Let’s just work this out verbally!


In the beginning, it’s love!

The Buyer LOVES the house, and the Seller LOVES that the Buyer LOVES the house.

The Buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent engage in the dance of converting all of this love into a Contractually Binding Agreement.

Excitement is high, and the market is moving FAST, so everyone is intensely motivated to move the process along as quickly and expeditiously as possible.

In their haste, the agents may get a tad sloppy and develop amnesia relative to the need to create a trail of documentation as the terms converge.

The most dangerous form of “sloppy” is “verbal agreement” . . . especially when it comes to amending time deadlines. Everyone is happy to be loose with deadlines until something goes wonky at which point everyone will OBSESS with the timelines (Adherence to or violation thereof).

eg: Day 14 after Binding Agreement is the final day of the inspection period. this is the deadline for the Buyer to provide a WRITTEN “Repair Proposal” to the seller, but the Buyer isn’t ready because she is waiting for a quote from a contractor.

Proper procedure would be for the REALTORS to draft and Contract Amendment to extend the Inspection Deadline to be signed by both Buyer and seller. This would keep things moving forward.

Sloppy verbal procedure is that the Buyer’s agent calls the Seller’s agent and tells him that the Buyer needs more time . . . and the seller’s agents responds: “OK” with no further definition.

Next morning without the executed written amendment, the Buyer has lost rights regarding the inspection per the contract and would be required to close. If the inspection issue were large enough that Buyer would want to terminate the deal, buyer’s only option would be to DEFAULT thereby potentially losing earnest money AND risking Lawsuit for Specific Performance and/or Damages.


These scenarios play out more often than any of us Real Estate sales professionals care to admit. Sloppy is not acceptable under any circumstances, and verbal agreement is sloppy.

Sure! It’s possible to strike a verbal agreement and everything play out all hunky-dory . . .

but what if it doesn’t?

ALWAYS follow the process and get EVERYTHING in writing.

(hops off his soap box)

Published by Barry Owen

Strategist-CEO of Pareto Realty Real estate sales Professional Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities BarryOwen.US Invite-Listen-Love

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