What's Worse Than A Noose Around Your Neck? A Noose Around Your Money!

Managing Real Estate Broker with RE/MAX Executive Realty

Last week, we were asked to do a listing presentation on a single family home while it was listed with another agent.  It was soon to expire.  We did a full presentation, and the homeowner was going to list with us.  We never post date an agreement.   We wait until the listing expires to have an agreement signed. 

The listing agent did a final open house and we would get a call after the open house.  Another agent with a buyer showed the home and there’s interest.  The buyer's agent will be writing up an offer, but the buyer has a condo to sell and the offer will be contingent upon that condo selling.  That’s an empty bag!!

I hope the seller will not be entertaining this offer and the listing agent will not be promoting the offer in order to maintain that listing.  There are a number of negative scenarios that can result from this situation.  The condo listing could be overpriced and not sell; the condo listing could have a buyer with something to sell creating a domino effect; the condo listing might not appraise and then the buyers can’t afford to buy; or there could be a clean deal and everything could close. 

It’s a roll of the dice; it’s a crap shoot, for sure, and the odds are not in favor of the single family homeowner.  There are too many factors that work against any seller taking a contingency today.  There are enough problems with clean deals closing to have to worry about a condo sale contingency. 

Let’s hope the condo is FHA approved for the seller’s sake; but more importantly, let’s hope the listing agent acts in good faith and is honest with that homeowner!!!  The homeowner has purchased another home.  It’s now a noose around the homeowner's bank account!!!


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Sharon Parisi
Dallas Homes
Keller Williams Dallas Premier Realty


In today's market, the appraisal is a key issue.  There are far too many "ifs" in the scenario presented. For the Seller's sake, I also hope the agent is being honest.

September 12, 2012 04:29 PM
Barbara Todaro
"New Franklin MA Homes"
RE/MAX Executive Realty

Sharon.... we will soon see what results.... I hope we get a phone call from this seller that they did not take the deal.....

September 12, 2012 04:31 PM
Tatyana Makarov
Your Greater Hartford Area Realtor
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

I agree with you , Barbara,

condo? Nothing worse in today's market.

Have a great week.

September 12, 2012 05:00 PM
Kevin Mackessy
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.
Blue Olive Properties, LLC
Calling a contingency contract a domino effect is one of the best descriptors of that entire process.
September 12, 2012 05:34 PM
Jeff Dowler CRS
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360
Solutions Real Estate


That's a tough spot to be in but the agent really should do the right thing and advise the clients just as you have regarding the risks, especially with the condo sale. FHA approvals around here are particular tough in many communities.

And the sellers are in a pickle because of the other mortgage. You say the Buyer's Agent will be writing up an offer but perhaps that will never materialize and the whole matter will be moot. Keep us posted. Wishing you the best of luck on a new listing.


September 12, 2012 06:16 PM
Ed Silva
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754

Domino sales are so frustrating as so much needs to fall into place just right. It would all be representative of the market in an area, if it's a tight buyer's market, it could be just a waste of time and not a good deal for the original seller.

September 12, 2012 06:41 PM
Melissa Zavala
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County
Broadpoint Properties
I love all of your analogies--a crap shoot, a roll of the dice, a noose around the neck (or the money). It's a clever way to hold the transaction hostage, but let's hope that they do not.
September 12, 2012 08:16 PM
Sharon Alters
Your Fleming Island Relocation Agents.
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty

Barbara, this is the type of situation that can create madness with Buyer, listing agent, seller and anyone else in target range. Potentially a nightmare - hope not, but you know.


September 12, 2012 08:31 PM
Karen Feltman
Relocation Specialist
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA Skogman Realty
He extended the listing yet the seller claims that they did not agree to an extension? Something fishy there..someone is being duped or perhaps the seller signed something without realizing it. Uh oh. Keep us posted.
September 12, 2012 09:07 PM
Lloyd Binen
Silicon Valley R since 1976;408-565-8177
Certified Realty Services

Barbara, interesting situation that smells fishy.  Is the seller going to include a 72-hour release clause in a counter offer?   They should.  In that case the listing still expires (unless the seller signs an extension), so you could still re-list it and try to find a non-contingent buyer to bump the condo folks out.  When the market is hot, as it is now in Silicon Valley, sellers won't accept contingent offers even with a 72-hour release clause.

September 12, 2012 09:28 PM
Christine Donovan
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Donovan Blatt Realty

Barbara - FHA and condos are not much fun, and I do understand the concerns you have for this seller.

September 12, 2012 10:25 PM
Nancy Laswick
Your Phoenix/Scottsdale REALTOR®

Hi Barbara, the dictionary definition pretty much tells the story for the seller, "A future event or circumstance that is possible but cannot be predicted with certainty". In my opinion "Contingent Upon" in our current market should be avoided like the plague.

September 13, 2012 12:44 AM
Ginny Gorman
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond
Phillips Post Road Realty ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate

Barbara, what a great post and so true of what is happening out there...I had an offer on the table when an agent talked to the sellers daughter & brought a potential buyer in & yes they were 'interested' in the house but they didn't even have their house on the market yet!  That is an empty bag too...my seller decided on the one who didn't need to sell their home..a clean deal..explaining it & being honest in a transaction is a must.

September 13, 2012 03:39 AM
Gita Bantwal
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel
RE/MAX Centre Realtors

Barbara, Good luck. It is geeting difficult to sell a resale condo . It is not enough for the condo to be fha or fannie mae approved. I have had problems where the condo questionnaire killed the deal because of delinquencies or investor ratios,

September 13, 2012 03:56 AM
Kathryn Maguire
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach
GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881

If I were that seller, I would have a lot of questions about the contingent offer.  But I am wondering if the listing agent is encouraging them to ask the right questions or if they are selectively discussing the various aspects of the offer.

September 13, 2012 05:12 AM
Karen Kruschka
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"
RE/MAX Real Estate Connections

Barbara  Like you, I will not post date a listing that is currently active with another firm.  The sad truth is too many agents will push the seller to accept a contract that is self serving.  Didn't used to be that way when Arthur and I were licensed 36 years ago

September 13, 2012 05:21 AM
Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind
KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate

GOOD MORNING BARBARA!  I hope that agent is honest too!  I've done the same as Brian above - with the other home already being under contract and through inspections. In general though - it's not the best situation for a seller.

September 13, 2012 05:45 AM
Richie Alan Naggar Author PEARLS SERIES of books
on LIFE and LOVE plus Real Estate too!
People first then business! Ran Right Realty Riverside, Ca

Your title of the post triggered my funny bone.....Both can become a nuisance  NOOSE SANCE...Barbara...I couldn't resist and I know you allow this

September 13, 2012 08:50 AM
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001

Is all about control ..

why pass that control to a condo that may never sell. . just because your listing agent can't do their job?



September 13, 2012 10:12 AM
Bill Gillhespy
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos
16 Sunview Blvd

Hi Barbara,  It's as if you can smell the desperation ! 

September 13, 2012 11:25 AM
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Barbara Todaro

"New Franklin MA Homes"
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