What Am I Supposed to Tell My Buyer?

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Gold DRE #00697006

It doesn't matter to me whether a buyer's agent agrees with my belief that buyers should wait for short sale approval. Every so often one of them will call and try to read me the riot act. But I don't care. The only person I care about is my seller. I care whether the seller will close escrow on that short sale, and sellers tend to close when they have a dedicated, committed and patient buyer who wants to buy that Sacramento short sale.

Not every buyer's agent in Sacramento will advise a buyer to wait for approval. Some tell buyers to write as many offers as they can on as many properties as they can, and that's their prerogative. My sellers tell me they won't accept offers from those agents. In fact, they sign a seller instruction to me, which I upload to MLS. I also put a notation in the confidential agent remarks, asking agents to read the documents attached to MLS before writing an offer.

Sometimes, another Sacramento short sale agent will ask me if she can copy the seller instruction format for her own use. Absolutely. Go ahead. In fact, I will insert the verbiage here for you:

 I, (your name) as a member of the (your board) County Board of REALTORS®, promise that upon seller’s acceptance of my  buyers’ offer (name of your buyer) for (property address) I will not write any more offers for those buyers. If the buyers have any outstanding offers, I will  immediately withdraw those offers upon seller’s acceptance, because my buyer will wait for short sale approval per the terms in the SSA.

Last week an agent sent me an offer on a Sacramento short sale. The verbiage did not accompany the offer, so I sent the offer to the seller and forwarded the verbiage to the agent, asking the agent to return it. He never acknowledged my email. Then, a few days later he called, upset and irate, demanding to know why the status of the short sale was changed from active to active contingent. Did the seller accept his buyer's offer?

Did the agent receive my email? Yes. Did the agent understand what the seller was asking? Yes. Well, the seller accepted an offer from a buyer who was represented by an agent who followed the instructions in MLS. Why didn't I call him after the seller accepted another offer? Because he never responded the first time -- he seemed uninterested. As odd as it may sound to a rational person outside of the business, I often receive offers from uninterested agents and uncommitted buyers.

This information seemed to floor the agent. "What am I supposed to tell my buyer?" he lamented.

Well, I don't know. The truth, I suppose.

Click, he hung up on me.

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Weintraub and Wallace Realtors

 

 

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Elizabeth Weintraub is co-partner of Weintraub & Wallace Team of Top Producing Realtors, an author, home buying expert at The Balance, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown, Carmichael and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put our combined 80 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at RE/MAX Gold. DRE License # 00697006.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of RE/MAX Gold. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.

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Groups:
California Short Sales, REO's, and Foreclosures
Posts to Localism
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Lyon Realtors
Diary of a Realtor
Tags:
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short sale
short sale approval
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Ambassador
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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Elizabeth some of these buyer agents do not sound like the brightest bulbs out there with your very clear clause as it spells out withdrawing other offers. Now if they encounter two selling agents operating like you they could find themselves in a jam if they can't buy two houses. Great use of clauses by you I might add.

Mar 22, 2011 04:33 AM #1
Ambassador
3,084,645
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

When I was teaching my Short Sale class to agents last week at our local association, I got on my soapbox about this one.  I HATE when buyers agents run around town with buyers, writing offers on everything they see.  It's like they have the lottery philosophy. If you don't play, you can't win.  I love your verbiage and may very well borrow it myself.

Mar 22, 2011 05:59 AM #2
Rainmaker
2,189,557
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Gary: Well, the verbiage sort of forces an agent to have that conversation with a buyer. Some agents don't. They have the "press hard, third copy is yours" mentality and never explain to a buyer that a short sale can take a while to process. I also suggest they write a buyer broker contract with their buyer so the buyer won't try to go around them. Because as you may note, the verbiage locks in the agent, not the buyer. If the agent violates it, the agent might be violating the COE.

Hi Chris Ann: It works well for me. My closing ratios soared after I initiated this verbiage a few years ago and really cut down on the number of times I have to sell a home. It's not so much the ethics of the situation as it is the verbiage tends to weed out the players. Well, for those who read and oppose.

Mar 22, 2011 06:28 AM #3
Rainmaker
353,882
Melanie Ross
Coldwell Banker Solano Pacific - Benicia, CA
Benicia CA & Vallejo CA Real Estate, 707-319-2828

I admire your way of doing the short sale business.  I was upset to say the least when I say an article in the real estate section of the Contra Costa Times this past sunday.  A writer and attorney who is featureed every week.  So mad I even commented back on her blog on line, of course my comment was not posted. She ENCOURAGED buyers to keep looking.....ack ack ack ack.  What planet is she on. 

Mar 24, 2011 04:24 AM #4
Rainmaker
353,882
Melanie Ross
Coldwell Banker Solano Pacific - Benicia, CA
Benicia CA & Vallejo CA Real Estate, 707-319-2828

BTW the featured writer is an attorney who is also a real estate broker.

Mar 24, 2011 04:26 AM #5
Rainmaker
414,602
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

Great technique.  In my area, a smart buyer's agent would welcome that addendum.  Of course, a devious buyer would just get another agent to write those other lotto offers, and they may fear that. 

Sometimes I require buyers (or offer that they will) put their deposit in escrow.  It's a serious matter.  The seller is staking their credit on your offer.  If you can't wait it out -- don't buy a short sale. 

This addendum makes clear your expectations which I think is great.  Overall, I really like the CAR forms but the short sale addendum in place does not go far enough in my opinion.

Mar 27, 2011 04:24 AM #6
Rainmaker
2,189,557
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hey Melanie: I don't know the individual in question, but all I have to say is a law degree does not a lawyer make just like a real estate license does not an agent make.

Hi Tni: If the buyer has signed a buyer broker contract, the buyer can't zip around the agent. But I do agree with you that the California short sale addendum is woefully inadequate.

Mar 27, 2011 04:37 AM #7
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