Making/Accepting an offer? NEVER rely on any VERBAL agreements!

Know When To Walk Away From An Offer – As A Buyer Or Seller.

If you have ever made an offer on a home, you know how emotionally invested you become throughout the transaction. Maintaining just your 'business hat’ and not allowing yourself to make decisions based on the emotional impulses running through your body is a very fine line. 

The following is a real situation which I became aware of, that I would like to share:  

A couple was shopping for that ‘perfect house’. It had just hit the market and they knew 'simply from the photos and written description that it was just what they wanted'. They were in to see the home as soon as allowable that day and by dinner time, they had their signed Agreement of Purchase and Sale sent to the listing agent. 

The listing agent returned quite quickly to the buyer's agent with a counter-offer, verbally, over the phone and a new offer amount was agreed upon.  The buyer's agent requested that all paperwork (The Agreement of Purchase & Sale, Schedules etc) be revised and returned with all necessary signatures and initials; however the listing agent explained that he had a rough weekend and was very tired. He asked that they pick up first thing the next morning.

The following morning the listing agent advised the buyer's agent that he had received another offer and would be presenting this to his client. The buyer client increased their offer at this time. Again, there was nothing in writing; this was all verbal. The anticipation of course grew for the buyer clients and finally the buyer's agent received the call that their offer had been accepted by the seller! The listing agent was then asked to forward a copy of the signed and initialed Agreement of Purchase and Sale and all other paperwork; again he declined, citing his client would not be able to complete the paperwork at the time and asked that everyone meet at his office within a few hours, to sign the papers. 

Less than a half an hour before the buyer clients were heading out the door to sign the papers, they were advised that the seller’s agent had just received another offer, which he would be presenting to the seller. You may think, how?  The offer was accepted! This is true; however it was VERBALLY accepted.

The other offer came in substantially over asking and the initial buyer clients lost the house.  The error – the buyer clients should stated they would pull the offer the evening before, when the seller agent wouldn't provide the revised, signed, Agreement of Purchase and Sale by  the irrevocable time. A verbal offer, a verbal acceptance; they unfortunately mean nothing. 

If you’re involved in an offer, as either a buyer or seller, do not accept any verbal confirmations. Insist that the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and all other documentation is returned with ALL signatures and initials for each change that is made, by the irrevocable time stated on the agreement. The Agreement of Purchase and Sale is a legal binding contract. If the agent cannot comply; my advice is to walk away!

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Christine Pirillo

Christine Pirillo

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Infinity Realty Inc., Brokerage*
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