I recently did a walk-through on a property that was closing with our buyer the next day. The contract stated in Special Provisions paragraph 11: “home and carpet to be professionally cleaned prior to closing date”. Upon viewing the property, the sellers had not completed the carpet cleaning. The seller was at the home removing some final items. When I asked “have you scheduled the carpet cleaner?”, the seller said matter of fact “no, we are not cleaning the carpet”. They did have a maid service there working though, which we later learned was not because they or their agent read the contract, but because they didn’t want to clean it themselves.
I said nothing further about it and left with my buyers. It would not be proper to start a discussion there with the sellers about their compliance with the contract terms. I called Sylvia as I drove away and she called the listing agent to inquire if the sellers knew that they’d agreed to clean the carpet, and to make sure it gets done.
Sylvia told me the listing agent got out the contract on her end, read paragraph 11, then stated “whoa..ho..ho. aren’t you the sneaky one!” Then the listing agent went on to lament what a great deal our buyers were getting, how the sellers were “giving the house away”, etc. To which Sylvia replied simply “The seller agreed in the contract to have the home and carpet professionally cleaned. I just need to make sure you know that. We expect it to be done as agreed”. The listing agent did finally say that it would be done, but was indignant and acted as if some sort of trick had been played upon her and her sellers.
It was done and the deal closed and the buyers are very happy with the purchase and the home. But the listing agent’s incompetence and attitude is unfortunately NOT a rare case. You wouldn’t believe how many buyers and sellers fail to carefully read what they sign, or don’t understand what they do read, and how many agents fail to properly guide their clients through a proper evaluation of an offer.
So what is the best way to make sure things are not missed or overlooked when evaluating a real estate sales contract?
If you’re one of our sellers, we run your offer through a checklist I created, which will sum up the offer’s bottom line and reveal all items of concern or question. Let’s take a look at the “offer checklist” Sylvia and I use and the more than 40 data points that have to be considered.