Easy Come, Easy Go…Or Is It?


Last week, I wrote about my experience haggling with the buyers over flashing. I got an overwhelming response that I should just pay the few hundred dollars to ensure the sale. And I spent the better part of the day (and the next), blogging about why I felt I was making the right decision in refusing to pay the requested repair costs.

Well, last week on Tuesday, I went into a sudden and sure panic because the buyer’s agent was unreachable for two days. And Tuesday was the deadline to remove all contingencies. Contingencies, in case you aren’t aware, are the items in the real estate deal that must be met for the deal to go forward and close. (Keep in mind I’m not an agent, so if an agent here wants to provide a better explanation, please feel free.)

Here’s a little play by play:

July 22nd, 5pm: My initial confidence over negotiating the repairs fades fast. As of 5 pm on July 22nd, I’m sure the deal is dead. After several attempts by my agent to reach the buyer’s agent, we make the next move. We send over a form called the “Notice To Buyer To Perform”. It basically says, “Respond within 48 hours or we will cancel the sale.”

July 23, 10am: I get an email from escrow saying that the buyer’s paperwork was received on the 22nd. Hold on. Perhaps there’s hope yet?

July 23, 2pm: My agent sends me an email. She asks that I call her. I do and leave a message on her voicemail.

July 23, 3pm: My agent calls. The buyer’s agent is found – in Sin City (Las Vegas). No, he’s not gambling away his yet unearned commission. He’s at a real estate convention. And, his message is that the deal is going forward. Everything, including the repairs that I agreed to make has been passed on to the client. And the buyer is “not happy”, but what the heck – the deal is on. The glitch? He’s not able to remove contingencies until he gets back into the office on Saturday, the 26th because of lack of access to communications. I tell my agent it’s not acceptable and please relay the message.

July 23, 3:30pm: The buyer’s agent calls me. (Wow, suddenly it’s really easy to communicate from Vegas!) He explains the deal will go through. He says he’s good for his word. And he assures me he will send a fax on Saturday morning that removes all contingencies. I accept his verbal promise (though hesitantly).

July 26th, 10:00am:
I shoot off an email to my agent to contact the buyer’s agent to remind him to remove the contingencies.

July 26th, 12:30pm:
I’m frustrated. There is no fax to be found. I contact my agent again to remind the buyer’s agent about removing the contingencies.

July 26th, 3:30pm: I talk to the partner of the buyer’s agent who assures me she has no idea what they’re doing. (That’s real helpful.) She says she’ll pass on the message.

July 26th, 3:35pm: Quite miffed at the buyer’s agent lack of response, I send an email off to my agent telling her to pass on the word again that they need to remove contingencies ASAP. I even hint that they may be causing the deal to fall through. (I know, I know.)

So what happens? Stay tuned. (I know I am.)

Comments? Think you know what happened? (Please keep them constructive.) Thanks.

  • l.a.guy

    Hmmm… sounds like they’re buying time, or maybe just making you squirm in exchange for not doing the flashing.

    Unfortunately the buyers are in the drivers seat; forcing the issue may just annoy them further and cause them to cancel. On the other if they do cancel I don’t think it will have been about the flashing per se, just uneasiness on their part about buying the house (maybe it’s at the upper end of their budget?) and a belief that there will be plenty of other properties to choose from.

    I really hope it works out for you.

  • http://losangeles.redfin.com/blog/category/marina_del_rey_playa_del_rey_westchester Christina Chan

    Thanks for the thought, L.A. Guy.

  • eternal summer

    can’t wait to hear rest of story…it’s a real nail biter!

  • http://losangeles.redfin.com/blog/category/marina_del_rey_playa_del_rey_westchester Christina Chan

    Eternal Summer. If you think it’s a nail biter, imagine how I feel! : )

  • http://los-angeles-real-estate-blog.com Phyllis Harb

    The contingency removal is basically what puts the buyer’s deposit at risk.

    Buyers don’t want to remove contingencies because their deposit is now at risk if they don’t close escrow. Generally buyers need to be coerced into it. I think the buyer’s agent is off having a good time and unfortunately your worries are not the buyer’s agent’s concern. But I do think this will all work out and you will close.

    Stay positive!

  • http://losangeles.redfin.com/blog/category/marina_del_rey_playa_del_rey_westchester Christina Chan

    Thanks, Phyllis! This experience has been a lot more than I bargained for. But I can certainly say that I have learned a lot from it.

  • Kate

    I think they closed. And, if so, thank your lucky stars.

  • http://losangeles.redfin.com/blog/category/marina_del_rey_playa_del_rey_westchester Christina Chan


    I already know the answer to what happens next. If you’re curious, you can check in later today.