By Kay Wilson-Bolton
September 23, 2006
Buyers and sellers should be making all decisions regarding their transaction and receive copies of all offers, counteroffers, all repair requests and responses.
With the heightening intensity in the real estate market, buyers and sellers are having more frequent conversations. With that goes familiarity with the clients’ wants and needs.
It is unfortunately common and somewhat understandable, that agents represent to others what they think their clients might say by responding, “My client will never do that,” or, “I’m sure that will be fine.”
I have found it tempting myself to respond as I think my client would to a request from a REALTOR® about such things as repairs, credits, price and escrow period, contingencies and service providers.
The proper procedure is always that agents put requests from buyers and sellers in writing before transmitting them. Clients have the only authority to grant, deny or compromise in negotiations.
Recently a listing agent told us that her seller would not pay $500 for repairs requested by the buyers as the result of the physical inspection.
Within a few hours, the property was put back on the market in the Multiple Listing Service, and cancellation instructions were requested by the listing agent.
The next day, the escrow officer received a call from the seller asking why the transaction was cancelled. She informed the seller that it was because the repair request was denied.
The seller stated their agent had not informed them of the buyer’s request. The buyer moved on to another property, taking their pre-approval letter, their 750 credit score and 20% down payment with them.
Sadly, that seller gets to start over in a new market, and while they likely have grounds for complaint and damages against their agent, they are unlikely to file them with the REALTOR® Association or seek legal remedy.
In this changed market, agents are spending more time with their sellers, in particular, and are getting to know them on more than business levels. If there is stress in the household over a home not selling, this stress transmits to the agents, and we have a temptation to protect the client from buyers who hug the threshold of “buying right”.
Buyers and sellers are the only ones who can make all decisions regarding their transaction, tempered with expert advice and correct information from REALTORS® and real estate agents. I am willing to be held accountable for this as well, along with every member of our staff.
Kay Wilson-Bolton is the owner of CENTURY 21 Buena Vista and brings a regional perspective to local issues. She can be reached at 805.340.5025, or at www.readysetkay.com