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A Wicked Funny Thing Happened on the Way to an Offer …

A Wicked Funny Thing Happened on the Way to an Offer …

I once followed a buyer to a Dunkin Donuts as he had decided to make an offer on some land we had just visited. Of course the ever-prepared realtor  has a pile of offer packets in their trunk, which I did, but they were in my other car. So I just smiled and took out my pen and wrote the offer on a Dunkin’s napkin. The listing agent was horrified when I presented the offer and said she wouldn’t bring it to her seller. I immediately got her broker on the phone and guess what? She was instructed to present the offer to the seller and the seller accepted, he signed the napkin. I still have that napkin somewhere.

The moral of the story is … In real estate if it’s in writing and contains at least the following five things it’s real.

Offers can be on pre-printed forms or on a napkin or the back of an envelope … the medium really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that they include at least the following content and that they are presented to you in writing.

  1. Date: the offer is written and time frame within which it is valid
  2. Property description
  3.  Identification of the Buyer
  4. Identification of the Seller
  5. Price & Terms of paying the price – deposits, consideration, mortgage contingency etc.

The offer must also be accompanied by “consideration”.

This is also called Earnest Money Deposit. This is typically a check for $1000 but can be as little as a dollar if both parties agree. Who holds the deposit, where is it held, for how long, and its disposition at closing should be specified in the offer.

What important dates should be specified?

There are three key dates that should be included in the offer. The first is the date of execution of final purchase and sale contract (also called the P&S). The second is the closing date on which the buyer will take possession of the property. The third is the date on which the buyer will get their mortgage commitment from the bank.

What is a mortgage contingency clause?

The contract is conditional while the buyer uses good faith efforts to secure financing. The buyer is released from this agreement if turned down by lenders but they must notify you in writing prior to the expiration of their commitment period. There are specific dates for application and commitments that should be included in the offer.

What is a property inspection clause?

The contract is conditional while the buyer engages experts to assess the condition of the property, inspect for pests & insects, test for radon & mold and/or test for lead paint. They buyer is released from this agreement if any inspection turns up conditions they deem unsatisfactory. The buyer can also renegotiate the terms of the contract based on the findings if they still want the house. There are specific dates setting the time frame within which the inspections and release/renegotiation must occur.

Is a verbal acceptance by the sellers valid?

No.  The contract is not valid without signatures of both the buyers and the sellers and the conveyance of the consideration to the sellers (a copy of a check is not conveyance).

Your Sudbury Market in 2013 Was Awesome!

Every year I take a little time and analyze the Sudbury real estate market data for trends, changes, and other useful information … for your update click on the YouTube link.  To make a long story short, many trends are up and the market is currently favoring sellers over buyers.

7 top reasons people sell their homes

7 top reasons people sell their homes

Back in May the US Census Bureau started releasing information from the latest Census. One of the points that I found amazing is that between 2009 and 2010 more than 16.4 million people (four out of every ten) moved for housing-related reasons. Over the years I’ve been compiling my list of why people move  and thought I’d share it with you.

The number 1 reason people move is because of a job change. That may be because of a promotion, one or more of the family members getting the job of their dreams, to cut down on the daily commute (most people find anything over an hour okay for a year or so but much longer than that it becomes a total drag), or just that they’re moving to an area with better job prospects in their chosen career field than their current location.

The number 2 reason people move is because the size of the home no longer fits their needs. Sometimes their home is too small. Their “starter home” is cozy and they love it but their growing family is quickly running out of space. And on the other end of the spectrum often the home that was once appropriate is now just too big. This used to be primarily “empty-nesters” or retirees, but for many good reasons downsizing is being considered a sensible option for a much wider cross-section of our population.

Third is what I call “the upgrade”.  People get promotions and raises and have the opportunity to buy the home of their dreams. Sometimes they just want a bigger, grander, upscale home to impress other people.  Other times it’s because they love entertaining. And many times it’s because they consider it a great investment for the current stage of their life.

People also move because there are changes in their personal life:  they get married or divorced; their family size changes with the birth of a child or the death of a loved-one; their declining health makes it difficult for them to navigate their homes safely; or they need to be near to (or for that matter away from) family members.

Then there are what I call the “forced” moves – especially with the freakish weather we’ve been having lately, people can be displaced because of natural disasters. Not much to say about this one except that nature can change oceanfront property to a sandbar in about 24 hours.

It has also been my experience that people will move to “fix” a mistake they believe they made when the purchased their home.  Often it’s because the unconventional layout with the kitchen at the other end of the house from the garage or that sunken living room tripping hazard really doesn’t work for them. Other times it’s because contrary to what they thought, being under the flight path for the airport really does bother them.

And last, but not least, is what I call “moving because of the neighbors-from-hell“. In general terms, people move because they experience changes to their neighborhood that they find less desirable. These can be physical changes, e.g. a highway is built nearby. I have a friend who moved because her neighbors had their huge, extended family move in with them and they moved their dining table out on the front lawn and put up lighting. I also must confess that I moved once because of a hellish neighbor.

To wrap it up, in ancient times people moved in search of food, safety, appropriate space and a more hospitable environment.  Come to think of it… not much has changed, has it?

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