The Basics Of Real Estate Transactions

keys on real estate contract

All I can say about some real estate transactions is that it is a very good thing that the buyers and sellers don’t know much about buying or selling a home. From a legal standpoint, please do not forget these basics:

Closing Date

Put in an actual date.  I don’t care how deep the short sale debt pile is, TBD as the closing date means the contract runs virtually forever.

Counter Offers

Do not ever write a buyer’s counter offer before actually receiving a copy of the seller’s counter.  The listing agent may have told you what was in the seller’s counter, but you can’t rely on it.  What we say and what we write are often legally very different things.

Short Sale

Any transaction in which the seller can’t pay off all the liens and encumbrances is a short sale. If a client has a house worth $250,000 and the mortgage is $150,000, but there are tax liens totaling $150,000, it is a short sale, folks!  You have to get at least a partial release of lien, i.e., approval, from the taxing entity to close.

Delivery To Client

You are obligated to provide copies of signed agreements to your clients.  It is not enough to email the buyer saying, “The seller signed it.”

You actually have to send them the signed copy.  And, in my humble (or not so much humble as opinionated) opinion, it is not enough to drop the documents into a secured dropbox and tell the client to go get them.  Let’s see, what do they call actually making sure your client gets the documents?  Oh, yeah, customer service!

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