It's Like Putting a Bandaid on a Geyser!

Real Estate Agent with Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group S44645

Or something else that would be ridiculously futile in the whole scheme of things.  We all try the baby steps to fixing a problem, but sometimes there is no point.  If you have that many holes in the boat, it ain't gonna float!!!!

I took a call from a panicked new agent today that made me smile....writing your first offer can be nerve racking to say the least.  I remember that first offer...I bet it took me two hours and then my manager came in and spent another hour with me, re-writing it!  No point in turning in a shipwreck!

Protecting the client is your primary focus!  Most people only buy a few homes in their LIFETIME!  As a REALTOR®, you will be responsible for explaining that 4 page contract in Iowa hundreds of times....if you make it through the first one, that is....

Contingencies are of utmost importance.  From beginning to end, this contract was just jacked say the least. 

--The buyer was not pre-qualified at the time of the offer. The agent tried to pre-qualify the buyer themselves and based on their "calculations" the buyer could afford the home.  Wrong answer.

--The buyer did not have an adequate down payment for conventional financing.  And yep, you guessed it.  It was being sold as is.  Wrong answer.

--The buyer had waived all inspections.  They were competing for the property and thought that it would make their offer stronger.  Wrong answer.

You name it, and it was just like putting a bandaid on a geyser....there was no saving this one!

Lesson learned:

Take your buyer to a lender to be qualified, go over the property disclosure thoroughly, NEVER recommend that they waive their inspections, even in a multiple offer situation.....among other things....

In this business it is not about whether or not you will be is a question of how many times and for how much!  Keep that Error and Omissions Insurance in place, you will surely need it!

Keep smiling!



Posted by


Karen Feltman, REALTOR®, ABR, AHS, CHMS,                                                                      CNE,CRS, e-Pro, green, GRI, SRES, TRC

Keller Williams Legacy Group

4850 Armar Drive SE Ste B

Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403


Mobile  319-521-0701

Licensed in the State of Iowa

© 2010-2018 by Karen Feltman, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Relocation Specialist 


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Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

@Joe-Thanks for reading!

Jan 15, 2011 05:26 AM #39
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

This must be the day for posts that all new agents should read. And perhaps - old brokers who need to be training those new agents!

A good heads-up for all!

Jan 15, 2011 06:22 AM #40
Ben Yost - 303-587-4297
First Time Home Buyer, Mortgage Rates, Pre-Approval - Denver, CO
FHA, VA, Conventional - Mortgage Loans in De

I see seasoned agents do at least one of those things - more than you would ever guess.

I told an agent with 10 Years experience yesterday that the clients- he showed over 30 homes to and finally wrote a contract- that couldn't qualify.

He just assumed that since they were putting 20% down- they were fine. They weren't even close. So it does not happen to just new Agents!

Had another 8 year veteran, that thought a home without a kitchen, wouldn't be a problem. Found out from the appraiser.

Some of the newer agents are actually better trained, because they weren't in the business when "everyone gets a home"!

Good Post!

Jan 15, 2011 06:30 AM #41
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

I just did a post where I refused to take off the home inspection even though the buyer wanted it. He was buying a REO & I believe not thinking correctly.  We are still waiting for the bank to sign the offer so we will see what the buyer will do.

Jan 15, 2011 06:41 AM #42
Cynthia Larsen
Cotati, CA
Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA

Oh wow ... I used to practice writing offers for days before I wrote my first one. There is an independent broker in my area that doesn't have E&O insurance ... I wouldn't leave home without it!

Jan 15, 2011 08:09 AM #43
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

@Marte-Thanks for reading!

@Ben-I agree that the times are changing and gone are the days where agents should assume anything regarding financing.  You stick to what you do and I will stick to what I do!

@Lyn-I would think that because of the REO, you would definitely want a home inspection!  Good luck to you and the buyer on that one.

@Cynthia-The more practice, the better in writing offers...although, no two are alike!

Jan 15, 2011 09:41 AM #44
Eugene Lew
RE/MAX equity group - Happy Valley, OR

Sometimes waiving inspections is acceptable, depending on the buyer. First time buyer, definitely not. Contractor looking to rehab a home, or live in it, and does the inspection himself, yes, I would, and have allowed them to do it, but they sign off on the contract that is what they want to do.

The contract dictates who has which rights. Its imperative that it is written properly, and to protect the party being represented. Sometimes they can get so jumbled up, that is easier to start all over.

Jan 15, 2011 11:42 AM #45
DeeDee Riley
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA - El Dorado Hills, CA
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas


When I first started, I was working as a buyer's agent for an experienced agent in our office.  Of course, I got a buyer who was prequalified but for only something on the bottom end of the market where all the investors and first time buyers were in competition.  We must have written 10 offers and didn't get any of them.  When we finally got close, my buyer found out the interest rates had gone up and she could not qualify for what we were looking for  anymore.  She was advised to wait for 6 months and work on her credit score.   The only good thing about that is that I learned how to write offers!

Jan 15, 2011 02:01 PM #46
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Always get a prequal letter first and always get an  inspection, or at least reccomend that they do.

Jan 15, 2011 02:54 PM #47
Robert Courtney
Lihue, HI
Century 21 All Islands, RA, CDPE, MCRE, CIAS

Karen - Good advice for us to remember which side we are writing for!  The offers and counter offers remind me of being in the courtroom having a case decided.  One attorney always does a better job when all things are equal.  If they do not do their homework they look unprofessional and usually lose.  We need to stay on our game.  Sadly, the ramifications are the same whether if be our first or any number after!!

Jan 16, 2011 03:08 AM #48
Sylvie Stuart
Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765 - Flagstaff, AZ
Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta

Great post, I just had an offer come in on one of my listings that was so poorly written, including portions not filled out, that I had to address a lot in the counter offer. These are not trivial details!

Jan 16, 2011 04:43 AM #49
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Karen you forgot a lesson: Always, always seek advice from an experience agent before submitting an offer.

Jan 16, 2011 05:42 AM #50
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

@Eugene-You are right that it is best to rewrite if you make a mistake.  It is a legal binding contract and obviously white out is not a good option if there is a major change involved.  Some things can be easily remedied with the counter offer, but others, it is just best to get all the terms right to begin with!  And I agree, there are some instances where a contractor may want to perform their own inspection, that is fine.  But they will still sign a waiver holding me harmless from that decision.

@DeeDee-That certainly was one way of getting the practice in!  It is a good thing that your lender was in the background and your buyer was listening to what her qualifying status was.  Otherwise, you could have finally gotten one accepted and had to back out due to her financials. 

@Gene-That is my way of doing business, go to a lender and see what you can afford and if you don't want an inspection, you will release me from anything that happens later on that could have been prevented by such an inspection.

@Bob-You are absolutely correct with your example.  We are all able to be distracted and make mistakes.  We need to keep up with the current forms and regulations, the current loan information from the lender and be well informed by our buyers of their absolutes.  Every offer and situation is different and we do need to keep their interests at heart.

@Sylvie-I understand your frustration.  If the contract would have been completed and executed correctly, there would have not been a need to address so many things in the counter offer.  When I receive an offer like that, I send it back to the buyer's agent to rewrite prior to submitting to the seller.  It is not an executable offer if the dates are not filled in and the loan information is unavailable.  These are must haves for the seller to make a decision. 

Jan 16, 2011 05:46 AM #51
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

@Charita-You are correct, if the broker is not available to help, call someone else to at least look it over if you are unsure.  That is what happened in this case.  There is a wealth of experience that only comes with writing offers over and over again.

Jan 16, 2011 05:47 AM #52
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Home and Condo Specialists

Absolutely...We can't force them to get an inspection...but we always recommend that they get one!

Jan 16, 2011 07:24 AM #53
Ken Barker Realtor® GRI, E-Pro Certified
Dilbeck Real Estate - Burbank, CA

Karen - I see why Donne added you to her called shots. Very good advice but really, 4 page contract for Iowa? Oh my, just the first part of our contracts in Calif is 10 pages and then 2 more right after that.

Cynthia nailed it though. Practice makes perfect but not on a buyer. Do it with a mentor or an experienced agent in the office.

Jan 16, 2011 10:33 AM #54
Dennis & Terri Neal
RE/MAX, Big Bear - Big Bear Lake, CA
Your Home Sold in 45 Days or We Se

Protecting our clients is job number one.

Jan 16, 2011 06:00 PM #55
Laura Levenson
APEX Properties - McHenry, IL

11 PGS. here in Illinois, if you count the Loan Disclosure page.  Funny, we are talking about that here specifically, however very rarely is that 11th page filled out!

OK, so here is a topic worthy of discussion along these same lines also....Buyer comes to me with a bonafide pre-APPROVAL from Chase (so I thought).  At the end of the day, Chase ends up denying the loan that they had already pre-APPROVED!!  And of course, it was at the 11th hour!!! 

To comment on the inspection waiving folks..isn't it worth $300 bux to know what you are getting into?  Especially AS-IS properties???  Some will never learn......


Jan 17, 2011 11:15 AM #57
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

@Larry and Sheila-You are absolutely right!  The key is always suggesting that they do get one.  Never suggest that they do not!  If they are a contractor and they wish to waive their home inspection, that is fine.  They can sign a waiver releasing me, but I never would suggest that as an option.  We are trusted advisors out there for our clients and we should not suggest in any circumstances that they forego having inspections completed no matter what age the house is or what condition it might be in. 

@Ken-Thank you for coming over and taking a look.  I will have to go there and thank Donne myself!

@Dennis and Terri-Bingo!

@Laura-What are we drinking?  :)

Jan 18, 2011 06:23 AM #58
Sandy McAlpine
Search Lake Norman Homes For Sale - Lake Norman NC

I remember putting together my first offer. Thankfully it all worked out but I was a wreck!

Mar 14, 2011 07:35 AM #59
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