breaching good faith covenant in offers

Making Sacramento Home Sellers Refuse to Sell the House to You

making sacramento home sellers refuse to sell

Signing dual offers almost guarantees buyers are making the Sacramento home seller refuse to sell to them.

This is a story that needs to be shared in hopes you won’t ever end up in the position of making Sacramento home sellers refuse to sell the house to you. In its telling, the Sacramento buyer’s agent is not the focus of this incident, although she bears some responsibility. She was the last person who could have told the buyer NO, the proposal is a lousy idea. Or, she could have refused to accommodate the request. Or, she could have disclosed her buyers’ intent in the purchase offer. But she allegedly, by her own admission, was in no condition to do any of those things. The point here is she is not necessarily a bad agent.

Some of you reading this blog might say she was inconveniently caught, and if she hadn’t been discovered, all would have been right with the world. If you think that way, you have no business reading this blog. Or selling Sacramento real estate.

It all started when I received an offer that was almost $15,000 over our list price for a home in Sacramento. I began to dissect the offer, to determine what was wrong with it, like I always do upon receipt of an offer. The first thing I noticed was the preapproval letter: although dated that very day, did not match the purchase offer price. It was less. That was odd. Next, I noticed different sellers’ names printed on the offer, followed by a different property address. This was an offer on another property.

When I looked up the property in MLS, it was listed for almost $35,000 less than the purchase offer price. None of this made a lot of sense except for the fact I was fairly certain the buyers had written more than one offer. That maneuver just rubs Sacramento listing agents the wrong way. Lawyers say if the buyers can’t afford to buy both homes, it’s a breach of the good faith covenant inherent in purchase offers. Most agents in this situation would be upfront about this and disclose the multiple offers in the offer. Not this offer, though. This was an offer destined to making Sacramento home sellers refuse to sell the house.

The buyers had written a heartfelt letter about how much they loved the property and were planning to buy their very first home after 30 years of marriage. Except they felt that way about the other house in Rancho Cordova, too. I know this because I called the agent who had the other listing, and she confirmed the buyers had written her sellers a similar letter. She was also holding the offer that was sent by mistake to me. Further, she disclosed the buyer’s agent had pleaded with her to persuade her sellers to take the offer. The buyer’s agent had allegedly promised that listing agent, and I quote, “I will kiss your ass,” (presumably like no tomorrow).


Looks to me, I volunteered, like these buyers are not purchasing either one of these homes. That listing agent and I both agreed this was not a purchase offer that would be beneficial to our clients. When you can’t trust the buyer and you have a bunch of other buyers who haven’t tried to pull shenanigans, it’s an easy decision. Making Sacramento home sellers refuse to sell the house to you is a terrible consequence. It doesn’t make the buyers bad people, either, just misdirected and uninformed.

It’s also a reason why you can see a home go into pending status and a day or so later revert to back on market. Dishonesty and deception should have no place in Sacramento real estate, but sadly, we all see crap like this.

The agent was very apologetic when she finally called to explain. Her buyers forced her to do it; she is under duress; personal life-changing events happening . . . Jim Belushi echoes in my ears. Still, I cautioned, none of that is an excuse to compromise your integrity nor your ethics.

Tip: If the shortage of inventory in our Sacramento real estate is inducing you to consider signing a bunch of purchase offers to see if any stick, please reconsider that approach. Find the home you want, write an aggressive clean offer and do the very best you can. Don’t try to game the system because it can backfire on you. If your agent suggests such a move, hire a different agent.


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