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Chino Hills Realtor® FAQ: "What If I Find Something Better?"

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Chino Hills

Door choicesChino Hills Realtor® FAQ: "What If I Find Something Better?"

It's not surprising when buyers want to keep their options open: with many homes available, it's tough to make a choice. So as a Chino Hills Realtor®, I'm often asked the question: "If we make an offer and THEN find something better... we can just withdraw the offer. Right?"

Not exactly. In fact, with very few exceptions, if I submit an offer for you, we won't even be LOOKING for "something better" -- not unless the current negotiation fails.

I know there are agents who disagree with me, who have no problem writing several offers for the same client at the same time. But for me it's over the line, and here's why:

#1. Your "offer" is a CONTRACT to purchase; if the seller accepts, you're legally bound to the terms. There are clauses that allow you to cancel, but they refer to your loan and items concerning the property. THERE IS NO "I FOUND SOMETHING BETTER" CONTINGENCY.

#2: Agency. The first document you'll sign with me is the Disclosure Regarding Real Estate Agency Relationship. It outlines the duties each agent has to BOTH parties in the transaction. They include: "To the Buyer and the Seller: ... b) A duty of honest and fair dealing and good faith." The seller will make huge decisions based on your stated intent to purchase; by submitting offers I know you're not serious about, I'm not operating honestly, fairly, and in good faith.

Door chosen#3. Initial Deposit. Sellers want you to have some "skin in the game"; that means when you write an offer, you'll give me a check for 2-3% of the offering price. This is called an "earnest money deposit", and by submitting the offer, I'm stating the deposit for this property is in my possession. If you're still looking around, planning on juggling the same deposit check for multiple properties, how can I truthfully say that? And exactly how "earnest" are you?

So if a house has everything you need and most of what you want, and you've looked around enough to make an informed decision, AND you still want to keep playing the field... well, the bottom line is this: if you can't commit to a house, you may not be ready to buy. 

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Copyright © 2011 Diane Mora Chino Hills Realtor®

Images: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Comments (4)

Tamara Elliott-Deering
Central Metro Realty - Austin, TX


These are all great points.  I think that buyers often miss the fact that they are signing a contract, or that contracts are enforceable.  I think I'm going to start spending more time going over the "specific performance" part of the contract before we even write one.


Mar 13, 2011 03:48 AM
Clark Cook
1st Choice Realty of Fayetteville, LLC - Fayetteville, NC
Marketing Homes For Sale In Fayetteville NC Area

Well put Diane, and my sentiment exactly! Once we submit an offer we're done looking until we get an answer.

Mar 13, 2011 03:50 AM
Diane Mora
Keller Williams Chino Hills - Chino Hills, CA

Hi Tamara -- Yeah we get so caught up in the word "offer" that we tend to overlook the obvious. thanks for the read and comment.

Hello Clark: Yup. And if the client doesn't agree, we shouldn't be writing an offer in the first place. Thanks for stopping by.

Mar 13, 2011 04:51 AM
Tom Waite
Thomas Waite Real Estate Broker - Cypress, CA
So Cal-Apartment Bldg Investments

Great blog Diane:

That's a good answer to the question most buyers today are asking...CAN I DO BETTER?

Keep on blogging.


Mar 17, 2011 07:12 AM