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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Just Spit it Out!!

Ok, back on my soap box.

The basis for all relationships, be it whether they are friend to friend, boss to employee, spouse to spouse, sibling to sibling, etc comes down to one thing.......communication. If you don't communicate, how do you expect the other person to know what you are thinking or feeling?

I have learned to talk to my husband and tell him what is going on. Not a huge stroke of genius here. I can't read his mind so I can't expect him to read mine. How on earth do buyers, sellers and agents expect each other to do the same? COMMUNICATE!! Put everything into words and then PUT IT IN WRITING. Do not assume anything in a real estate transaction. Remember what ASSUME means???

Ideal Scenario # 1
"Oh, by the way, I know the shelves are probably not going to stay. They are just rack shelves in the garage, not attached, but we really want them. Let's say in our purchase contract that we want the garage shelves to remain." Reply, "Hey, that saves us from moving them; but we would like some small compensation for them. Let's counter back that we want XX amount for the shelves, paid separate from escrow." "Agreed. Sign the counter offer and open escrow."

Real Scenario #1
Shelves are rack metal shelves, not attached to anything, considered by DRE definition as personal property. Listing states that all personal property will be removed prior to escrow closing. Purchase contract does not address shelves in garage. Listing agent makes deal with bankruptcy attorney to pay for weedeating and yard cleanup in exchange for shelves in garage. Listing agent contracts for yard cleanup, has work done and removes shelving from garage. Escrow closes, buyers take possession and immediately inquire as to the whereabouts of their garage shelves. Threaten to turn in listing agent to DRE, local board, etc. Listing agent patiently explains difference between real and personal property and points out that garage shelves were not addressed in purchase agreement. More threats follow. Listing agent, with no time to deal with DRE or Board complaints, agrees against his better judgement to return shelves. Now, listing agent is out $$ for yard cleanup with no compensation from bankruptcy attorney.

Bottom line, had the shelves been addressed in the purchase agreement or had the listing agent contacted the selling agent and explained the deal he made with the bankruptcy attorney, countless hours and needless stress would have been avoided by all parties.

Even if you feel you are being redundant in restating your intentions in a real estate deal, do it. Make sure EVERYTHING is spelled out in the listing agreement and the purchase contract. If you are unsure of something, get it RESOLVED PRIOR to the close of escrow.

And, as always, GET IT IN WRITING!!!!!