Real Estate Mistakes

In a career that’s spanned more than ten years, it was likely for a mistake or two to happen along the way.  Thankfully, my mistakes did not have a negative impact on my clients but they certainly served strong lessons to me.  Did I have to buy a washer and dryer once or twice because they were missed on the inclusions list?  Yes, but it was a small price to pay for having happy clients at the end of the day.  In the grand scheme of things, an appliance is a minor issue when compared with some of the other things to watch in real estate. The correct terms and conditions are extremely important, as are the deadlines associated with them.

The Situation

In this particular instance, I had struggled with a difficult listing.  The homeowner took it upon themselves to renovate the home in what we refer to as a “handyman special.”  Unfortunately, they didn’t know one end of a hammer from the other.  The trim work had every angle except the right one.  The floor joints were large enough in which to lose your household pet and the doors were all hung upside down, resulting in door handles at chest height. I had the listing for three months and we finally received an offer, subject to the sale of a house.  We were excited.

The accepted offer had a 48 hour time clause associated with it.  Meaning if someone else without a house to sell came along, buyer one would have 48 hours to satisfy all their conditions (financing, home inspection, sale of their home).  If they failed to do so in that time, buyer two would get the house.  As often inexplicably happens in real estate, we received another offer on the house less than a week after the first was accepted.  We struggled for three months to get a single offer and now we had two. Offer two accepted, we were excited again. 

Real Estate Lesson One:  Do not let excitement and emotion of a situation make you rush into it

A day later, I got a phone call from the Realtor of buyer two.  We had neglected to put in a seller’s condition that referenced the first offer – a way out of the deal.  In failing to do so, both buyers were entitled to the house and we had essentially sold it twice.  If both buyers were capable of meeting their condition deadlines and firm up on the house, the potential for a law suit was high.   After two stressful days and two sleepless nights while endlessly running the scenario through my mind, the first buyer notified us they were unable to buy the house. We were off the hook. 

Real Estate Lesson Two: ALWAYS ensure you have a seller’s condition when working with a back up offer.

In truth I had a plan B.  The first Realtor failed to deliver some paperwork on time which would have left the deal null and void.  However, I never want to be in a situation again where I’m relying on someone else’s mistake to relieve the burden of my own. I learned a lot from this experience and use all my knowledge to ensure my clients are properly protected today.  Buying or selling a home is a huge decision with many moving parts.  I’ve helped people achieve that goal every day for more than ten years.  Make sure you’ve got a capable professional in your corner when you’re ready to make your next move.


Chris Perkins, Real Estate Consultant
HaliPad Real Estate Group


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