Florida Storm Front

Picking Your Real Estate Partner

An acquaintance I’d met some time ago decided to become a first time home owner. Though I would have probably voted him least likely to ever be tethered by a mortgage he found a home by happenstance and decided to place an offer to purchase it.

The email he sent to me last Friday night read: “My first house offer ever. Take a look and tell me what you think.” Naturally, I took a look at the home, the pictures and the attachments to the email which included the contract to purchase.

It turns out that the contract had some holes in it. Actually, the holes were big enough to drive a truck through. On top of that, there were blanks. Lots of blank lines that were suppose to be filled in with data, choice selections and figures but instead there was nothing. When I inquired about the blanks and the whole “who’s paying for this and that, thing” the buyer mentioned that he had filled out the contract and faxed it back to his agent.

If you didn’t catch that, the buyer was given a blank contract and asked to fill it out himself. While that may explain why it wasn’t done correctly, it doesn’t make it any less alarming. There were a multitude of other sins involved with this contract, most of which weren’t exactly favorable to the buyer.

This buyer made a classic mistake. He had picked up the phone and called for information about a home he had driven by and accidentally gotten married the person that answered. Just because someone on the other end of the line said, “hello” and told what the price of the home was doesn’t mean ‘til death do you part.

There was very little qualifying of the real estate agent by the buyer to verify any amount of skill, integrity or experience. There was no interaction to see if there were shared values or even compatible personalities. If these two had nothing in common and didn’t trust each other they could have broken the engagement. Instead, they ended up just staying together in a tawdry attempt to produce a sale.

What should have been a joy filled home purchase turned into a partnership of obligation tainted with duplicity and distrust. A lot like a bad marriage, when the whole thing unraveled there was plenty of bitterness and suspicion to go around.

Buyers shouldn’t overlook shopping for qualified assistance long before they decide to buy a home. Buyers also need to not be afraid to be skeptical and trust their instincts. When something doesn’t feel right, when anything clouds the transparency of any portion of the transaction they should raise issue and ask questions.

The financial commitment of a home purchase is too large to chance rolling the dice and ending up with unqualified help. If you’re going to use a real estate professional to purchase your real estate interview more than one person, ask multiple questions and compare answers.

There’s no punishment for not having blind trust especially when something doesn’t feel right. There’s also no penalty for double checking someone’s answers. At the very least, you might actually find out that you’re not supposed to fill out the purchase contract yourself.


Real Life in Bonita Springs is a project by Chris Griffith dedicated to writing useful blog posts for consumers about the Bonita Springs, Florida area.  Find out what it is really like to live in Bonita Springs, Florida by reading about our fair city. You’ll get the latest in local real estate information, Bonita Springs real estate market reports and a little bit of humor.  If you have topic ideas, feel free to request a story about the idea, after all, this site is just for you.

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