Vail Daily column: Friend’s exclusion worries buyer
January 24, 2014
I have a home out of state and I am listing it with an agent soon. I have asked for an exclusion of a friend of mine that wants to buy my house, but my friend's purchase is contingent upon his house selling, and it is not under contract. My friend has made an offer at an acceptable price, and now I am worried his house won't sell and neither will mine if the listing agent has to tell clients it is under contract but there is a contingency. What do you suggest? Chuck.
You are asking some good questions, I must first state that I am only licensed in Colorado and different states have different rules. Also, I am not an attorney and cannot give legal advice, only seasoned Realtor advice.
Those things being said, I am not certain at what stage you are in the process. If the listing agent has agreed to take the listing and exclude your friend, then it probably is not for very long. Most Realtors will only exclude a seller's buyer for a short amount of time when they take a new listing. This actually helps you as well as your Realtor. It helps you because it forces your buyer to do a written offer right away, so that you know where you stand with him. If he does not do the offer right away, then he will become subject to the same price and conditions as any other buyer.
If, indeed, you have an already signed written offer from your friend, then hopefully you have made it for a short amount of time. Meaning that you are only giving him 30 days to get his property under contract, for example, or his offer expires (unless you both mutually agree to extend it). Hopefully you also have a clause in your friend's contract that gives him only a few days to remove his contingency if you receive another acceptable, non-contingent offer. By having a clause that gives him, say, three business days to remove his contingency of selling his home (i.e. he gets a bridge loan, borrows from his family, can afford to have two mortgages at once, etc.) you are less likely to discourage other potential buyers. If you have not done either of the above mentioned suggestions, then see if you can get him to let you make an amendment to his offer to add the proper clauses to protect yourself.
One last item to check on — in the Vail Multiple Listing Service, if you have signed and accepted a contingent contract, then the listing agent must show the property as "under contract" and your likelihood of finding another buyer dramatically drops. Please discuss all of these items with your Realtor as soon as possible. Best of luck to you!
Joan Harned is an owner-broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team of qualified experts. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Joan with your real estate questions at Joan@TeamBlackBear.com, 970-337-7777 or http://www.teamblackbear.com.