Is This a Disadvantage?
Just came to my attention that a family member, who knows I am a real estate agent, just sold some property and signed a sales contract with the buyer recently. I had known about them selling, and wasn’t too concerned with it because they have sold property before. They told me that the buyer is not being represented by an agent so this would be a private sale. So this literally would have involved just a lawyer, title company, and/or lender. Well it turns out that is not completely true. Now I am concerned that my family may be at a disadvantage.
The First Clue
They called me here a few hours ago frantic about a check they received from the buyer. They tried to cash a 100-dollar check from the buyer. Well the check was postdated for a month away. They asked me if that is right. I wasn’t sure because I didn’t know what the check was for. Well, it turns out, the buyer has a friend he does a lot of business with. That friend is a real estate agent. And the buyer said the agent is going to represent him and not charge the buyer. Immediately after that, my radar perked up, warning flags, red flags, high seas, tornado warning, sirens going off. I’m thinking, “What the Hell?!?!?”
The Truth of It
How in the hell? I thinking in my head all the thoughts of what happened?!?! what’s in the sales contract? Did they include earnest money? Is this an option check? Are the sellers, my family, on the hook for buyer’s closing costs? Is my family on the hook for a home warranty? Who pays the survey? Who is paying for the buyer’s title? Without being privy to the whole transaction I could only tell them I don’t know what that check is. They said that they thought, keyword “THOUGHT”, that it was the option check. So, I said, “OK, do you have a copy of the sales contract?” Their response was, no we are on the road. I asked them to please get me a copy of that contract as soon as possible.
My family could be in for a rough ride with this real estate transaction. Having a real estate agent on one side of the transaction means that all the forms will be the traditional ones authorized by the Texas Real Estate Commission. These forms are not simple. They are not simple because they are constructed to allow for fair division of costs associated with buying/selling real estate. This also means that the unrepresented client could end up paying more than agreed to. There are many places in the forms that describe who pays for things like repairs, taxes, closing costs, title costs, surveys, etc.
Avoid Choosing Disadvantage
In this situation, unfortunately, we can only hope that the other agent acts morally and fairly. This disadvantage doesn’t have to happen. I would never willingly give up an advantage. As a buyer or seller, you shouldn’t either! I recommend using a real estate agent. We are your advantage!