Deal or No Deal. Working With an Irrevocable Deadline
Just when you are struggling for a topic for your blog, bam, one falls into your lap. Whew. That was close. Here is the story. Last week agent Jones receives an offer on one of her new listings from Agent Lee. It is a good starting point and the Sellers decide to sign it back, giving an irrevocable time of 6pm the following day. At noon the next day Jones gets an inquiry from another agent, Agent Smith, on the property and lets Smith know it is currently in sign back until 6pm. Agent Jones calls Agent Lee to get an update on the status of the sign back and lets him know that there have been a number of inquiries about the property including one very serious agent. Agent Lee says he is working on it and will let Jones know shortly where his clients stand. Over six hours pass, then at 5:30 pm Agent Lee texts Jones to let her know that he will be sending along an accepted offer in the next 15 to 20 minutes. At 6:10pm Lee sends the accepted offer to Jones however, by that time, the irrevocable time has passed even though Lee’s clients signed it at 5:30pm.
So the question is…deal or no deal? Agent Lee is arguing that if the Buyers signed it at 5:30 then there is a legally binding agreement therefore it is a deal. However, Jones argument is that in real estate there are two parts to accepting an offer. One is signing the offer within the specified irrevocable time and the other is communicating that acceptance. (Actually there is a third part; acknowledging the receipt of that acceptance). In this situation, Lee did not get the accepted agreement to the sellers or Agent Jones on time. In defending himself, Lee said that technical difficulties caused the offer to be delivered late.
With a dead deal from Lee, the Sellers were free to accept an offer from Agent Smith. The story puts the importance of the irrevocable time in a clear light. If it says 6pm it means 6pm. Not 6:05 or 6:10. Lee might argue that he was only a little late. That’s like being a little pregnant. Technical difficulties don’t mean anything today. Fax or scanner doesn’t work? Take a picture with your phone and email or text it.
Have you had a similar situation? Can you relate? How do you prepare your clients? I would love to hear your stories.