Hawaii Randy's Real Estate Opinions: Bad Contracts, Sloppy Agents

Bad Contracts, Sloppy Agents

When we look at what is happening the last few weeks in our industry, what is the number one concern?  IfHobo you were going to make an offer on a home to purchase it, what would be the one thing you would focus on?

  1. The financing

In the last three weeks I have received four of the worst contracts I have seen fired off by agents to my sellers.  

The contracts were missing:

  • A pre-approval or even a pre-qualification letter from a lender.
  • Signatures stating they have an earnest money check.
  • Signatures from their brokers stating that they reviewed the offers.
  • Signature from the agent on the lead based paint addendums.
  • Three did not have a cooperating broker's agreement. (I guess they did not want to get paid).
  • Two of the contracts were marked N/A for special provisions and then had special provisions typed in.
  • Two were expired before they even transmitted them and one gave my out of state client ½ a day to respond.

All of these agents must have attended or missed the same contract writing class.

With the lending industry going through their difficult times and real estate markets going through changes; it is not time for amateurs. If you do not know what you are doing, team up with someone who does or take up another occupation.  I hear there are shortages in the hair cutting and fast food industries.

OK, I apologize for venting.

 

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Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®

Broker-in-Charge, ABR, AHWD, CRB, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR

eXp Realty

Team Leader - "The Prothero Group"

Randy Prothero is well established as an expert in working with military / VA clients and first time home buyers.  His home seller's (listing) campaign is one of the most aggressive marketing programs in the area.  His luxury home listings sell faster and for more money.

Based out of Mililani, Hawaii. Randy services the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) Performs mediations and ombudsman services for the Board of Realtors.  To improve overall professionalism in his area Randy also offers classes for real estate agents. 

www.HawaiiRandy.comOahu (Honolulu County) Property Search  Hawaii Military Relocations

Comment balloon 41 commentsRandy Prothero • August 20 2007 08:37PM

Comments

Uh...why apologize?  I've seen more than enough of contracts where they are just plain trying to do any old thing to get in contract. Funny...ain't working though is it?
Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) almost 11 years ago
Don't worry Randy, the amateurs will all be gone by Christmas...

Now Have a Blessed Day,

John Occhi, Hemet CA REALTOR®
Mission Grove Realty
Posted by John Occhi, SRES,CPRES.ePRO - Temecula-Murrieta CA Real Estate (Mason Real Estate) almost 11 years ago
Randy, At least you received four contracts!  What I wonder is how these folks get repeat business. Answer: we clean up their mess!
Posted by Joe Rogers, CRP, GMS Chapel Hill Real Estate (The Rogers Team @ RE/MAX Winning Edge) almost 11 years ago
How do people think that they can survive in this industry doing stuff like that? They will not last long, don't worry!!  
Posted by Nicole Garner (Not Available) almost 11 years ago
I understand your frustration, however right now I would love an offer on a listing even if it had something missing!
Posted by Sue Riley, GRI (RE/MAX Four Corners) almost 11 years ago
Randy, with all due respect, consider yourself lucky.  We haven't received a COPY of a contract that was signed in June- the lawyer doesn't "like" providing contracts to the listing agent.  Luckily, the seller didn't feel that way.  I'd rather correct and correctly vent, than have...NADA!  Hopefully, the island contingent will make more of an effort- it's frustrating that real estate would include agents neglecting to dot the I's.  This isn't a small transaction that can afford careless mistakes.
Posted by Laurie Mindnich almost 11 years ago

My favorite one these days (and we're seeing LOTS of this) is ZERO down, and x amount ($100 OR $250) UPON ACCEPTANCE. No money with the contract! Hello... what does that mean? An agent (she's the MOM of the buyer) submitted such a contract to me the other week.

$55000 house, with $100 UPON ACCEPTANCE and no preapproval letter. Nothing. When I insist on money before signing, she gives me $100 written on her own account (daughter forgot her check book, the n  she says daughter cannot FIND the check book) 3 days after handing in the contract.

Then  when I request $400 additional dollars within 14 days, she balks. I ask for $200 in 14 days... she balks. She says if I don't trust her daughter (who's supposedly preapproved with her company's inhouse mortgage guy... yet no proof in writing) then forget it. She'll find another house. I ask for the pre qual letter & she replies that she needs another week to get the daughter's numbers up. Ha! No deal. 

 How can buyer's agents even propose such deals, with the problems we're having getting loans? Any seller's agent has got to be cautious. 

  

Posted by Erica Ramus, MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate (Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA ) almost 11 years ago
I have seen a contract turned in on an MLS sheet......
Posted by Vicki Bishop GRI - Alabama Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors®) almost 11 years ago

Many are looking for real jobs as we blog...

This business needs to rid itself of incompetents that give the rest a bad name.

Posted by Armando Rodriguez, Orlando Homes 4 Sale, Real Estate Broker-GRI (QUEST REALTY SERVICES) almost 11 years ago

Sally - I am not sorry for what I said, just that I was venting here.

John - that will be a Christmas present for unsuspecting consumers.

Joe - That is the truth.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Nicole - The problem is they will probably be replaced by someone just as bad.

Sue - Our market is much stronger than most.  Being on an island we have a supply and demand issue that is not going away soon.

Laurie - Three of the offers were for properties in the $Million range.  Absolutely scary!

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Erica - Was that $55,000 or $550,000.  I didn't know there were homes in that price range anywhere.  Either way, you were smart to press the other agent.

Vicki - You must be kidding.  It was not a licensed agent was it?

Armando -We used to call incompetence of others "job security".

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago
Randy, sometimes you have to wonder if these people are just sloppy, lazy, or just plainly do not know what they are doing.  It is almost scary at times.
Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) almost 11 years ago

Hey Randy,  feel free to vent anytime.  :)  The last offer presented on one of my listings....the agent had never written one so he had the buyer write it up.  Wow. 

I feel your pain my friend.

Posted by Stephanie Edwards-Musa, knitwit at thred UP (thredUP.com) almost 11 years ago
George - I wonder some days, what makes some of these folks believe they should be in this business.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Randy - Where are the manager's and brokers? I've seen some horrible contracts lately, too, and on top of that, I can't even get the listing agent on the phone to ask them what they meant. Some of the things I've seen in special provisions is a whole other post!

I was wondering why you have been quiet on AR lately...now I know where you've been...trying to train all these agents!

Posted by Linda Scanlan (A Fan of AR) almost 11 years ago

Stephanie - Many years ago, my brother was presented an offer on one of his properties.  I was formerly licensed at the time and looked over the offer with him.  It was full of mistakes.  (This was when our contracts were much simpilar).  His agent who was representing both sides wanted me to re-write it for him. 

It was not going to happen.  I told him to get his broker involved; which angered him, but got it fixed.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Stephanie - Many years ago, my brother was presented an offer on one of his properties.  I was formerly licensed at the time and looked over the offer with him.  It was full of mistakes.  (This was when our contracts were much simpler).  His agent who was representing both sides wanted me to re-write it for him. 

It was not going to happen.  I told him to get his broker involved; which angered him, but got it fixed.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Linda - I have been so busy that I haven't had time to be on Active Rain as much.  Hopefully I will get caught up a little with my new assistant coming on board later this week.

The brokers are also part of the problem, they are not overseeing the agents.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Randy,

It is even better when the Broker writes it and you have to give up after a half dozen attempts to get it right.

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) almost 11 years ago

Randy,

I would like to comment on: "The brokers are also part of the problem, they are not overseeing the agents."

I have been seeing some terrible contracts lately from some of our agents.  After reviewing one I was so shocked I highlighted all the errors, printed it, and drove 3 hours to go over it with the agent that wrote it.  I spent the whole day doing contracts and counters.  Ok, so far so good.

Then yesterday I was reviewing another one, and lo and behold almost the same mistakes........I told the agent that she needed to go back to class and learn as obviously my teaching wasn't getting through.  I also told her no more contracts are to go anywhere before I see them first......and this agent has been in the business for 23 years.

I already have a formal letter written, and a ban on any dual agency until and such time as this agent completes a Formal Contract class.....

Sometimes I wish I was still an agent :)

 

 

Posted by Kathy McGraw, Riverside County CA Real Estate (CELLing Realty) almost 11 years ago

Randy...  it just makes you wonder if they are lazy, lack common sense, or just don't know what they are doing. Yes, it's sad no matter what the answer is. Because each answer as a solution. Keep venting to make others aware of this.

jeff belonger

Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) almost 11 years ago
sounds like you have a good reason to vent.... glad we could be a sympathetic ear
Posted by Thesa Chambers, Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon (Fred Real Estate Group) almost 11 years ago

This is all pretty much part and parcel of the current market climate. Like many say here in this comment trail, lets hope a lot of this kind of work falls by the wayside, and those that don't aspire to excellence along with it.

Just saw a comment you made on something of Nima's and agree with you. We just posted a different take on the mortgage climate and think we pretty much solved it. Or maybe not.

No need to apologize for stating the obvious. We recently read something of Lenn's about someone who worked for her that is a Lazy Boy salesman now. That wasn't venting either. And you are right on... it is no time for amateurs.

Posted by Gary Bolen, CRS - Lake Tahoe Real Estate Information (McCall Realty) almost 11 years ago
I see this kind of contracts all the time and it drives me crazy.  Contract states they have received the earnest money so I ask for a copy of the check.  Oh!!! it seems that it will be a week before they can give her the check.  My thought---well duh, you wrote in the contract that YOU HAD THE EM.  It's amazing.
Posted by Sybil Holcomb (Ayres Realty) almost 11 years ago
I just had a contract a few weeks ago where I had to hen peck for every crossed T and dotted I.  The agent was "annoyed" that I kept asking for each and followinng up.  Too darn bad, punk!
Posted by Chris Griffith, Bonita Springs Listing Agent (Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL) almost 11 years ago

Randy, I am in the PA coal region! I usually sell high end homes, and have sold the 2 largest sales ever in my town ($425,000 and $435,000). And maybe the smallest: I did a row home for $5000 a few years ago. That's not a typo.

 

The $55,000 was for 2 houses! Twin homes being sold together in St. Clair, PA. It's my market. Average home sale county wide is approaching $100,000 ... we're almost there!  

 

We have $10,000 homes in the northern part of the area, and $300-500,000+ in the southern part. We sell a lot more in the low end than the high end.  

 

Needless to say, when an agent here says she's a multi-million dollar producer, that's hot stuff. 

Posted by Erica Ramus, MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate (Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA ) almost 11 years ago
Randy - On the plus side, you are getting activity. On the negative side, you are getting activity from less than competent agents. Given a choice, in my market, I would take the incompetent ones at this time...but only while it was slow. Realistically, we should all expect only the very best quality from colleagues and let them know, in a gentle way, you are lacking! Good job, Rando~~
Posted by Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC, ... a small office, delivering big service! (Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC) almost 11 years ago
Randy, Vent away, but pls don't send them to beauty school :(. Imagine those results!
Posted by Lysa Napolitano almost 11 years ago
Wonder if the co-broke can be variable based on how much work they Buyer Broker accomplishes, and how much the Listing Broker has to do for them! :-)
Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ (BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 11 years ago

Mike - That is really bad.

Kathy - I guess years in the business do not guarantee quality work.  I find that as I get older I have less patience with that kind of stuff.

Jeff B. - I see similar problems in every industry.  Because of the value of our products, it is even more critical that those involved are professional at every level.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Thesa - Thank you

Gary - Absolutely, this is the time for professionals and the others need to get out of the way.

Sybill - I see the same thing with the pre-approval letters.  I just had a transaction where the lender said they verified the funds; to later find the buyers did not have their cash.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Chris - I think that if ever office mad a policy of missing docs or missing signatures, no commission check.  Most of these problems would go away.

Erica - That is a lot of work to be a Million Dollar producer.  Here in Hawaii that is between one to three sales depending on if you are doing entry level condos.

Gary - I am always concerned that if we go into escrow with an agent that starts like that, where will this transaction be heading? Almost ever one that fell out of escrow started that way.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Lysa - I still look for professionals when I get my hair cut.

Tony - If not, possibly we can offer an hourly rate to walk them through the process. :)

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

Randy, I'm moving to your neighborhood.

Ha!

 

Posted by Erica Ramus, MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate (Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA ) almost 11 years ago

Randy...

Hold on to your boot straps.

This is going to get worse before it gets better but deep down you know that :)

My educated guess is that is will take a year to weed it all out.

Be glad you haven't received an offer written up in crayon :)

TLW...ROAR!

Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) almost 11 years ago

Randy, right on!  As a coordination team that is often left to clean up the mess and close these transactions, we appreciate agent's that realize that if the contract is poorly written, chances are it is only going to get worse as the transaction progresses. 

TLW, we have a saying in our office: "Nobody ever handed Picasso a box of crayons and expected a masterpiece".  Unfortunately, we get a lot of crayons thrown our way these days.

Posted by Beth Young (PropertyInfo Corp. - SureClose) almost 11 years ago

Erica - I know a great real estate agent who can help you find the perfect home.  :)

TLW - I am waiting for the offer in crayon.  I have gotten more than a couple hand written.

Beth - On the flip side, clean contracts will get put your clients in a stronger position.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago
Randy.. This shouldn't surprise you.. our REALTOR® associations refuse to demand higher standards for new licensees.. If you pass the mirror breath test you can be an agent.. I suppose this all works when times are easy but in today's market there is no room for the poorly trained.. One of these days the pweres that be will finally figure it out... maybe 
Posted by Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA (Real Estate West) almost 11 years ago
Its not just the amateurs or new agents.  I recieved a purchase contract on one of my listings that was just about as bad as you described from an agent that had been in the business for over 30 years!  Some of the veteran agents are just as bad as the new agents.
Posted by 1SG (Ret.) David Kucic, President and Owner (Hawaii Military Realty, Inc.) almost 11 years ago

Kaye - Higher standards will always get my support.

David - I also got a bad one from an agent recently who has also been around for awhile.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

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