Matt,

The biggest challenge with this deal is he is being a bit vague on what he wants. At least from the monthly payment and what he wants up front. I am assuming he is playing a silent game. Not giving a bunch of info. When this happens, I like to give a low offer, knowing that I run the risk of upsetting him, but at least I will know where he stands. I would offer him 5k up front and then the payment program you discussed.

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Yes, you would want to do a more formal closing, not necessarily with an attorney, unless you think it would help give credibility to the deal by doing so.