Q: We finally received a full-price offer from homebuyers who initially made a low offer over a week ago. All the boxes to check when indicating who pays for the city and county transfer taxes, escrow and title fees, home warranty, et cetera are marked as seller costs. The only discernible buyer cost is on a spare line stating the buyer will pay their realty office a $700 processing transaction fee. The listing broker, thinking we would be thrilled with this full-price offer, sent us this purchase proposal for digital signatures. While we were emailing back and forth with our listing broker, the offer proposal expired. We did not notice we had 16 hours to accept or counter the buyers’ offer. Nor did the listing broker mention the offer deadline in the bevy of emails going back and forth. How do home sellers handle expired offers and excessive charges?
A: You just learned it is a critical mistake letting a homebuyer’s purchase offer languish. A 16-minute face-to-face meeting or phone call with your listing broker would have resolved all questions resulting in generating a counteroffer, and most likely a ratified purchase contract. So, stop being pen pals with your listing broker. Your escrow officer has a spreadsheet listing traditional residential buyer and seller charges in the nine Bay Area counties. Brainstorm with your listing broker voice to voice to develop a plan of action. For instance, you can counter the offer, accept the offer, and preferably add in writing the expiration of offer clause is extended. Losing a full-price offer is an expensive gamble. Insist your agent speaks voice to voice with the buyer’s agent until an offer is negotiated and ratified.
A real estate agent charging a $700 processing fee for handling transactional paperwork is often considered a duplication of charges per the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). Section 1024.14 Prohibition against kickbacks and unearned fees: “A charge by a person for which no or nominal services are performed or for which duplicative fees are charged is an unearned fee and violates this section.” According to one real estate attorney, that $700 fee is not your problem.
Questions? Friends don’t let friends make a move without consulting Realtor Pat, a Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager at 408-245-7700 or Pat@SiliconValleyBroker.com. Broker License 00979413
Source:: East Bay – Lifestyle