I have written my last contract with no earnest money. A young couple called me and asked me to show them one of my listings this past week. They were not the typical first-time homebuyers. They were not nervous, excited, happy or a little bit scared. They were...well...bored! I could not get any hit from them as to whether or not they were positive or negative with regard to the house. They said they liked it...in a bored kind of manner, told me they would get back to me, and bid me a good evening.
The next day, the young lady called me and said they would like to make an offer on the property to my complete delight. At the scheduled time, only the young man showed up. He told me that the house would be in his name only as would the note on the property. I had asked them both previously if they had been to a loan officer and been approved for a loan to purchase the property. The young man assured me that a very good friend of his (a loan officer) had approved him for more than the owners were asking for the home.
Anyway, I wrote up the contract, all but the earnest money and the purchase price which is normally how I conduct my business. I leave the hard part for last. The purchase price was a low offer...that should have been my 32nd clue. I told him the offer was low but that the owner would probably counter back with something different. Then I did a very dumb thing. I accepted the fact that he was not going to put up any earnest money. As a matter of fact, he didn't even bring a checkbook with him. He asked me if he had to put up earnest money in order for the contract to be a legally binding document. I told him no, that it just showed the owner (and me) that he was serious about the home. He assured me he was, told me to call him as soon as I knew something, and was out the door.
Ok, I admit it...my brain took a short vacation that evening. What a dummy! Instead of summoning up my courage (and good sense) and telling him I would not present the offer without some good faith on his part, I just wilted like a tender flower in the hot sun. I should have waited till he told me to go jump off a bridge...or went back to his vehicle to get the checkbook. Instead, here I sit 3 days later, after the owner has made his counteroffer, after I have taken up more of my clients' time to sign off on the counteroffer, after my timidity got the better of me, with no offer and no buyer. I made one more call today to see if I could show them other property. Call me a hopeless optimist...or just a plain ole dummy!