Marching Out the Blanks in Offers to Purchase

Real Estate Broker/Owner with KD Realty - 408.972.1822 CA DRE#01366594

For my first entry, I am choosing directly from the list of suggestions in Patricia’s Challenge Post.  

Buyer's Agent presents an offer and does not fill in all the blanks.

Before I dive into this, I need to say that this has happened 100% of the time with all offers received on my listings.  Dare I say, this is a huge peeve of mine.

Describe the scenario. In this situation, I am the listing agent. During this time the market was still a relatively hot seller market with multiple offers over the list price. This particular property was in a “highly desirable area” with buyers competing for homes. 

Who is involved?  Listing Broker (Kathleen Daniels), Out of State Seller (name intentionally omitted), and a parade of people masquerading as professionals in the real estate business. 

What happened? The vacant home was listed on the MLS with clear instructions. We all know what instructions are – right?  Most of us also know that most real estate agents do not read instructions.  In many cases, in my market, with my listings, instructions are violations by many agents on all of my listings.

An offer deadline was set.  Agents were calling (Dialing for Dollars) to get intel on the status.

 * How many offers do you have?

 * Are they over the list price?

 * How much over the list price?

 * Are the offers non-contingent?

 * The list goes on and on.


How did you resolve the issues?  Multiple offers were received.  Seven (7) to be precise.  Every single one of the offers had blanks that could not be left blank.

An appointment was scheduled with the out-of-state seller to go over the offers.  The seller directed me to work with the highest and best offer. 

I called the buyer's agent, also an independent broker, working solo, to discuss the deficiencies in the purchase agreement.  I explained that the seller wants to work with her client’s offer.  We are not countering on price or terms, we just need the contract completed correctly.

I explained which blanks needed to be filled in.  For example, the name of the parties (her buyer client and the seller), close of escrow, loan terms, and rate, just to name a few. 

The buyer's agent sent a new “clean offer” and it too was missing details.

I corrected the contract much like a schoolteacher would do.  Every blank that needed to be filled in had instructions written in red.  I sent it to the buyer’s agent to use as a template.

 A new “clean offer” was received, and it was still missing information.  Did I mention the buyer’s agent is a real estate broker?

This offer was accepted by the seller with a counteroffer just to fill in the blanks!

The counteroffer was accepted, and we closed escrow 30 days later. 

If you were to guess that things did not get any better with that agent during the escrow process, you would be correct.  We went through similar “exercises” with the disclosure documents. 


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“From the moment we met Kathleen, we were impressed with her professionalism, knowledge, patience, respect, humor, attention to detail, and compassion.  She's the Whole Package ~ excellent agent and wonderful human being!  In a potentially stressful experience, we have felt in good hands all along.  We are so grateful and recommend her without hesitation!”

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Comments (15)

Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

WOW a Broker can't fill in a contract? It's a good thing you were there to mentor and train them how it should be done. Glad you were able to get one of them across the finish line!!

Mar 09, 2023 05:34 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist

Incredible isn't it Buzz Mackintosh - so much so it seems unbelievable. I face this with all offers.  I hope the buyer's agent got the lesson. At the end of the day, my seller was very happy with the offer once we got it to the point where he could accept it. 

Thank you for stopping by and commenting. 

Mar 09, 2023 05:39 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Kathleen,

Nothing surprises me anymore! Brokers should know better but is aren't in the habit of writing offers they have no clue and would be best if they asked an associate to write it up !!!

Mar 09, 2023 06:15 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist

I agree Dorie Dillard Austin TX - this agent was a solo broker - she worked alone and had no agents affiliated with her - which is actually a good thing.  


Mar 09, 2023 08:02 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Kathleeen - presentation matters in real estate and that includes how an offer to purchase appears to the seller too.  Crossing the "t's" and dotting the "i's" is important plus correctly filling-in-any-blanks. These basics are a must for starters.  

Mar 09, 2023 06:22 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist

They are indeed the basis Michael Jacobs - more proof that getting a license alone is not nearly enough to learn "how to" woke real estate. 

Mar 09, 2023 08:04 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

They must teach them better here Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist as I do not remember very many incomplete contracts and if there were they were corrected/completed the first time.

Mar 09, 2023 06:53 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist

I might need medical assistance if I received an offer that could be accepted in its original form Bob "RealMan" Timm - good to know there are agents out there that know how to complete a contract. 

Mar 09, 2023 08:05 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist - I am glad you wrote this post for the March Challenge. It is a major pet peeve of mine too! I brought this issue up more than once at TX REALTOR Meetings but nothing has changed yet. 

This is a great entry!!! I can't wait to read your next two. 

Mar 09, 2023 06:55 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP

Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist - During the multiple offer phases, my #1 pet peeve was: How many offers do you have? It seemed as if agents were breaking all the rules, including leaving blanks on the contracts. Are blanks on a contract a valid contract? That was the question that many questioned in my area and agents were out of control. Everyone was fighting for their clients to get them under contract. I don't think many of them were thinking.

Like you, I am inspired by many of the entries already submitted, including yours!

Mar 10, 2023 06:40 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist

I may end up changing what I initially thought I would write about. I get ideas and inspiration from reading other entries Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP 

Mar 09, 2023 08:06 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Kathleen. As an instructor who taught contracts to new agents, That would drive me crazy. And, during my career I had ample opportunities to go crazy. I feel your pain. Enjoy your day.

Mar 10, 2023 04:50 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist

It speaks volumes about the industry Wayne Martin 

If I were the buyer in that situation having to sign so many contracts, that would be a red flag for me to suggest my agent might not know what they are doing. 

I met them both, they showed up unannounced without an appointment when I was at the property removing some staging items. 


Mar 10, 2023 08:27 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I am so careful to double check that everything is filled out on any offer I send in for my buyers so it boggles my mind that others do not. I'm sure I'll make a mistake some day but I'll make sure to fix it!

I remember the very first time I saw an offer prepared by the top producing agent in the office. It boggled my mind at how much information was missing.

Mar 10, 2023 04:53 AM
Kat Palmiotti

Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist - as we know, public perception is often incorrect!!!

Mar 10, 2023 08:37 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist

There you have it.  Public perception for many is that top-producing agents are the best Kat Palmiotti 

Mcdonald's sells a lot of burgers and it does not mean they are good!

Mar 10, 2023 08:30 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Kathleen... I see that all the time and it drives me crazy when offers and disclosure statements are not properly filled in. I'm convinced those agents are ultimately lawsuits waiting to happen. Loved your description of a "parade of people masquerading as professionals." 

Mar 10, 2023 05:54 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist

Miss Nina Hollander, Broker that was the most gracious way of describing them.  The reason, I believe, it drives us crazy, is that we are true professionals and know how things are supposed to be done. 

Mar 10, 2023 08:36 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker

Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist hi Kathleen... it's not a description I will soon forget... and will probably steal from you in future! :)

Mar 10, 2023 09:17 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist

You got it Miss Nina Hollander, Broker it is all yours to use as you see fit.

Mar 10, 2023 11:59 AM
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Hi Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist. I totally understand your frustrations while dealing with brokers and agents who simply can't follow offer instructions, and always fail to fill in the blanks on the offer contract. We are not mind readers, and every blank needs to be filled in with a response even if it's non-Applicable. Nice entry for March contest too. 

Mar 10, 2023 10:12 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist

My sense is that some agents do not understand the legal implications of not filling in the blanks, or they just don't care Jerry Newman 

Thank you for your comment. 

Mar 10, 2023 12:00 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Kathleen it looks like it took longer for the other Agent to submit a fully completed offer, than it did for the transaction to close.

Mar 10, 2023 05:36 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist

The agent was truly clueless. She would ignore emails and phone calls George Souto

I sent some disclosure documents to my escrow officer to get signed with the buyers' sign-off docs.  We will always find a way to get things done!  

Mar 11, 2023 10:52 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing this story. You have to take charge when the other agent lacks needed knowledge or skills.

Mar 11, 2023 10:19 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist

Indeed we do Roy Kelley 

Thank you for stopping by. 

Mar 11, 2023 10:52 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Oh yes, this is an unacceptable practice for sure. Those who insist on doing a poopy job should do something else.

Mar 11, 2023 02:05 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist

Unacceptable and yet it seems to be the standard on all of the offers I receive on my listings.  I agree, they should be doing something else. 


Mar 12, 2023 09:30 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

OH, this is one of my pet peeves as well, Sis (of course). I even put N/A in blanks that are not-applicable. But, to miss the loan rate or other important facets of the Offer is just CRAZY! 

In NC & SC, the brokers/agents on both sides are listed on the notification page of the Offer/Contract. MOST agents neglect to complete the listing agent's side and more than half neglect to even fill out their own section in-full. My description of them is not nearly as kind as yours - in my mind, they're simply LAZY and INEPT!!

Great post for this month's challenge! I MUST get mine posted...and find graphics. Those seem to hold up most of my posts! LOL

Mar 11, 2023 10:48 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist

Ditto on the agent notification of the contract. My offer writing instructions spell it all out so they don't have to look anything up - just copy and paste and most do not do it. Lazy for sure Debe Maxwell, CRS, and a lot else too.  

We look forward to reading your entries.  We have had some great entires so far and it is only March 12th. 


Mar 12, 2023 09:33 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Kathleen all I can say is this business is very easy to get in the standards are very low, not to stay in the standards are quite high, so with that said how long will this one last? Hmmm, Endre

Mar 13, 2023 10:23 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist

Who knows?  I can see on the horizon that I will soon be retired and have the time to read more books.  I bought three books last week. Two more books are arriving today.  I love to read - I know you do as well Endre Barath, Jr. 

Mar 14, 2023 08:50 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

You should have gotten a portion of the other agent's (Broker's) commission. Too bad it does not work that way since you had to do part of that incompetent Broker's work. Proof again that passing a licensing exam does not mean that an agent or, in this case, broker, is ready for real work in this business.

May 31, 2023 01:54 PM