The most common type of purchase offer mistake I am noticing lately in a California Residential Purchase Agreement is a checked box that could cost the seller a ton of money if it’s not countered out of the contract. Now, true, some buyer’s agents go crazy hog wild checking boxes left and right. I see contracts that state the seller will pay all HOA fees when there is no homeowner’s association. Or, they state sellers will pay city transfer fees when the property is not located in a city.
The one thing all Sacramento agents should try to avoid have happen with their buyer’s purchase offer is to give the seller’s agent and seller a reason to issue a counter offer. A few weeks ago, a seller had a counter offer out, and while we waited for the response, another buyer swooped in and submitted an offer that the seller accepted. After pulling the counter offer, of course. If one can avoid the counter-offer situation all together, a Sacramento agent can increase the odds her buyer won’t lose the house.
The way I sell real estate in Sacramento works extremely well for my sellers because I am on the constant look out for what is wrong with this Sacramento home offer. My first instinct, unlike many Sacramento Realtors, is NOT oh, boy, we have an offer, let’s sign it. As in: press hard, third copy is yours. My sellers and I intend to close the transaction. To us, a purchase contract is a legal and binding contract issued in Good Faith. To other agents, though, we can be at opposite ends of the spectrum before ever going into escrow.
Home buyers tend to pay a lot of attention to the days on market, which doesn’t always mean anything except when the home is a new listing in Sacramento. When the home is a new listing in Sacramento, the days on market, regardless of market conditions, beg for a different offer strategy. That strategy says if the price is fair, showings are high, and the buyer needs to buy that home, the best move is not to try to negotiate.
Buyer’s agents sometimes take a cavalier attitude. They say the buyer will learn a lesson when the buyer loses the house, and that’s why sometimes it takes more than one offer to buy a home. If the buyer refuses to take his or her agent’s advice, the agent will just look for the next house. It doesn’t always matter to the agent which house the buyer ends up buying — not like it does to the buyer — because the agent will get paid either way.
With almost every new Sacramento listing these days comes a flurry of purchase offers from an assortment of buyer’s agents. Every strong listing agent in Sacramento is witnessing this sort of stuff right now. Some of us, I should add, are fairly detail oriented, and we expect purchase contracts to arrive with all the I’s dotted and the T’s crossed. It should not be surprising, then, when we find mistakes in the purchase contract that it means we will undoubtedly be required to suggest a counter offer to the seller.