Getting a good deal

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Capital Properties

It's what we all want.  Right?  But if you end up with nothing was there ever a possibility of such a good deal? 

Not a rhetorical question but a real life situation that happened recently.  I had a very lovely home I listed that was priced perfectly for the market timing and was in superb condition.  Not surprisingly it attracted a lot of attention and then multiple offers from buyers.  I held this home open for many hours and talked with most every buyer who presented an offer on this house so I got very familiar with their needs and how they might eventually use the home. 

One family in particular caught my attention.  While most other serious buyers had excellent buyer agents this family comprised of a lawyer, his wife and three children had no buyer's agent.  They did have a fairly high need of new housing since they were in more cramped quarters currently.   They were in the house a number of times, measuring to see if furniture would fit and in general falling in love with a house.  Kinda what happens! 

After only a few days on market I received the first of an eventual 6 offers on the property.  Duly notified all agents that offers were being registered and that we'd review on the following Sunday when sellers were in town.  The lawyer with no agent decided to write a contract himself with a real estate attorney helping to get the forms correctly done.  

All offers were reviewed on Sunday but the lawyer had not submitted yet - said he'd have something the next day.  When he did submit he was fully aware that his offer was the 6th received.   He told me the price was "of course, showing a reduction of the buyer's agent commission since he was doing this himself." 

So now let's figure out where he went wrong... 

  1. The net on the offer the seller's accepted was still better than anything his provided.  So with an excellent buyer's agent, the eventual buyers of this home were able to provide to the seller an acceptable net profit and the assurance that the buyers' needs would be satisfied professionally.  And most of all they got an assurance that their sale would have a greater possibility of closing on time than with someone who had no understanding of the process.
  2. The contract was actually poorly prepared.  Blanks were not filled out correctly and worst of all it was missing the wife's signature, who was a participant in the sale.
  3. He offered less earnest money deposit than any of the other offers yet he made the most salary.  This doesn't give a warm and fuzzy feeling to the seller who is looking to take their house off the market and take a leap of faith that this buyer will get to settlement.
  4. He had a home sale contingency.  And not just any but he had rewritten the clause to make it impossible for any other offer to kick out his.  So for however long it took him to sell his home (on his own of course to again save money) my sellers were to be held hostage.  Kiss.of.death. 

This buyer asked how his offer had fallen short.  I found it particularly scary that he posed that question to me.  Really?  How could he not understand in a hot market that you can't put in a home sale contingency, especially one as deadly as what he proposed?  How could he not understand that the offer of compensation between the seller and the listing agent had nothing to do with his offer to purchase?  How could he not understand the lack of engagement with a very low earnest money deposit?  How could he not understand the basics of contract law enough to get this done correctly?  

If he had never asked how his offer had fallen short I would simply have placed this offer in the "not so serious category" and thought nothing further of it.  There's plenty of action in the market with folks floating trial offers to see if they can get anywhere.  But he thought this had a chance.  Therefore, his wife and those kids thought it had a chance and that is the real shame.  They have no idea that for the want of "getting a deal" they don't have a home. 

He wouldn't have understood any of the questions I posed above because he really didn't understand what he was doing.  

I advised him to get a professional buyer's agent. 

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If you are looking to buy or sell a home here or in one of the other lovely surrounding Bethesda real estate communities, please start your search by calling me, a Bethesda Realtor. 

Search here for all Bethesda homes for sale


Serving the Greater Bethesda real estate, Chevy Chase, Potomac, Kensington area communities and other surrounding areas.

I'm available to help you!

Josette Skilling

Associate Broker & Co-Founder

Urban Tree Properties, Keller Williams Capital Properties
7801 Woodmont Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814
Cell: 301-385-9213
Office: 202-780-7570

Urban Tree Properties

Copyright © 2015 by Josette Skilling

Bethesda Real Estate


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Dave Humphrey, Broker
RE/MAX Marketplace - Celebration, FL
Real Estate Advice You Can TRUST!

A home sale contingency is a deal killer here on offers for properites under $150,000. They are moving fast and nobody will wait on a sale to occur unless the property being acquired is in really horrible shape.

Nov 13, 2009 02:17 AM #1
Brett Tousley
Keller Williams Realty - Richland, WA
Tri Cities Real Estate | (509) 420-0013

An offer with a home sale contingent on a fsbo sale is not likely to draw much interest anywhere.


Nov 13, 2009 02:35 AM #2
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