Wow, I have been a licensed Realtor and Property Manager for longer than I want to admit and I thought I understood buying and selling real estate but apparently not in California. I recently purchased a condo in Palm Springs and got my eyes opened to a number of differences in the way real estate transactions are handled. Here are a few of the things I discovered buying real estate in California ...
1. In California to buy or make an offer to buy, you need to show both the selling and listing brokers a bank statement showing how much cash you have in the bank (and the listing broker showed this to the seller). So much for privacy and your bargaining position.
2. When you make an offer on a property with no Subject To's, you still have 16 days to do your due diligence and back out if you want.
3. Every time I made an offer on a property, that I was told had no offers on it, mysteriously the next day I was in a competing offer situation and was told to "make your final and best offer and if your offer is not accepted first, do you want it to be considered as a back-up offer?" If you did agree to be a back-up offer and the 1st offer collapsed in 16 days, yours would come forward and be dealt with and then you had 16 days to do your due diligence. I ended up feeling sorry for the sellers that may have up to 4 back up offers and don't know if the property is sold for up to 2 months.
4. I thought our Real Estate contracts were long but theirs are worse. From the start of an offer, they don't change and initial any revisions - they write a whole new contract and add it to the original one as many times as necessary until you have a full agreement. My file on one Palm Springs condo is now thicker than the Vancouver phone book (white and yellow pages).
Did I ever get my eyes opened. This experience has confirmed we are so lucky that we have the Privacy & Real Estate laws that we have here in B.C.