Relocation Sellers Don't Sign Any Offers!
The biggest rule in the real estate business might be the job of the agents to get the contract in writing. Unfortunately, homeowners that are part of a relocation package do not sign any documents. There are able to negotiate only verbally with buyers until an agreement is made.
This can cause a lot of uneasiness for the buyer. They are not sure if they can trust me or the seller since everything is verbal. Especially if there are other possible offers in the mix. Because on a weekend, the relocation company is not available and the house stays on the market and continues to be shown until the signed documents are received back from the relocation company.
The buyer signed documents are sent on to the relocation company for signature. This process can take up to 48 hours or longer to get a fully executed contract back, the house can be marked as sale pending in the MLS, and the buyers are able to breathe easier.
What I do for my sellers in this situation reduces the possibility of them forgetting what they agreed to and getting confused in the process.
When an offer is received on a relocation listing, here is my process:
1. The homeowner is sent a copy of the purchase contract when it is received. Even though they cannot sign it, they should have a copy of what the buyers offered.
2. I go over the terms of the offer the same as I would for any seller. We determine whether a counter is necessary. Since the seller cannot officially sign, I still type out the counter offer on the required forms for the buyer to sign.
3. The homeowner will then send me an email with the terms of each counter offer as needed. That way, I have written proof of what they are offering back to the buyers. This reduces confusion especially if there are several counter offers back and forth with the buyers.
4. When I submit the unsigned counter offer back to the buyer's agent, I write seller signature to follow on one of the signature lines with the date.
5. We go back and forth as many times as necessary until we have an accepted offer. Once all the buyer's signatures are on all of the required documents, everything is sent to the relocation company.
6. Once the relocation company receives the contract, they will call the seller to verify the terms of the agreement.
7. Once the contract is validated, the relocation company will draft a purchase agreement between the homeowner and the relocation company to purchase the property. It is not until this contract is signed between the homeowner and the relocation company that the purchase contract for the buyer will be signed on behalf of the seller.
8. The purchase contract is then signed by the relocation company who becomes the seller of the property from this point forward in escrow.
9. Once inspections are completed and repairs negotiated, the homeowner is able to move forward with their equity and the relocation company waits for the closing date with the buyer.
Although the process is slightly different and there are many additional disclosures in purchasing a property from a third party relocation company, buyers can be assured that they will be treated fairly--even though there are no signed documents right away. I explain the process to buyers' agents, especially ones that are unfamiliar with the process of purchasing a relocation property, but I can understand why buyers may not trust what is happening while they are waiting.
When the Seller Cannot Sign the Offer, Who Can the Buyer Trust? Me. They have my word on it.