Jim Valentine: Busting a few real estate myths

Let’s get the New Year started on the right track by exploring real estate myths and how they could affect your personal decisions. We’re using the word myths loosely to describe established beliefs or truisms. Times and circumstances change and so do the myths and their rigidity and applicability. So, in no order of priority, we share with you some things that might help you in 2020.

First in time gets their offer accepted. This was the way of the land many years ago, but times have changed. With the proliferation of computers and email offers can be written and submitted quickly. Demand has increased and so have the volume of offers. Today it is not unusual to have multiple offers on a property and for the seller to ask potential buyers to submit their highest and best offer. Time only matters in the sense that the parties act within the time parameters set by the hosting offeree.

The repair allowance all goes to the buyer. The repair allowance is a maximum for repairs. If the estimates go over the agreed on amount the seller can rescind, or the buyer can pay the difference or rescind, or they can renegotiate. The buyer does not, however, get to keep any surplus above the repair amount. For example, if the allowance is $1,000 and the repairs are $600 then the seller will pay $600 in repairs and pocket the balance.

A seller must disclose if someone died in the property. Not so in Nevada unless something about the property contributed to their demise. If a buyer asks it would be appropriate for a seller to disclose what they know, but they aren’t legally required to do so.

You can’t get a home contingency offer accepted in a busy market. You can’t if you don’t write it so your agent will be right by not writing it and you’ll never know. Let the seller decide. They may like you, or want more time to pack and move. There are many reasons why they might select your offer, or not, but remember, “You can’t win if you don’t play.” It is Nevada real estate after all.

Back up offers are a waste of time. They may be, especially if the seller’s agent tells your agent that the escrow is solid. Things happen. If you really want a property take the time to make an offer. If something hiccups in the first offer they will know of your interest and it could result in the seller taking action that favors you. It may be the long way home, but when back up offers move to primary and close it is oh so satisfying.

You have to have a deposit to make an offer. We do a lot of long distance offer writing and negotiations in Nevada. It isn’t always practical to have a deposit before you submit the offer. Your agent should be prepared to handle that and you shouldn’t let that hold you back.

If a buyer breaches the contract you can keep their deposit. This one is tricky. If and how much you can keep depends on how big the deposit is and how the contract was written. There are usually many ways out of a contract so don’t count on keeping the deposit when you make your decisions. There should be other contributing beneficial factors to entice you to accept it.

Our Advice: If you wonder why something is a “must” in your transaction feel free to ask why. Your agent should be able to explain the reasoning as to why you are doing, or not doing something, to your satisfaction.

Remember that it is always the decision of the Buyer and Seller to do something, not the agent. Agents will help you stay legal, avoid trouble, and make the best decision for your circumstances but in the long run it is up to you to decide your course of action. Get the right perspective, evaluate your wants and needs, and act accordingly.

When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs… Experience is Priceless! Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-3704. dpwtigers@hotmail.com.


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