Maybe July 2019, maybe not, we will see the new WB 11 Residential Offer to Purchase replace the version we’ve used since 2011.  We know for sure it will be bigger than the present nine page document. Better? We can hope.

As time goes by and workarounds become common practice, firms create contingencies on  their own addenda to counter the efforts of the miscreant.  And then it gets interesting. One firm after another sees something you wrote as useful, copies  it, or modifies it and makes the condition their own. By the time the  condition has spread through the community of REALTORS multiple versions of the original idea are incorporated into addenda. What looks like another firm’s contingency rarely is exactly alike.  The slightest word, “shall or may” for example, will significantly change the power of a contingency in favor of one party.

Eventually the WRA and REEB sit down to modify the WB to comply with current law, and common practice. It seems like every idea ever created to prevent the least common occurrence gets to audition for a place in the new Offer. Not all  get accepted but enough do that the document that went in comes out much fatter. Why the document doesn’t come out smaller is because users won’t let go of what they know. Regardless of its uncommon use (Seller right to provide financing when financing denied) wordy terms take up space in 100% of the Offers so that it will be there the .01% of the time it’s used.  Asking “WHY is this or that contingency necessary?” would result in the WB coming in at no more pages than the one we have and probably even smaller.

The analytics exist to know if contingencies we need are being left out to allow contingencies we don’t use to live on.  Before the next WB goes into use, it might be worth having it analyzed. And if the old shoes don’t get used, we could toss them for good.




  1. Mitchell Fiene says:

    Hi Tom,

    First of all, love the blog. Second, would it be correct in saying that the vast number of “contingencies” or “old shoes” that aren’t used (except in very rare circumstances) are simply leading to consumer and young inexperienced Realtors like myself to confusion. It seems that confusion tends to lead to more troubling issues and huge wastes of time. Why not go to a more straight forward form? Addendum has always allowed for firms to insert specific language. We all agree that each transaction is unique, but why are we wearing so many “old shoes” that just cause slow runners and ankle injuries (or missed buying opportunities from analysis paralysis)? Our job is to represent and protect, not confuse or lead customers/clients through a long pain staking offer process.

    Thoughts on Thoughts,

    1. Mitchell–Thank you. Old shoes is an ideal description of the issue. Just like old shoes, even though we know they are inappropriate for certain occasions we insist on “wearing” them because they are familiar. The insistence of REALTORS to wear old shoes in Offers is proof that the contingency is not read. Regardless of how comfortable the contingency feels, if we read it we will know it’s out of place. Yes, our job is to put the client first and be fair to all parties. When it comes to protecting them, I won’t know what protects them and what puts them at intolerable risk without dialogue. I can’t be doing a good job for anyone if I write offers that address my fears if the client does not share the fear. Keep improving. The easiest way to leap over experienced agents is to learn the contracts. Sounds like you’re doing that.

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