Real Estate Contracts are Serious Business

I’ve been working with wonderful buyers that had their hearts broken recently when I advised them NOT to place an offer on the home of their dreams that they FELL IN LOVE WITH, was in their price range, met all their criteria, and could have been theirs.

It was a difficult decision all around.  We spent a great deal of time at the property and I could see and feel how much they wanted this house.  The listing agent gave me all indications that an offer from my client would be highly considered by the seller.  My clients were, to say the least, ECSTATIC.

It was late in the day, so they went home to think about their price, and I went to the office to review the listing information and a short sale addendum that was required for submitting offers to this listing agent.

That’s when my heart sank.  I knew I couldn’t let my buyers write an offer after reading the addendum that was required.

The listing agent was stepping outside the parameters of our standard contracts and was asking the buyers to sign an addendum that benefited the seller, and took away most of my buyer’s rights.  Since the agreement required a $10,000 earnest money deposit, I knew that this was NOT something I could allow my buyers to sign, and I confirmed this by seeking advice from my broker (as well as several other agents in my office.)

We all agreed and I went back to my buyers and discussed the addendum in detail, as well as the potential consequences of signing such a lopsided document.  Of course, the decision was theirs, and I recommended they consult an attorney if they elected to take the risk.  They chose to pass on the property, as much as they loved the house.

When the Las Vegas real estate market was at its height a few years back and prices skyrocketed, buyers signed documents that were not always in their best interest.  Now that the market is reversed, and we have low inventory,  buyers and sellers need to carefully review all documents before signing, and question those that may ask for fees or require that rights are waived.

When in doubt, seek the advice of a licensed attorney.

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