Here’s the true story of what happened on one of my listings recently. Two buyers competed for the downtown condo. Should the buyer who lost out blame herself or her buyer agent?
THURSDAY, APRIL 21
Buyer #1 views my listing for the first time. It’s obvious that she really likes the condo, but she wants to bring family members back in a week to get their opinion.
TUESDAY, APRIL 26
Buyer #2 views my listing for the first time. It’s obvious that she really likes the condo too. I mention that another buyer is coming back on Thursday for a second showing. A few hours later buyer #2’s agent calls requesting a second showing on Wednesday.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27
Buyer #2 views my listing for the second time. That evening I receive an offer from her agent.
THURSDAY, APRIL 28
Buyer #1 views my listing for the second time bringing her family members. She tells me that she is very interested in the condo. I share with her that I received an offer from another buyer the night before, but that my seller has not responded to the offer. A few hours later I receive an offer from buyer #1’s agent.
I then inform the agent for buyer #2 that I have received another offer. The agent for buyer #2 talks with his client and then calls me back telling me that the offer she has already submitted is her highest and best offer.
FRIDAY, APRIL 29
Since the offer from buyer #1 was definitely much better than the offer from buyer #2, my seller negotiated with buyer #1. We reached a verbal agreement early Friday afternoon. Buyer #1’s agent said he would send me the updated offer around 4:30 pm for my client to sign. In Illinois real estate contracts must be in writing.
Around 5 pm I received a voicemail from the agent for buyer #2 asking for an update. I called him back and left him a voicemail that my seller had reached a verbal agreement with the other buyer. I told him that I was sorry that it hadn’t worked out for him and if things didn’t work out with the other offer, he would be the first person I would call.
At about 5:30 pm I received the updated offer from the agent for buyer #1. Instead of crossing out the items that changed, writing the new values next to the crossed out values and having his client initial the changes, the agent for buyer #1 used Wite-Outâ„¢ to change the contract. Not only could you not see what the changed values had been, there was no proof that his client had agreed to the changes! I was on my way to an event, so I decided to deal with this issue first thing the next morning.
After my event ended I picked up a voice message from the agent for buyer #2 asking if his client could make another offer. As a listing agent I am required to present all offers to my seller no matter when they arrive. It was late so I sent the agent for buyer #2 an email asking what his client’s new offer was.
SATURDAY, APRIL 30
At a little after 9 am I informed the agent for buyer #1 that his client’s updated offer was missing his client’s initials by the changes. He tried to tell me that he hadn’t updated the changed pages, but that he had sent me whole new pages that didn’t require initials by the changes since there were no changes.
I compared the “new” pages to the pages from the original offer and informed the agent for buyer #1 that the initials at the bottom of the pages were exactly the same as the initials on the original offer. These weren’t new pages. The initial offer had been modified without proof that his client had agreed to the changes.
The agent for buyer #1 replied that his client had no printer or fax at her current place and he was out and about all weekend. He said that she told him to do this as this was the only way to get this done expediently.
I talked with my seller who just happens to be an attorney. She agreed with me that how the offer had been modified was unacceptable. She was, however, willing to the accept the agent’s initials on the changes for the buyer, if he also forwarded an email from his buyer authorizing him to make those changes. I presented this solution to the agent for buyer #1 at 10:30 am.
At around 11:15 am I received an email forwarded from the agent for buyer #1 giving him permission to make the changes. I replied that the email was fine, but that we still needed the updated offer.
Around 11:30 am the agent for buyer #2 got back to me with a better offer from his client, but it still wasn’t as good as the offer from buyer #1, so my seller rejected it.
Around 1 pm I received a better “highest and best” offer from the agent for buyer #2, but it still wasn’t better than buyer #1’s offer.
A little after 4:30 pm the agent for buyer #2 sent yet an even better “highest and best” offer from his client. It was a better offer than buyer #1’s offer, so my seller started negotiating the finer points of the offer.
After 10 pm I received an email from the agent for buyer #1 that he would be sending me the updated offer tomorrow because he had just gotten home from dinner.
SUNDAY, MAY 1
Around 11 am my seller and buyer #2 reached a verbal agreement. Just after that the correctly updated offer from buyer #1 finally arrived in my inbox.
Around 2:30 pm the agent for buyer #2 delivered his client’s updated offer to my office while I was out with a buyer. After finishing with the buyer I reviewed the updates and forwarded the updated offer from buyer #2 to my seller who signed the contract. Buyer #2 got the condo and my seller got 100% of her asking price.
So is it Buyer #1’s own fault that she lost the condo or is it her buyer agent’s fault?