The interesting thing about shopping for real estate is that when the searching and shopping is over, when the contract is executed the home buying systems are still engaged. The systems and the automated searches and notifications set up to send buyers new listings, price reductions and properties that go back on market are still up and running.
Every day, with the morning coffee or the evening cocktail the buyer sits down, reads their e-mail and gets the automated e-mail that reads “X new listings that meet your criteria” are new and waiting to be seen. Literally, months can go by with a buyer watching homes go by if they’re waiting for word on their own short sale transaction.
While a portion of buyers who write a contract on real estate stick with the one they picked, there are some folks out there who have the temptation to change houses midstream. Sometimes it’s a twinge of buyer’s remorse or even the “grass is greener on the other side” theory.
Simply being tired of waiting isn’t a good enough reason to walk away from a contract any more than something better coming up.
Believe it or not there are buyers who have asked, “Have you heard anything on the approval?” a week into a short sale. They’ve tired of the agonizing 7-day wait. I guess the anticipation of expected wait is amplified and sometimes the American microwave mentality just can’t take it.
Every once in a while there is a unique opportunity for something better. A new listing actually can show up that is better than what was contracted on; lower price, better view, more upgrades or better closing terms which may include a glimmer of light over a closing table at the end of the tunnel.
In some troubled neighborhoods one of the nearly identical short sales a buyer looked at could be on the market several weeks later as a foreclosure. In the eyes of a buyer, that turns it from a big maybe to a near definite in terms of closing viability.
Obviously buyers created a plan getting into a contract on a property so if they’ve had a change of heart, they should make sure they plan to get out of a property the proper way, too. The right way is without complicating their lives with legal woes because they didn’t honor their contractual obligations or properly leverage their contingencies to be able to cancel the contract.
Terminating a purchase agreement is an action that calls for legal advice, not a guess at what a buyer thinks is the legal way to do it… or just by walking away or ignoring the transaction because something better came along.
Professional advice usually pays for itself so what’s a small charge for proper legal counsel especially if you’re a buyer who wants to terminate a contract for something that is considered a better value, anyway?
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Chris Griffith is a real estate agent at Downing-Frye Realty Inc. in Bonita Springs. If you have a question about local real estate or Bonita Springs, e-mail her at chris@LifeInBonitaSprings.com.