Re: ‘Rookie Realtor’s first deal collapses‘ (June 7)

Dear Rookie:

Maybe they want out because you were just too good at closing them. Now, they stand to lose $5,000 because they have second thoughts. I think it is interesting that you would try to save them the title company legitimate charges (they probably got a preliminary title report and paid someone to do it) but have some other idea on the deposit. Also, the title company is the one that will have to handle the issue of releasing the deposit to someone–now, you think you can persuade them to do it for free, but want them to get the money for your seller.

Perhaps you should consider paying the $5,000 for your buyers, as it seems really a shame that the first people you put under contract are threatened with losing $5,000.

How much time was there between signing the contract and wanting to back out of the deal? Buyers get out of contracts all the time in the first couple of weeks. That’s why there are all those “approve this, approve that” clauses in the contract.

Wasn’t there some sort of wiggle room clause you could have used to get them out of the contract and down the road with their deposit money intact? It is a judgment call on your part. Sometimes the buyer deserves to be penalized for failure to go forward, but at the start of a transaction before any real financial harm is done to the seller it is usually better to just let them go on their way.

We are in this business to help buyers and sellers. Deposit confiscation is an unsavory topic and is something that happens very infrequently–only one or two times in my career of 35 years buying and selling properties. It may not always seem fair to the seller to give the buyer a “get out of jail card” on this issue, but, you will find that litigation may not seem like and ugly word, but it is.

Get good at dealing with buyer remorse or have a way out ready within a reasonable timeframe. That is your job.

Bud Graham

Dear Rookie:

This is a classic case of “buyer’s remorse.” The cure is quite simple:

1. Review all the good points of the house.

2. House is below market value in an area with upside potential.

3. They don’t need to live in this house forever. When/if the baby comes they can always cash out their equity and upgrade.

4. You should NOT be trying to get the security deposit back for them; this may be the motivating factor for them to follow through on the purchase. After all, they would be better off going through with the transaction even if they just wanted to flip the property.

Chris V.

Dear Rookie:

You can make it if you get the right support either from your own sources or from your employer. If your employer has nothing better to say than ‘hang in there’ then my advice is look for another place to work. Otherwise, buyer’s remorse is not refundable if everyone–including you–has been honest.

Buyers made a mistake. Suggest to buyers that they find another buyer, possibly a relative, to buy the house as a rental. Otherwise, you should not put a lot of time and effort into this transaction. If buyers quit, so be it. You’ve got listings to sell so get out there and sell, sell, sell.

It’s your life, don’t let others ruin it for you. Get out there and sell.

Eli Stein


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