, nor are there other terms not disclosed in the agreement. And they just have no problems when they sign that to number 21 not under duress. I am not under duress, and I have signed the agreement of my own free will without any undue financial pressure. Buyer is in no way pressuring me to sign the agreement. I turn to him and I say, am I holding a gun to your head?
No. Are you doing this if you're on free will? Yes. Awesome. Initial that.
And finally, last but not least, number 22 fully satisfied with the agreement. I am fully satisfied with all the terms and conditions containing the agreement. There you go. Initial. Initial.
Great. Dated. And then let me shrink this a little bit in the Microsoft Word so you can see at the bottom there's the space for the sellers to sign. I don't have to sign this because it's their acknowledgement, not mine. So I get the John Hancock of any and every seller.
So here's the deal, okay? These 22 items are not negotiable. If your seller this is how I run my business. If you agree, then you want to run your business similarly, then if your seller refuses to sign off on even one single item, you don't close and the seller doesn't get their money, regardless of how nominal that amount may be. Now, it's not an adversarial thing, though.
The biggest thing is I hope you pick up, I guess, on two things. One, the value of this document. The reason that Joe Kaiser calls it the best damn document, period, is because this is basically an airtight disclosure. At any point, if the seller comes back and says, I was taking advantage of her, I didn't know what was going on, you could always wave this in their face and take it to the judge and say, judge, look, I made sure and covered my tracks. They initialed every single item on this document, just that it says the exact opposite of what they're saying right now.
So, number one, the value of this simple document. Number two, how effortless it is to work this in when you're having the contract signed by simply adding levity and a bit of whimsy to it, rather than being nervous or feeling like it's going to be somehow a controversial thing to introduce into the mix, there's no apology needed. Your position is one of, hey, our company policy is we always have to have these few things acknowledged individually just to make sure that we're on the same page. So I know some of these things are already covered in the contract, but bear with me. This will take about five minutes for me just to go through.
And I'll need your initial on these so we can wrap this up. No biggie. No biggie. Okay. The purpose of this document is to document what took place in reality so that they can't later come back and claim that they were treated unfairly.
That's the bottom line. So use this. And mad props to Joe Kaiser for creating it. Joe's a friend. I had the pleasure of meeting him in Maine a few years ago.
And thank you, my friend. Guys, if you ever run across any of Joe's old material, you should definitely go through it. Like I said, it's timeless, timeless stuff and really phenomenal training for real estate investors. So that's all I got. Now, let me hand off to you guys.
Download this document, swipe, deploy, use it in your business, but what questions or comments do you have? Engage with us. I love it when you guys leave comments and just even if it's only to tell me what you think about this document or its use, or if you have any questions, anything else I need to clear up, just leave it below and we'll get them answered for you. All right, thanks, guys. Appreciate you tuning in.
This is JP out for now. We'll catch you on the next one.
Best Damn Doc, Period: Get Mine Now 🙂
Well, now that you better understand the components of this doc… I hope that you use it to level up your real estate investing game.
Ready to just grab mine for your own bag of tricks?
Awesome, here's how…
Step 1 ⤸
“Like” our Facebook page please?
Step 2 ⤸
Just leave a comment below sharing your honest feedback on the BDDP I'm freely sharing with you. Whatever you think after hearing my thoughts behind it in the video above. Good, bad, and anywhere in between. Seriously.
Alternately, I’m also interested in hearing anything else (another resource or tool) that you’d like us to share in a future “Swipe & Deploy” like this. Do tell.
Step 3 ⤸
Then Chuck Norris will hand you over my template.
Totally serious. Just try it. 😀
Oh, and BTW…
In case you didn't know, we give stuff away like this all the time, like a tasty application for “terms deal” buyers and useful agreements like the agreement for subcontractors and a contractor lien agreement. You can also check out our entire “Swipe & Deploy” goodies category over here that we've compiled over the years to help you level-up your REI game.