Contracts can be a very scary proposition for many agents. I have always tried to teach my agents to read them over and over again so they know exactly what is in them. Our contracts in Florida are actually very simple, which tents to create problems. Agents fill in a few blanks and then submit the offer. They are not paying attention to detail.
I received an offer recently that proves my point very well. This was an offer that had a contingency for selling the buyer's home. Because of the contingency there was an extended closing date of almost 2.5 months. So far that is OK! However, the financing contingency has a time frame as well, which on this offer, was only 30 days. The agent had the buyer making an initial deposit of $1,000 and then a huge second deposit in 10 days, after the inspection period. If this offer would have been accepted it is likely that the finance contingency would have been expired before the financing was actually approved.
On Florida offer contracts the financing contingency field defaults to 30 days if it is not filled in. We see this field left blank all of the time and often it could be a major issue for the buyer. This situation will become even more critical starting in August with the new closing guidelines. Closings are likely to take longer.
Agents need to realize that they have a responsibility to buyers, sellers and their brokers when filling out these contracts. We all make mistakes, but some can be more costly than others.