Buying land just got weird

So... land buying just got weird. Called the seller today to let him know my lawyer should have a purchase contract to him by Friday. This... did not go well. Problem is, apparently he won’t sign a purchase contract.

He is happy to sell it to me, but he won’t “take it off the market” while we’re doing the title search, survey, and other fun, expensive, necessary stuff. I mean I have his word... what more do I need?

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... riiiiiiiiiiiiight...

He did agree to 14 days of not selling the property for me to get an abstract and survey in order, but after that all bets are off.

Edit for clarity: he is fine signing something to sell it to me, but in these situations one usually has a contract w/ earnest money to hold the property while (expensive) paperwork is getting sorted. This is the thing he doesn’t want to do.

So as I see it I have two options:

  1. Bail and move on - no risk, no reward, also probably the most sensible approach
  2. Proceed with title search, sans lawyers - Medium risk, medium reward. Basically go with his plan, and either cut loose or drastically reduce the role of the real estate lawyer.
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I’m inclined to go with #1. My main reason is gut instinct. The guy is acting super weird for like... no reason. It isn’t like I’m asking him to do anything, just go through the normal process. Another good point raised by my SO is I am also signing up to be this dude’s neighbor on at least two sides. If he is being weird about this, what else is he going to be weird about?

So yeah... sort of at a loss right now. Also super relieved... and bummed out.

What do you people think?

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