LitaWrites (real_lawyer) wrote,

You Can’t Take Real Estate Literally

The real estate agent wrote up a binder on a house, listing a $65,000 downpayment on a $650,000 house. Once the would-be buyers hired me, I figured that I had a good shot at getting the seller’s counsel to accept a $20-25,000 downpayent. I told this to my clients, thinking they’d be happy to keep the rest of the money in their own account until closing. The husband immediately objected, telling me he’d put down “no more than $6,500.”

I advised him that the sellers knew they had available funds, because the specified mortgage amount was low and the buyers weren’t selling another home. How could I make a case that sellers should accept just 1% as a hedge against buyers’ default, I wondered, when the buyers weren’t actually dealing in good faith?

“Listen,” said Mr. Buyer, with a sneer to his voice. “Just remind them that it’s a downpayment, not a highpayment.”

I wouldn’t say that, so the clients took their business elsewhere. The agent told me the deal fell apart before contract, and he’d heard the couple split up shortly thereafter.
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