Wednesday, January 11, 2017
The Curious Case of the Disappearing Agent
This is the true account of an interesting and perplexing transaction last month with a mysterious buyer and his communication-impaired buyer's agent from another city.
November 3: A buyer's agent calls the listing agent of a condo in Cocoa Beach asking to show. The unit is vacant and available to show anytime, but, being from Orlando, the buyer's agent doesn't have access to the local electronic lockbox system so he asks if listing agent can unlock the unit for him. No problem.
November 8: After no contact for five days after showing the buyer's agent delivers a very low offer contingent upon a mortgage. The listing agent presents the offer to the seller who doesn't want to counter as the unit is in a condotel complex where a mortgage is impossible to acquire unless it is from an unconventional source. The listing agent suggests countering without a financing contingency. Done.
November 9: Buyer counters at a lower number, cash, close in 30 days.
November 10: Negotiations ensue and buyer and seller verbally agree upon a higher number, cash purchase with a 30 day close and buyer's agent asks listing agent to write it up and he'll get buyer to sign. Written, signed by seller and delivered to buyer's agent same day.
November 11: Buyer's agent sends a lender's condo questionnaire but no signed contract. What? This was a cash offer. Buyer's agent says don't worry, buyer is just exploring his options. OK, management company completes the questionnaire three days later and listing agent forwards it to buyer's agent. Buyer's agent goes radio silent.
December 7: The buyer's agent hasn't responded to any emails, texts or phone calls from listing agent for three weeks. Suddenly, 26 days after last contact, he emails listing agent to say that buyer is moving forward if the property is still available and is sending the signed contract shortly. Listing agent informs seller that the dead have arisen but neither holds their breath.
December 8: Signed contract is received from the buyer's agent with escrow deposit due in three days and a ten day inspection period with a close date of Dec. 30. Buyer's agent returns to his Faraday cage and relights the "Do Not Disturb" sign. Listing agent marks the MLS listing as "Backups" rather than "Contingent" and notes in the narrative that the contract is "shaky" and encourages backup offers. Fingers are crossed but seller's and listing agent's expectations remain minimal.
December 14: Escrow deposit is received, three days late. Buyer's agent surfaces briefly to acknowledge receipt and reenters suspension chamber blithely letting the inspection period expire four days later with zero contact..
December 26: After a two week disappearance buyer's agent notifies listing agent that inspections will be done Dec. 27 three days before closing. Inspection period expired on Dec. 18.
December 27 late night: Buyer's agent emails inspection report with a demand for all items to be repaired prior to closing on the 30th.
December 28: Seller refuses to do repairs but offers $300 credit at closing for the small items found. and buyer responds that he is willing to delay closing to give seller time to repair. Seller says, no dice, and closing will still happen on Dec. 30 or he will keep the deposit which became non-refundable ten days earlier at the expiration of the inspection period.
December 29: Buyer wisely agrees to the $300 repair credit, signs closing documents and initiates wire of funds late in the day which does not arrive until Jan. 3 for unknown reasons.
January 3: Buyer's agent who has been absent since demanding repairs the previous week sends his last text to the listing agent "Did you receive commission yet?"
While frustrating, this all-too-common level of incompetence from some of my fellow practitioners does provide entertainment and makes for lively discussions when the used house salesmen gather round the table for refreshments. I'd like to thank this buyer's agent and his peers for making the rest of us look better than we would sans the contrast. A hearty toast merry fellows.
"Just keep the motor runnin' this won't take very long
By the time the police get here we'll be already gone
We've got to leave 'em hangin' we can't leave 'em no clues
Just take the money and run
Lord I love robbin' banks" ___David Allan Coe