Those of you who know me also know that I am not the kind of guy who likes to rant. I feel that we are all grown-ups and as such we just need to take care of our selves to be certain that we don't get taken advantage of or cheated. That philosophy has worked very well for me in the real estate business. Plain and simple, "if it ain't in the contract, then it ain't part of the deal!" (my first grade teacher just rolled over in her grave and my mother just felt a strange chill up her spine for that quote!)
My views on that have changed dramatically today. We are representing a buyer who is in a contract to purchase a condominium that is currently bank owned. I am sure that most of you know that in order to purchase a REO, the buyers are going to be forced to give up a few of their rights. As the buyer's agent, you write the offer, submit it to the listing agent who in turn submit it to the bank, and then you wait for the 14 page addendum that is certain to arrive with their counter offer. In that 14 page counter offer you will most certainly find that in order to have the privilege of buying the property, your clients will have to give up their right to choose the title company. Oh, by the way, the bank isn't based out of your city (which is this case is Vancouver Washington) so you will have to use a title company that no one in Vancouver Washington has ever heard of and if you don't like it, DEAL WITH IT.
Since one of our specialties is buying REO properties, we have dealt with this dozens of times in the past year.
Our client was scheduled to sign all of the final contracts today but we never received a HUD statement. This is my pet peeve when dealing with title companies which were selected by the seller. The loan agent in this deal, who is outstanding at his job and highly recommended by us, emailed his copy of the HUD with some concerns. To cut to the chase, his concerns were the $1,700 in buyer's escrow costs on a $100,000 condo purchase! They had piled on every "JUNK" fee that you could imagine. Totaling over $800. Oddly enough, only the buyer was hit with these fees.
Sadly, after calling them to discuss there abuse of the situation, we only managed to get them to cut a small portion of there blatant larceny. I am thinking that I will start adding a "Title Company Contingency" to my purchase and sale agreements. I am thinking it should read something like this:
"This offer is contingent that the title company that the seller chooses is acceptable to the buyer. Please don't even consider using xxxxxxxx Title!"
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