Why You can’t Count on a Real Estate Deal as Done Until Docs are Signed

For about a day and a half, I thought I was going to get rental property number 8 under contract. I was not planning on buying number 8 quite so soon, but this was a great opportunity. This particular property, came up for sale as a short sale last week. I thought I had it under contract, but I learned to never count on a deal being done until docs are signed. The home happened to be right across the street from rental property number 7. The house is a four level with a finished basement, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 car attached garage, deck and central AC. The yard was dead, but the interior of the home was not in bad shape at all. The home needed some carpet in the basement and a little paint and that was about all to make it a great rental.

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What was the asking price of this deal?

The asking price was $125,000 and I figured it would rent for at least $1,400 a month, since I rented rental number 7 for $1,400 and it had 5 beds and 2 baths. I made a low offer of $112,000 with $2,000 in seller paid closing costs, hours after the home was listed. I emailed the listing agent the offer and called to make sure she received it. I received a call back from the listing agent a couple of hours later saying the sellers were going to sign my offer! She said the only problem was the sellers printer was out of ink and she needed me to send the contract with electronic signatures.

I never use electronic signatures, unless another agent sends me the contract with them. I had to sign up for a trial version of DocuSign and get everything set up (this has since changed!). I figured out how to e-mail the electronic contract to the agent and I sent it to her as soon as I could. I didn’t hear anything for a couple of hours, so I called her to make sure she received the contract. She said yes, but the fridge was included in the contract and the buyers aren’t including the fridge (she marked in MLS that the fridge was included). I re-did the DocuSign contract and sent it to her again without the fridge being included. I didn’t receive any confirmation from her, so I called and she said she never received it. I sent the contract again and this time she said she received it, but the sellers’ names were mixed and they can’t sign it. I doubled checked this on my end and the names were not mixed up. She said the sellers would get some ink for the printer, print out the contract and send it to me right away.

I tried to be patient, but I never received anything that night or the next morning. I e-mailed the agent in the afternoon and she said she is still waiting for the sellers to sign, and she will get it to me right away. I waited another day with no response and emailed again, this time the story changed. Now she said the wife wants to sign the contract, but the husband thinks the offer is too low and he wants $135,000 (list price was $125,000). I was a bit shocked and asked her if they are sending a counter or what the next step is. She said she was still trying to get the offer accepted and to be patient. I asked her to please let me know if she receives any other offers. I waited another day with no response, and then I noticed she changed the price in MLS to $140,000. I asked her if the price change meant the sellers were not accepting my offer? She said she was still trying to get my offer accepted, and  I informed her that I would raise my offer to 115k with 2k in closing costs if that helps and she didn’t respond.

Now it was the weekend and I decided to leave her alone. It was no surprise that I did not hear from her at all until Monday morning when she sent me an e-mail saying the seller has accepted another offer. She was kind enough to let me know I could be in backup position if I raised my offer to $135k. I sent her an email back asking why I was never notified of any other offers received, and why did you keep telling my you were trying to get my offer accepted? She said she told me the husband wanted $135,000. Normally I take the high road on these matters, but her handling of this entire deal really got on my nerves. I wrote her a nice email explaining how I did not appreciate being strung along, and next time to please be honest with me regarding offers or send me an actual counter. She has failed to respond.

How to get a great deal on a short sale

What I learned about dealing with real estate agents

These are the type of real estate agents who give the rest of us a bad name. I am very happy I was not representing a buyer, trying to explain this entire deal to them, and why they did not get the house under contract, when it was written in an e-mail that the sellers were going to sign the contract. This situation bugged me, but I was expecting it after the continued delays and non- responsiveness of the other agent. I will continue to look for more deals and the timing was not perfect on this one anyway.



  1. Michelle July 22, 2013
    • investfourmore July 23, 2013

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