Market Wise Column: Buyers and Sellers should Pay Attention to Deadlines

Pat Kapowich for the San Jose Mercury News Q: We just found out that the Seller never signed our purchase contract. Seems the Seller's Agent signed on behalf of the Seller "per her verbal acceptance." Now we are 10 days into a sale and have invested over $1,000 in inspections. The Agents involved could not be more lax on this matter. Are we being unreasonable to demand the Seller sign the offer immediately?

A: No, you are not. You need to bypass the Agents involved. It's important to note that although Real Estate Agents are independent contractors, they must work under the supervision of a Broker. Depending upon the size of the firms where they "hang their license," there could be three levels of higher-ups with whom to level your complaint; a sales manager, owner and/or Broker of record. Eighty percent of the Agents in the country work for smaller firms. In these cases, the supervising Broker is the "boss." Regardless, each firm's Broker will want to quickly resolve this ill advised style of contract ratification before it is passed on to yet another level -- Real Estate Attorneys.


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