I joined the large and substantial team at Windermere a few weeks ago and it has been a whirlwind of new knowledge to absorb and trainings to attend to get up to speed on Windermere’s unique culture.

Culture? Sure! Every company has its own culture and Windermere is no different. They are a serious bunch and Principal Broker Ron Howard makes sure all the brokers and agents who look to him for guidance are up to speed on the latest contract and law changes.

This is important and it happens to be one of the qualities I like so much about this office.

Pretend you are the Buyer: Did you know that you, the Buyer, need to be careful to make sure all your inspections are complete and negotiated within the inspection period? Usually this period is 10 days. I like to extend it to 12 or 15 days. If all inspections are not done and all repairs are not negotiated, and the inspection period expires, no matter where negotiations are at, if the inspection period hasn’t been contractually extended by both the Buyer and Seller before the deadline passed, the Buyers are automatically in contract and obligated to buy the property.

Nah, No Sellers would really make Buyers do that…would they? Answer: Yes.

My relationship with my clients is legal, ethical, and fiduciary. To serve my clients and meet my obligations stated under guidelines that describe the duties an agent/broker has to their clients, it is my duty to protect my clients and their money as best I can. One of the most important ways I can do this is to make sure all the terms of the contract are met, per the terms of the contract. And that means filing for an extension of the inspection deadline before that deadline expires. Not after. Because promises and assumptions that are not supported by a legal contract are difficult to defend in litigation and arbitration.

“We thought the Sellers would extend the deadline so we sent them the form to extend the day after the deadline expired…” And? Did the Sellers extend the inspection deadline? They didn’t have to. And the Buyers are now, technically and legally, in contract to buy the house with its leaking roof, missing GFCI outlets, dry rot under the living room where they want to put their piano, and gas furnace that doesn’t work despite the fact that their lender may not want to loan on a house with so many health and safety issues. Now what? Call the Seller’s agent and beg her or him to beg her or his clients to extend the deadline?

Now look at it from the Seller’s point of view: They want to sell the house. Selling a house and keeping it in perfect condition while it shows is a pain. They don’t want to go back to that. And they have put all the money they feel like putting into the house, into the house. They don’t want to put anymore money into the house. They just want to sell the house and be done with it. They’re tired of trying to sell their house, they’re tired of people they do not know tromping through their home, and they’re tired of locking the dog in the garage. And now they have the Buyers on the hook to buy the house. No backing out now! If the Buyers back out, they lose all their earnest money deposit so they’ll have part of that. However, they’ll have to wait out the contract and they can’t try to sell it to anyone else while they do that. You know what? Fine. They’ll wait.

Now look at it from the Buyer’s point of view: Oh My Goodness! They didn’t actually read thoroughly the Sale Contract they signed (which is a legal and binding contract written by lawyers), and they did not see that if they did not release the inspection contingencies, and the inspection deadline passed, and they weren’t done negotiating with the Sellers to split the cost of repairing the leaky roof, the missing GFCIs, the dry rot under the living room, and the furnace that doesn’t work, they’d be on the hook to buy the house AS-IS. Now what? Call their agent and ask why the inspection deadline wasn’t extended before the deadline passed? Yes. And they might be angry when they make that call. Because they’ll have a right to be angry. Because it never should have gotten to this point. Right?

Right.

If I am your agent, it is my responsibility to be nerdy and particular about deadlines, and to hound you for the paperwork I need you to sign, and to hound the other agent if I need to for the return of signed paperwork acknowledging receipt by her or his client, because it is my duty to be loyal to you and to protect you and your money to the best of my ability. I will seem pesky at times, sure. But remember, I am particular and careful to protect your money and your time. You hired me to do that.

And I do not like receiving phone calls from desperate agents wanting the inspection deadline extended after the deadline has passed. That is one hard argument to sell to my Sellers. Trust me. So I call the other agent before that deadline passes, just to make sure their client is okay with the deadline passing. Because that is the ethical thing to do for my client, and theirs.

And it is because I make these calls that my principal broker, Ron Howard, hired me in the first place.

Happy House Hunting!

Amy Munsey, Windermere Cronin and Caplan Realty Group, Inc.

Call (971) 258-5500 or Email Amy@AmyMunsey.com

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