7/05/2012

What California Homesellers Sometimes Overlook: 10 Things, Part I

Top 10 Seller Mistakes
Regardless of when and where the homeseller could be selling in California, or whether there's a shortage of inventory or not, the transactional issues and facts are still tied to the contract between buyer and seller.

Here's a handy list for the Top Ten Legal Mistakes, with some added commentary by me.

What are the other contractual terms?
Sellers quite naturally want to sell at the highest possible market price, and have very good reasons for doing so. But selling price is not the only term in the contract-- for example, what if the buyer has a contingency to sell their own property, or what does it mean if the buyer is willing to remove their appraisal contingency but not their funding contingency? What if you agree to the liquidated damages clause? In a short sale, do you understand all the terms of the short sale addendum? And what do you need to consider with an all-cash buyer vs. a financed buyer?

What may happen with multiple offer situations?
In multiple offer situations, many buyers could be submitting offers but the seller is not obligated to any one buyer. The seller may respond to all buyers or choose one (but without discrimination). But what if additional offers are submitted in a regular sale after a signed contract exists with buyer no. 1? And what if you're a short sale seller, and a higher offer comes in after the first offer was submitted to the bank? (Hint: the short sale addendum states property may continue to be marketed after contract with the 1st buyer, and other offers may be presented to the bank.) Or, what if the buyer is submitting multiple offers on multiple properties, should they tell you that, or not, in their offer?  (Hint: Yes, they should disclose.) 

These are issues the seller should take time to review carefully and ask questions, preferably before a contract is signed--it saves on remorse later.

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