buyer timeframes California purchase contract

Don’t Hate Us Because We Expect Buyers to Conform to the Contract

expect buyers to conform to the contract

Sacramento listing agents expect buyers to conform to the contract.

Unless the buyer’s agent changes the terms in a purchase contract, or we negotiate different dates, many Sacramento listing agents expect buyers to conform to the contract. Well, we don’t actually expect the buyer to know this because it’s up to the buyer’s agent to explain timeframes and duties to the buyer. So often, though, it’s click, click, click in DocuSign, what I can’t call press hard, third copy is yours anymore, but same principle. Some agents do not explain this stuff to the buyer until it’s too late, and then emotions escalate.

And, to be fair, there are also some listing agents who do not expect buyers to conform to the contract at all because they just don’t care. It requires extra work on the part of the listing agent. Then there are the agents who have their own ideas about the meaning of printed words, and don’t even get me started on that group. Nobody is ever so wrong who thinks they are so right.

We like to keep it simple. After we go into contract, we forward an estimated timeframe to the buyer’s agents and the sellers. This way everybody knows what is expected, providing they read it. Some contracts are nebulous because agents mess them up. In talking with a buyer’s agent last week, she asked how she could tell the date of contract ratification. Seems the buyer’s agent had written language into the space for the counter offer requiring action that had nothing to do with a counter offer.

We expect buyers to conform to the contract because it’s a requirement. Because our sellers conform. We do our part. We also have fiduciary to the seller to try to ensure the other side cooperates. We send the seller disclosures within the zero to 7 days required, and we expect them back by day 17. Certainly, a buyer can find sometime within a 10- to 17-day period to sign and return the documents. Of course, the buyers have to first receive the disclosures from the buyer’s agent. When I worked with buyers, I hand-carried the disclosures to the home inspection and obtained signatures there. Or, I uploaded them to DocuSign and stood by ready to discuss via phone.

Now that I work with sellers as my sole focus and my team members work with buyers, I ask my transaction coordinator to follow up with buyer’s agents and remind them when a contingency release is due or when we expect to receive other documents. We let them know upfront we expect their buyers to conform to the contract. Not all of them are happy about this fact, but it’s not personal. It’s just our job.

Every so often we get an agent who sends us a document after the escrow closes and they ask us or our sellers to sign it. They often turn testy when we explain we cannot sign after closing. When the transaction records, it is over. Completed. Signing after the fact has no validity and might even be considered fraudulent.

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