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OFFER ACCEPTED. IS IT—REALLY ??? Part III (Anatomy Series -The Waterfall)

 Waterfall or a Cascade?

 UPDATED (see updates 1,2,3, 4,.5 (6/26) and now 6 as of July 6th  below)

Background: Anatomy of Offer to Purchase and Contract
in Chasing Waterfalls Part I  and Part II  we told how our client, JT,had his finances in order  (pre-qualified for a CASH land purchase) ...about 40 acres with a waterfall --most acreage to go into a land trust.    

We found the property, wrote and delivered  a full-price CASH offer to purchase and contract with the  only contingency (beside the standard appraisal contingency) being that the waterfall actually is on the property, and negotiated with the out-of-State seller through the listing agent. The seller received the offer, but requested a few more days to "deliberate", then  came back with this list of demands  for the buyer:
·1)pay for the survey,
•2)pay for all closing costs,
•3) pay all the commission... thus rejecting the offer ...

Immediately thereafter, the seller asked the listing agent to update the asking price on the MLS. The new asking price was $50,000 more than the original asking price.  Was there a way to new, acceptable offer?

The Negotiations:   To our surprise, our client was ready to negotiate. His own "deliberations" had convinced him to "rescue that waterfall!" He wanted to make another full-price CASH offer and "see how far this will go". He is adamant.  "Possibly not the best  idea to start negotiations with a full-price CASH offer,especially in light of what happened last time, " I explain. "Let's look at this from another perspective. "    This negotiation  revolves around the seller's perception that this raw, unimproved land, with no power to the property and no actual road into the land is highly desirable on the market...which it is not.

 

Here, in Part III we remedy that perception by moving off the full-price CASH offer.  We add a number of contingencies--Instead of closing within  a few weeks, we now expect four months to close, financing,  survey, perc tests, access to the land for hydrologists, geologists, a busy ecologist and the moon. We fire off the new OPC, dubious at best.

Just before the deadline, the seller's agent calls to say the Offer has been accepted.  But wait!
It's not in writing
... It is a verbal response. FAX to follow to confirm. 48 hours later. No FAX...

  •                         UPDATES

UPDATE# 1 :  a further demand from the seller who refuses to "sign anything until the Pre-Approval Letter is in the seller's hands..." 

UPDATE # 2:  Pre-Approval Letter delivered

UPDATE # 3: FAX arrived with signature. Listing agent has sent documents to seller for original signatures to be signed before a notary (out-of-State protocol) and we are moving ahead at slow waterfall speed. 
Look for Update #4 and the conclusion of this adventure in the Anatomy Series.

UPDATE # 4:  It has now been a week and we still do not have the originals back from the seller. The OPC was supposed to have been signed before a notary (it will be a mail-away as the seller in now in California) and overnighted back to the agent. As of last night, the agent reported that he didn't know for sure if it had been notarized and that he thought his seller would maybe send it on Monday...regular mail...stay tuned...

UPDATE # 5:  The listing agent called today...He's asking...."If we have a signed FAX copy (attorneys and banks accept such documents here in N.C.) and no originals...do we still have a contract?
How would this play out in YOUR STATE?

UPDATE # 6: The listing agent explained that his client has been out in the wilderness camping. ..missed the post. The contracts, signed and ready to fly through due diligence have arrived. The listing agent even delivered them to our offices. We all breathed easier. . .and now we just have to make sure the waterfall really is ON the property!    CHECK BACK

 

 

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Comments

I knew it!  Contingencies of course. And I always tell the agent who is telling me verbally accepted. I'll believe it when I see it. (I sometimes get a wow...but I explain I always hear that and unless it is in my hands in black and white then all it is is heresay,.....haha)

I really hope this works out because your client has all the right and positive intentions and direction for that land!

Good luck!

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 11 years ago

Sally~

Yes it was a bit "strange" to get the verbal OK and then no follow-up. Possibly there is an explanation. I'll let ya' know as soon as I find out. And you can trust me...I'm gonna' find out!

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago
JaneAnne, In Texas it MUST be in writing with an executed date to be valid.  I offer to go pick it up myself when this happens.  I hope they don't have another offer on the table.  I always wonder if the seller's are hiding something when this happens.  Hmmm.  I feel the stress way down here in Houston.
Posted by Stephanie Edwards-Musa, knitwit at thred UP (thredUP.com) over 11 years ago

What a saga... Verbal is a start... but having it in black and white is what solidifies the deal...  

We will look you up the next time we travel to Ashville...  Ashville is our city of choice to get away too. 

Matt Locke

Posted by Matt Locke (Allstate Insurance) over 11 years ago
Good Luck janeAnne, I think you took the right tactic for SURE!  Keep us posted!  PS I am so jealous, that is our dream property!
Posted by Janie Coffey, Uniting Extraordinary Homes w/ Extraordinary Lives (First Coast Sotheby’s International Realty) over 11 years ago

Steph~

Yes I was wondering if an Offer is NOT accepted until it is in writing in other parts of the USA. It's been a long weekend for all parties. We went out on a photo shoot by the French Broad River for Localism.com today. That seemed to remedy any mounting angst. Rivers  are natural antidotes ...at least when they aren't roaring and rising in your back yard.

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

Matt~

I agree. I once heard a horror-story of a novice Broker who took a verbal agreement as carved in stone. ..took his clients out looking at other properties...actually made an Offer on one they found...only to have the buyer deny he had made the verbal offer as stated.

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

Janie~

Thanks. The tactic seemed reasonable.
Is a verbal offer carved in stone in FLA?...or must it be signed and delivered in print?

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

Yes, in Texas, if it is not "signed, sealed, and delivered", it's not a contract. 

 

Posted by Tricia Jumonville, Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense (Bradfield Properties) over 11 years ago

Tricia~

Good to know. I am wondering about the other States....

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago
janeAnne, In Florida we have the Statutes of Fraud which basically states a contract to purchase real estate must be in writing to be ENFORCEABLE. But a verbal contract is perfectly legal and can be executed as long as there is no dispute. If either party disputes or does not perform then it is unenforceable and therefore worthless. it gets back to "If it ain't in writing it didn't happen"
Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 11 years ago
Interesting that the seller interpreted that full price offer to mean that he had the only piece of dirt for sale....and the lower offer with hoops to jump through as a buyer to work with.  Perhaps the new listing agent was the smarter one in advising the seller?
Posted by Leigh Brown, CEO, Dream Maker - Charlotte, NC (Leigh Brown & Associates, RE/MAX Executive) over 11 years ago

Well jAnne, I guessed right. I was pretty sure you would play it this way.

I don't want to give a way what it takes to make a contract valid in NC ... but Let's just say I might be taking a drive tomorrow to get some John Hancocks! 

Ginger

Posted by Ginger Sala, Wilmington NC Real Estate & Relocation~ (Wilkinson & Associates, Wilmington NC) over 11 years ago

I tell my clients "it isn't till it's in writing"

In NH it has to be in writing!

Posted by Joan Mirantz, Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire (Homequest Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Bryant~

seems as if FL Statutes of Fraud ..."a contract to purchase real estate must be in writing to be ENFORCEABLE..." is applicable nationwide. THX for your input.

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

Leigh~

Same listing agent. Still no written contract from seller. Hard to interpret what such a seller is about...hang on for the next installment. ..it's almost as good as The Young and the Restless... maybe why people love the stories we real estate-folk tell...

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

Ginger~

Well the poor listing agent would have to fly. Apparently (this news just in) his seller has disappeared into the far woods of the Great Northwest...and I don't mean NC...I mean BC!...

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

jane Anne,

Maybe he is already spending the money in BC he expects to roll in from the closing.

That is some duo you are dealing with!

Ginger

Posted by Ginger Sala, Wilmington NC Real Estate & Relocation~ (Wilkinson & Associates, Wilmington NC) over 11 years ago
Must be in writing over here, too.  Having said that, we often hammer terms out on the phone first anyways.
Posted by Jeff R. Geoghan, REALTOR, Marketing Manager (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 11 years ago

Joan, Ginger & Jeff~

Thanks for your information. I am a firm believer in getting it in writing. There are so many things that can go wrong with  a conversation/agreement. It reminds me of when I was a schoolteacher and I used to teach-this lesson to the class. I would whisper a phrase in one kid's ear...and then have each one "pass-it-on" until everyone had heard the phrase..I wrote the phrase on the blackboard then...and ALWAYS the whole class would burst into uproarious laughter because what I said and what was heard around the room was so far afield...

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago
You did it, you did it, you hit 100,000 hooray!!!
Posted by Leigh Brown, CEO, Dream Maker - Charlotte, NC (Leigh Brown & Associates, RE/MAX Executive) over 11 years ago

janeAnne, you know the saying "in God we trust, all others pay cash"

Sounds like the seller thought it was worth more money and the agent talked them down. What do you know about the agent? Are they on rip off report . com?

Posted by Gary Smith (Agent Marketing Today) over 11 years ago

Leigh!!!~~~ 

100,000...It really is an amazing feeling...(as you know!) Thanks for noticing and right here in the midst of a waterfall.....to quote you,     "   =)   "

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

Gary~

Agent is new to the business. A swell person, but without seasoned broker to help him see the pitfalls, he is in a perilous position. I'll let you know how this turns out. Look for an update in the next day or two...

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago
janeAnne, thought so from your post. Would be good leverage against seller putting doubt in sellers agents mind.
Posted by Gary Smith (Agent Marketing Today) over 11 years ago
You know, one of the best investments a real estate professional can make is in time to work with a mentor. That's one of the great things about AR! The information we share here can make a serious difference for people.
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago
janeAnne, "Inquiring minds want to know." Is there an update?
Posted by Gary Smith (Agent Marketing Today) over 11 years ago
Hi JaneAnne, Glad to see you got siggy's!  Sounds like you are on your way!
Posted by Stephanie Edwards-Musa, knitwit at thred UP (thredUP.com) over 11 years ago
Oh, sure make us wait for another part. Just stringing us along.
Posted by Dena Stevens, Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004 (Rocky Mountain Realty ) over 11 years ago

Gary, Steph and Dena~ 

Don't ya' just LOVE suspense??

I don't have an update yet...but as soon as I have the documents in my hand, I'll post an update. In the meantime, thanks for caring and for your interest in this on-going story.

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

janeAnne: WooHoo! I finally got back for the update! Keep us all posted with that #4!  Should I say congratulations yet or wait until its closed?

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 11 years ago

Sally~

On this one, we will not be celebrating until we meet at the closing event, and then we still will be holding our breath...more on this soon...(I hope)...and it will be SO good to see the originals of that contract. No word on if they actually have been signed yet.

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

Thanks for the update...I just can't imagine anyone but JT  getting this little piece of paradise. I wish you both luck and await part IV.

Secondly- Congratulations on all of your AR Accomplishments and your wonderful presence and group success. We love what you contribute to the community and are so thankful for your ECO encouragement. Keep on keepin it Green!

Posted by Michele Connors, Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor (The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County) over 11 years ago
janeAnne, I like this buyer! Sorry it took so long for me to get here! I hope all works out for him. Best of luck! I wish you were in FL tomorrow for the party!
Posted by Lysa Napolitano over 11 years ago
Our jobs certainly are interesting!  I always tell my clients "if it isn't in writing, it didn't happen!"  I am looking forward to the next installment -- This is quite an adventure.  Keep us informed.
Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 11 years ago

Lysa~

This clients is a dream-client. Luckily he us also patient and knows he can trust us to be present for him. and we continue to keep him in the loop.

I wish I could be at the Party in Florida, too! I hope you will take lots of photos and do a photo-post for all of us.

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

jAnne,

Congratulations joining the Silver set. You quietly slid past the 100000 point mark!

Will you be posting on it???

Ginger

Posted by Ginger Sala, Wilmington NC Real Estate & Relocation~ (Wilkinson & Associates, Wilmington NC) over 11 years ago

janeAnne,

What a riveting story. I'm curious, how did you first meet your wonderful buyer? I hope for your buyer's sake and for the waterfall's that this deal goes through. I'm with him I think the waterfall needs saving.

D. 

Posted by Carolyn Dubrofsky (Charleston Your Home ) over 11 years ago

Michele~

Another Monday and still no original documents signed and notarized are in sight. Possibly the seller sent them via Pone Express (just kidding)...but JT is getting frustrated and now is the time for a little humor and words to calm the waters...that brings up  a vivid image of the waterfall! How do-you calm the waters of a what IS a "waterfall" of a transaction?

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

Joan~

I just may make a desk plaque of your saying..."if it isn't in writing, it didn't happen!"   The emotional roller-coaster in this case has been challenging for my client. I talk with him each day and let him know that our Team is on board. That waterfall may still receive his TLC...but as of today, the signed and notarized papers have NOT arrived.

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

Ginger~

Thanks for noticing that I passed  100,000. I have been working on a "milestone" post...I'll let you know when it comes together. I am thinking back over the past year and what that 100,000 means to me. One thing for sure...and this goes for everyone who reads my BLOG..I am grateful for the special connections!!!

Now..back to the waterfall and a request to everyone who reads this..send some of your "good energy" this way today, OK? We still have NOT received the signed and notarized acceptance.

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

Diane and Carolyn~

You asked how I met my client. It was a combination of referrals from local people and then his review of my web sites and BLOG. I always ask folks if they found me through the WEB...and if it was my web site (s) or Localism, or Active Rain...75% tell me through the WEB and they tell me they can't remember how...THEN, during the course of our conversations, it will come out...they'll mention a story like this one on the waterfall...and I'llknow! AHA!

 

ON the Fate of the Waterfall: 'll let y'all know as soon as I do with another UPDATE...

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago
JaneAnne,  If the seller's and their agent have any sense at all..it will some together.  For JT, the water that flows also has its trials and tribulations to go through before making it's way down the fall.  His transaction is like the water meandering it's way to freedom.  After it closes and is done, he will have even more in common with his Perfect Waterfall.
Posted by Stephanie Edwards-Musa, knitwit at thred UP (thredUP.com) over 11 years ago
janeAnne, If you don't receive the signed document soon. We might need to take a trip out to California to pick it up :.)
Posted by Leslie Godbold, Motivation Speaker, Radio host "Positively Living" (WZGM AM1350 Independent Asheville Radio) over 11 years ago
janeAnne,  Sounds like the sellers are not serious about selling. Can't wait for the problems to really start after inspections and survey
Posted by Gary Smith (Agent Marketing Today) over 11 years ago

Steph~

I just posted an UPDATE on this incredible situation.  The listing agent called about an hour ago...still no word from the seller despite his repeated calls. ...Agent now is asking...."If we have a signed FAX copy (attorneys and banks accept such documents here in N.C.) and no originals...do we still have a contract?

How would this play out in TX?

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

Leslie!!~ YAY-Yeah 

Now taking a trip out to California...THAT sounds like a Plan! We could visit all our pals along the way..and then do the Coastal Highway...maybe we could even just hop on up  to Seattle! What a Birthday Surprise that would be for the Active Rain Birthday-Folk, eh?

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

In Texas, yes, a fax (as long as it's legible) with all signatures and initials in place is a contract, as far as I know. 

But a trip to California sounds like a lot more fun!

 

 

 

Posted by Tricia Jumonville, Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense (Bradfield Properties) over 11 years ago

Gary~

Well... as you know...every real estate transaction is a story in the making for our grandkids. This one is turning out to be a duesy! At the center of this story is an heroic waterfall..much appreciated by one, and virtually ignored by another party to the transaction. How the story ends is  yet to be discovered...wouldn't it be great if the waterfall could be consulted on the matter?

origin of the term "duesy"

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

Tricia~

Indeed, if we took a trip to California, we would have to drop in to your Austin environs...and then, too hop over to Houston...This could turn in to an amazing journey.

THANKS for your info on TX requirements.

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

JaneAnne, from my understanding Congress passed it so that fax AND email are considered to be legal notification.  Now, as far as having no original....I don't know. Might not be a bad idea to get an attorney under retainer.

Now...about the GREEN Roadtrip across the good 'ol U S of A...I like it!

Posted by Stephanie Edwards-Musa, knitwit at thred UP (thredUP.com) over 11 years ago
After reading the update again, I would say yes, the buyer could go to court for specific performance if they wanted.  Again, what an attorney would say..I don't know.  You do have a signed copy.
Posted by Stephanie Edwards-Musa, knitwit at thred UP (thredUP.com) over 11 years ago

Wow JaneAnne! What a ride you have been on! I don't know about the real estate contract end but there are many times when my lenders require originals signed. There are times when I will have clients sign in different color inks - black ink can many times look faxed. On the other hand, this is not coming from the lender but the seller so I don't know what to think other than they are looking for loopholes and waiting for other offers to come in. 

I'm rooting for you and JT! 

Posted by Mary McGraw, 2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine! (GLREA) over 11 years ago

janeAnne, Faxed signatures are legal in Michigan, some Title companies and lenders ask for original signatures. this is done before closing for them.

Doesn't your contract stipulate anything about signatures.

Posted by Gary Smith (Agent Marketing Today) over 11 years ago

Hi janeAnne,

This is really too much, "did he or didn't he?" Enquiring minds want to know.

Bill Roberts

Posted by Bill Roberts, "Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner (Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate) over 11 years ago

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