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Do I Have to Put a Deposit In With My Offer to Buy a Property?

Do I Have to Put a Deposit in With my Offer to Buy a Property? 

There is no law that says you have to put deposit money down with your offer to purchase a property. But there is a law in Florida called the Statutes of Fraud. Part of that law says that in order to enforce a contract there has to be some time of consideration. That can be in the form of cash, check, money order or bank check. It could also be gold, silver or whatever else of value. 

Now, with saying all that…. you know the answer to so many questions, it all depends:) 

Why are you buying a home? The reasons you are buying a home should become part of your reasoning as to what type of deposit to attach to your offer. 

If you fall in love with your dream home it is highly likely other buyers may also be of the same opinion as you. That creates competition. Here in Wellington many listings get multiple offers. The stronger you make your offer, the better your chances are that the seller will accept your offer and not someone else’s. 

Many buyers don’t learn this lesson until after they have lost the chance at buying a home they fell in love with. 

The bigger deposit you put with your offer, the more serious you appear to be in going through with the sale of the property. 

A seller has to take their home off of the active market once they accept an offer. So they are looking at what is going to be the offer that is most likely going to close. The highest and best offer and terms is usually the one a seller will accept. 

The seller has to take his/her house off the market they in turn want you, the buyer, to not be actively searching for another home. Some buyers want to place offers on multiple properties. 

Many buyers’s agents don’t want to have the buyer’s money at risk. What if you decide you don’t want the property next week? 

There are contingencies you can add to your offer, such as your offer is subject to you accepting the home inspection report on the property. If you don’t like the inspection report you can cancel your contract. If you cancel your contract within the terms of the contract, you get your deposit money back within the time specified. 

If you don’t show the seller you are a serious buyer the seller will likely accept another offer. 

No matter what the opinion of anyone else is, you must always ask yourself, do you really want this house? Are you willing to show that you are a serious buyer? 


South Florida Newspaper Reports Are One Sided Towards The Buyer

Sun Sentinel printed a very one sided article mostly about listing agents in our markets. The staff writer took one buyer, interviewed her and then presented her complaints which we will address in this post. However, with each allegation there was no interview or record of the defense or the counter. This was a very one-sided article. While there were two very small snippets from listing agents the counter to the complaints was not really addressed. And the list stands very clearn with bolded points. 

So here is the counter to each of these allegations made by this buyer.

First, let me make this disclaimer- not all listing agents are good, not all listing agents are bad. Not all listing agents are ethical, not all listing agents are un-ethical. Just as it is with every single occupation and business in our world today. The same applies to buyers and to buyers agents. 

This buyer says she has ALL CASH and wants to buy a condo in South Florida. She says that she has been looking for a second home for 2 years and has not found one yet.

Just that statement alone raises red flags in our book.  

Here is her list of reason why she can not find a second home and then our rebuttal is directly underneath each of her excuses reasons: 

1. Homeowners are testing the market and have no intention on selling. She says that they are turning down her ‘reasonable’ offers. 

While this statement may be true from some sellers it is not true of the majority of the sellers. The odds of this being the case for every single condo she has seen in two years? Ah, like 100 to 1! Did the writer of the article go and talk to all the sellers in the buildings she is interested in buying in to ask they why they turned down her offers? Most of the time when a buyer says this it is because they are making what they consider to be a fair price and the seller does not think so. The seller is not under any obligation to sell the unit for any less than what it is listed for and even at full price they still can turn down offers. 

2. Listing agents do not return phone calls to set up showings- they can’t find the keys- and when they do the keys don’t work. 

Again, this is such a general statement and blanketing all listing agents like this is really not exploring the entire picture. How does she know if this is the listing agent or if it actually may be her buyer agent calling the listing agent the night before like at 10 p.m. and then expecting the showing to be set up for 9 a.m. Sorry, not going to happen here. If her buyers agent called me at 10 p.m. I would not even answer the phone. Then I would return her call at 9 a.m. There are those who call on a Saturday night after 10 p.m. and expect the seller to open the door for them at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning. On owner occupied properties the sellers need more notice than that. 

Many sellers have tenants in their properties and tenants require 12 to 24 hours notice. We have sellers who are police officers and have firearms so they must have notice prior to showings. We have a seller who is an FBI agent and they must be at all showings for obvious reasons.  There are sellers who also require 24 hours notice and that is clearly stated in the MLS under showing instructions. Our gripe in return is that buyers agents don’t read the showing instructions in the MLS. We also have automated showing desk and buyers agents can simply make an appointment through the showing assist but they still call us because they don’t want to get on the MLS to set up a showing! So the knife cuts both ways. 

The writer interviewed one buyers agent who said he just goes to the seller’s home and knocks on the door and asks if he can show the home because he can’t get a return call. Well, we have that happen to our sellers and we have a phone answering system that logs all calls so if they do call us, our receptionist does return the call back. But sometimes she says that the seller can not show the house at the requested time and guess what- those buyers agents do go to our sellers’ doors and lie. They either lie and say they could not reach our office or they lie and say they set up an appointment. 

3.  Listing agents and sellers ask ridiculous prices and they insist that the housing market did not effect their building. 

First of all, this could be true. The fact is that there are buildings that have not been effected very much by the real estate bust. Waterfront condos on the ocean in Miami are still selling for 1 Million plus with no signs of slowing down. Yet, condos inland a bit more are sitting there and you can not give them away at $25,000. I don’t think this buyer in this article is in the latter category. But there are always pockets in markets that remain insulated from recessions and downturns. She is looking at the wrong buildings if this is a problem for her. 

About 60% of our closings in our markets are ALL CASH. So she is not the only one bringing cash to the table. 

4. Listing agents misrepresent condo rules and regulations. 

Hmmm. that is a COE violation, an NAR S&P violation and a Florida statutes violation so that is a very big accusation and I would say that the staff writer and the buyer better have some pretty good evidence that this is the case before printing this. 

Florida Law requires that buyers are to have 3 days (for re-sale condos)  in which to review the condo docs, rules and regulations. If they don’t like them, they can cancel their contract and get their earnest money back without penalty. We recommend that a buyer goes over the condo rules with their attorney. This is why we have in the condo rider that the listing agent is not representing anything about the condo rules. It is not the listing agents’ responsibility to explain the rules to a buyer.

5. Homeowner associations make rules that are too restrictive like they don’t allow an owner’s family to stay in the unit for more than one month without the owner present. 

Now, here the writer actually spoke to a condo representative. The condo rep defended their position on rules. The rules are requested and voted on by the members of the board. So if you don’t like the rules, get on a board and start lobbying for changes to the rules. But the problem with this complaint is that these rules have always been in place in many condo developments for years and years. This is not something that just happened since the real estate market tanked. 

Now, our opinion is that the reason that this buyer can not find a home based on her complaints is that she is:

  • offering below market value on the properties she does like
  • she is not understanding that the inventory is shrinking and that there are bidding wars for the good properties
  • she wants to live in a building with rules she does not like instead of finding another building 
  • she is unreasonable with her showing times 
  • she is thinking that every seller is desperate so she can not understand that sellers don’t all have to give their homes away

Many times listing agents and buyer agents are on opposing sides of the fence. Remember sellers are people too. While they do have a product on the market ( their home) courtesy and respect should still be used. This is not a restaurant where you may be demanding on what you order. This is someone’s home and they still have a life. 

Wellington Florida Sunday Mornings

Wellington Florida Sunday Mornings 

What a serene morning it was. Today I drove to our son’s travel baseball game which thankfully was in Wellington at the Olympic fields this morning. As I drove the back roads of Wellington I noticed how serene, peaceful and quite the streets were. There was no traffic and very few cars traveling along the roads as if people knew there were more important matters to attend to with their families and places of worship. 

wellington short sale agents

Most Sundays I am at church which is walking distance from our home so I don’t see much of around Wellington on Sundays. It has been a long while since I drove on the streets of Wellington on a Sunday morning. Today was a little different. Our little guy made the travel team for Wellington Colts and they had a game this morning. Nestor went along earlier to get him there to practice and later I followed to get there in time for the game.