Sloppy offer, sloppy agent....why this hurts the buyer

Real Estate Agent with Alain Pinel BRE 01367196

A sloppy offer does a lot of harm to the buyer's chances of getting his offer accepted.

Yes, we agree that today's purchase contract is so much more complicated and several pages longer than the ones we had many years ago. And there are very good reasons why. Finetuning details should leave no doubt nor room for interpretation by either party.

But when an agent submits an offer that is so obviously carelessly prepared.....

What impression does that create?

....that the agent may be flighty and ditzy, with absolutely no attention to detail. Think: incomplete paperwork, missed deadlines

...that the buyer may not have understood what he was signing and therefore may contest contract provisions when it comes down to the HUD statement prior to close of escrow

...that the buyer isn't serious about the offer.

In a competitive situation, what agent would allow the buyer to have a deposit that is less than 1/2 % of offer? Or ask seller to credit buyer 3.5% towards closing costs, considering that the offer submitted is already low-ball?

...that the buyer is writing several offers at the same time, in the hopes that one would stick (that explains why some pages have a different address than the one the byyer is writing an offer on...). So why should the seller choose this buyer who may back out of the contract if something better comes along?

... what other things can they do wrong during the transaction if the buyer and his agent can't write an offer to get them noticed in a favorable light the first time.?


Sure, the seller can always counteroffer.....but why should the seller's counter offer have to address what the buyer and his agent could have done right the first time?


The devil in the details!

This offer had these things wrong and/or missing on this California purchase agreement:

  • Provided preapproval letter for less than offer price --- if buyer isn't preapproved to buy a property at this price, then why are they writing an offer for above what the buyer can afford?
  • Didn't indicate with a check mark whom each brokerage is representing
  • Initial deposit is less than 1/2 % of offer in a competitive situation
  • Provided info on type of loan (FHA) but didn't specify at what interest rate
  • Didn't indicate who would pay for the Natural Hazards Report
  • Didn't indicate who is responsible for complying with government requirements such as sewer lateral testing/repair, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installation, water-heater bracing, automatic gas cut off valve installation
  • Didn't indicate how county taxes are split between buyer and seller (he checked the box, but didn't say if it's 50-50 split)
  • Didn't indicate how city taxes are split
  • Indicated that both buyer and seller will pay for escrow fees -- but who pays whose escrow fees?
  • Wrote low ball offer and STILL asked seller for 3.5% credits towards buyer's closing costs
  • Didn't provide agent's DRE (Department of Real Estate) ID, nor that of his broker's as required
  • Didn't provide agent's phone number, fax number, email address, mailing address




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Judith Abbott
Coldwell Banker Residential - Dallas, TX

A low-ball offer has to be wrapped up in the very best paperwork possible if there is any hope of it being taken seriously.  Negotiations are a dance.  If you don't have your party clothes on and your best dancing slippers, it makes your dance partner ask lots of questions that would otherwise never come up.


Sep 01, 2011 05:20 AM #1
Jim Patton
Century 21 M&M - 209-404-0816 - Turlock, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus & Merced county Realtor.

Unfortunately I see contracts like this all the time Pacita. 

Sep 01, 2011 06:21 AM #2
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Judith -- you're right. When someone lowballs an offer, he had better present his best foot forward

Jim --- this many errors on one offer? Worse problem than I thought!

Sep 01, 2011 06:24 AM #3
David Gibson CNE, 719-304-4684 ~ Colorado Springs Relocation
Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Relocation, Luxury & Lifestyle residential

Pacita your post needs to be a class in real estate school. I’m just shocked when agents who have been around a year or so are still making huge mistakes.

Sep 01, 2011 03:00 PM #4
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

David -- I was so frustrated with this agent. He sent me the offer in 3 emails.  And still got it wrong!

Sep 01, 2011 06:41 PM #5
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Pacita Dimacali

Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
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