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Avoid These 6 Things to Keep Real Estate Contracts On Track

Posted by Jessica Schweppe

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Aug 4, 2015 9:00:00 AM

In today's Agent Insights guest post - Karen Kruschka - realtor of RE/MAX Ultimate in Virginia - gives advice about contract situations to avoid and how to keep them on "track".

Here's Karen:


Real estate contract negotiations are like trains - they need to be "kept on track" to move forward. 

The goal of both the listing agent and selling agent is twofold:

  • Guide the transaction to settlement and meet the objectives of both the seller and buyer in a timely manner.

  • Earn the brokerage fee that the seller agreed to pay.

As an experienced real estate agent, I learned techniques on how to complete a successful transaction many years ago. I also learned what not to do - which is to say, I learned what can make a real estate contract fall off the tracks. Learn from my experience.

6 Real Estate Contract Situations to Avoid: 

  1. Don't expect problems to solve themselves:

    It is not unusual for situations to develop that could hinder or derail the real estate contract settlement. It is important for both agents to communicate and "work" the matter on a timely basis. It is equally important for the buyer and / or seller to take whatever action is necessary to assist in the resolution. Doing so will help move the transaction forward.

  2. Don't forget to put all critical information in writing:

    In the Commonwealth of Virginia, a real estate contract must be in writing to be enforceable. The term "the contract speaks for itself" means just that. If it is not in the contract, it is not a point of contention. You must make certain all matters of importance to your client are included in the document. Similarly, the homeowner's agent has to be equally certain that any counter proposal items are in writing in the real estate contract.

  3. Don't blame everything on the lender: 

    The lender did not sign the real estate contract and is not a party to its provisions. They are subject to both federal and state regulations that may not be allowed in either the purchaser's offer or seller's counter offer. An experienced real estate agent will know which contractual items will not be accepted by the lender.

  4. Don't forget to have proof and documentation to back up claims:

    Whether it is the initial purchase offer price or the counter offer price, you should be able to support the position with hard, indisputable proof. The same is true of any repair cost estimates if they are part of the real estate contract.

  5. Don't let your client's ego get in the way:

    If your buyer or seller is refusing to respect the other party's position, they may not be ready to buy or sell a home.

  6. Don't let buyers and sellers interact directly:

    Direct negotiation between buyer and seller can be very harmful to the future of a real estate contract. Remind your clients that they hired a professional to represent them - and that's the way things should proceed to keep your contract "chugging along on track".


Follow these tips to keep your real estate contracts on track!

To learn more about Karen and her team, visit her website at www.e-virginiarealestate.com


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Topics: Agent Insights

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