A seller can require buyers to submit offer before seeing a listing. At first, there can be Realtor pushback. Also, we received many buyer’s agent’s phone calls asking if we could please get them in because their buyer really needed to see it. Other agents saying well, good luck, you will never sell it this way. Of course, we would not disregard our seller’s instructions. After about 10 days, we started getting offers. We have received many offers to date.
This property is a tenant-occupied home. They have been there for more than 10 years. The seller did not want his tenants unnecessarily bothered by people looking who really had no intention of buying. We set up an appointment for the agents and buyers to come and view the property during a 30-minute appointment. It is a two-bedroom, one bath, with inside laundry. Most Realtors were pretty understanding, however; one agent complained about the condition of the property. I’m not sure what he expected for $200,000 in a decent neighborhood.
Do experienced Realtors write incomplete offers? That is a great question. The Real Estate purchase agreement, RPA in California is a detailed contract. There are classes at the real estate board and workbook for dummies type books on it. It takes a desire to learn what each sentence and paragraph means. It is an important document as Realtors we do three things:
- List real estate
- Sell property
- Realtors use Listing Agreements and Purchase Agreements
- Realtors can do property management; however, many brokerages do not allow Realtors to do Property Management without adequate training.
- Tenant disputes are one of the most significant issues with DRE, the Department of Real Estate.
- Incomplete offers are more common than you might think.
Our team takes a large number of listings each year. the offers arrive without dates, without the agency confirmation filled out, appropriate boxes are not checked or the incorrect boxes are checked. Newer agents who write lots of offers sometimes have more experience writing offers. An agent who has 10 years on the job but only writes 10 offers a year, may not have as much experience as an agent with 5 years of experience who writes 40 offers per year. Do experienced Realtors write incomplete offers? Yes.
There are always second chances to sell a property, but one question a seller asked yesterday was interesting. He asked, can a counter offer on a Sacramento home come back to life? Last week, we received an offer on his Sacramento listing in Midtown. The offer needed a counter offer as there were some things that needed to be much improved. The good faith deposit, for instance, it was very low. I had not seen such a low offer of a deposit amount in many years. We write offers with three percent down as that is the liquidated damages amount. A generous good faith deposit tells the seller a buyer is serious.
Christmas-time is a perfect example of how a buyer can miss the train in Sacramento real estate. The buyer’s agent was trying to write an offer while juggling a bunch of small children, picking up family members at the airport and unwrapping presents on Christmas Day. We agents work all the time, but sometimes, maybe we should not. Or maybe we should hand the buyers over to an agent who has time.
This particular agent was in such a rush, she did not stop to consider that she could miss the train in Sacramento real estate. When she called, I let her know we had sent a counter offer to other buyers. Also explained I fully expected that buyer to accept the counter offer. It was mostly clarifications and we had already agreed upon the terms. However, if she sent a better offer, the seller is always free to pull back the counter offer.
For years, I have employed a counter offer tip that works so well that I just now am getting around to sharing it. I often share tips I have picked up over my 40-some years in real estate because I hope to help others. Due to the nature of Sacramento real estate, we agents are often so busy, we don’t stop to ponder some of the wonderful ideas we come up with. We just do them. Or, maybe I’m just talking about myself. Whether you use this tip yourself or you ask your agent to employ it, I guarantee it will save you from major headaches. Thinking ahead is one of the things I try to do. Because stopping problems before they start is my method of operation.
All it takes is one time that an offer gets screwed up before you might come up with this idea yourself.
See, the deal with a counter offer is it tends to change many of the terms of the purchase offer. Now, let’s say escrow or worse, the mortgage loan officer, forgets to read the counter offer (it happens!) and issues docs based on the original offer. If that happens, everybody has a problem, Houston. Further, the Sacramento appraiser could appraise the home at a lower price. Because appraisers tend to appraise at the sales price. To do otherwise is to turn in a non-conforming appraisal, and nobody wants that.
Naturally, one way to help counter that problem, pardon the pun on my counter offer tip, is to upload all documents to DocuSign in order: counter offer first, followed by purchase contract, addendum and accompanying docs. Then, after the offer is signed, download all of the documents into one PDF file. That way the counter offer can’t get lost and will always be the first document. Of course, to do this, you need to get the counter offer agreed upon first. Before signing the offer.
However, that is not my main counter offer tip. My main tip is to go one step further. In the purchase offer itself, I enter a text box for myself to complete when I sign the offer. The text boxes are positioned next to every term in the purchase contract that has changed in the counter offer. This means if the sales price was changed, for example, there are two spots to change on the first page of the purchase contract that contain the sales price. In both spots, I position a text box. When I sign, I enter verbiage in the text box that reads: see counter offer.
It helps escrow with the allocation of costs, too, especially if who pays what has changed in the counter offer. I insert those boxes throughout so there can be no excuse — no real excuse, anyway, for screwing it up.
I hope you have enjoyed my handy dandy counter offer tip and will find a way to save yourself future heartache.