Monday, November 4, 2019 / by Jennifer Gilbertz
Now, even though I am a licensed real estate agent and you would expect me to say ABSOLUTELY YES to this question, please hear me out….
I have so many cautionary tales about this topic, but I will share my most recent and heartbreaking one. The other day I received a phone call from a very sweet gentlemen asking about a home for sale in Spokane. He said he was currently living in Wenatchee, WA and had sold his home and had to find a new one quickly. I shouldn’t stereotype but I could gather from his voice and manner of speaking that this gentleman was more than likely in his retirement years. I could hear a sadness in his voice when I asked about his current situation.
See, homes in Wenatchee have been skyrocketing in price and property tax amounts. Lots of families are moving to Spokane, WA because in comparison our housing market is substantially more affordable. This gentleman, we will call his Joe, Joe had family that moved to Spokane and he not only wanted to reduce his monthly costs due to fixed income but also wanted to be closer to family like most of us do. Unfortunately, Joe made a huge mistake that has cost him and will cost him even more in the near future.
He told me that he had a friend that did real estate in Wenatchee and the friend came to his home, did a walkthrough and gave him a market value estimate. Joe was ecstatic at the price he could fetch on his home and decided to give it a shot and put his house on Facebook’s marketplace group to see what would happen. Joe did not have a listing agreement with his Realtor friend nor had hired a real estate attorney.
The next day Joe had an over asking cash offer from a couple that lived out of state who was being represented by an attorney. Elated, Joe accepted the terms, signed the offer which now made it a contract and was counting down to the day he would get his check…..
Tragically, Joe did not read the contract thoroughly or have anyone to advocate on his behalf and explain what he was signing. The contract stated that the seller would pay $5,000 for cleaning and repairs. Also, Joe was unaware of the actual cost he would incur to sell his home. This information that was now new to Joe made him incredibly frustrated and upset and he then decided he no longer wanted to sell to this buyer because they were, “trying to pull one over on him”.
Once again, because Joe didn’t have a professional to educate him through the process, he didn’t know that a seller just can’t refuse to follow through on a real estate contract. Closing day came and the proceeds where given to Joe for the sale of his home, but he didn’t move and was still occupying the home, refusing to leave. Now, you might be thinking that its obvious that you can’t get money for your house and still live in it. He was hoping that the new buyers would let him stay there until he figured out his next move or let him rent it from him.
The new buyer legally doesn’t have to exercise either of those options. At this point Joe is illegally squatting in the house he sold.
As I’m listening to him telling me this over my phone my head shaking side to side in sympathy to what he got himself into unknowingly. The last bit of his story was that he received a notice from the buyer’s attorney that they planned on suing Joe and that is why he was in a rush to find a new home.
It may be tempting to try to sell your home yourself to save a bit of money but if you research this, statistics show that For Sale By Owners have a huge risk potential of law suits after the sale of their homes. By hiring a professional Spokane, WA Realtor to advocate for you, not only will you have someone to educate you on the contracts, but will also negotiate the best sales price for you, negotiate during the home inspection period, pay for marketing/professional pictures of your home/hold open houses, and will handle all the buyer showing appointments and timelines throughout the contract.
For more educational blogs and videos about buying or selling your home please go to Jennifer.viewhomesinspokane.com