Richards Real Estate

Getting Offers Accepted

Q. My Realtor made an offer and the seller’s side has never responded. Shouldn’t they counter or reject it if the offer isn’t to their liking? Y.B. Rio Vista

A. When you offer on a home you can set the amount of time the seller has to respond. The contract default is 72 hours, but you can shorten or lengthen that time. On the signature page at the bottom is a space for rejection, but most usual is a counter offer to change price or terms more to the seller’s liking. No reply at all could mean a flood of offers and the seller perhaps picked one and waived the others off. Even then your Realtor should get an email of phone call or even a text of explanation, and most normal for multiple offers is a request for your highest and best offer (creating a bid scenario- good thing for the seller).

No response at all leads me to believe the seller’s Realtor is quietly waiting for a client that will purchase through them giving that Realtor both the listing and selling side of the commission; known as a double ender. By not responding they can just let your offer expire and wait until a buyer calls them.

When a Realtor lists a home, the agreement states that they will present all offers, not just the ones they like. They are contracted to find a buyer, and they’re supposed to present ALL buyers. I’ll bet the seller does not know their Realtor is being selective, and ethically that seller can’t be contacted by the buyer’s Realtor since the seller is in contract with their Realtor on the listing. That contact would constitute contract interference.

This is a common problem in a brisk market with multiple offers, so you need to structure your offer to be appealing. If your Realtor tells you this home is attractive and active, do not have a home sale contingency as that is the first type of offer that gets kicked to the side. Don’t go low, offer at least full asking price, and on terms and closing costs you should pay at least half, maybe more. This alone could tip an offer in your favor. Pick a 30 day close, then extend if you need to as 45-90 day closes are too long and a turn off.

On inspections, make repairs a negotiable issue and don’t throw the entire inspection at the seller unless the repairs are listed as urgent issues.

When your Realtor presents your offer, they should text, email, and phone that this offer is coming in. Then the same to see if it was received, and when a decision will be forthcoming.

None of this will stop unethical Realtors, and hold outs for a double ender are very hard to prove, so do your best then move on. There are plenty of homes for sale and good Realtors to go with them.

Q. I am from out of Solano County, and on our offer for a home in Rio Vista the seller’s Realtor called ours to modify our offer since in Solano County the buyer customarily pays all closing costs. I haven’t heard of this. Out of area

A. That Realtor is incorrect. What is customary and typical is for all Realtors to use the forms service provided by their membership in the California Association of Realtors, and the correct form for a purchase offer would be a California Residential Purchase Agreement and Escrow Instructions ( RPA-CA).

On pages 2 & 3 of this form are little boxes that can be checked in front of the closing categories. These boxes are marker “buyer” and “seller”, and by checking you are indicating responsibility for payment of that issue to be paid by whichever box you check. The price, terms, days to close, closing costs, inspections, home warranty, what stays with the home, repairs, are all negotiable. Everything about the sale is negotiable, with no such thing as customary closing costs.

Another thing to be aware of is  “escrow has been opened”. The choice of an Escrow/Title Company, by California law, lies with the buyer. The Real Estate Settlement and Procedures act (RESPA) prevents any and all collusion with regard to choosing Escrow/Title Companies. The buyer chooses.

Posted on June 6, 2019 at 2:31 pm by Sam Richards

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