Ask WHY

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.

 

 

Author: Tom Meyer Real Estate Broker, Madison, WI

I believe the difference between an accepted or rejected real estate offer to purchase is the drafter's ability to customize the Offer to reflect the Buyer's commitment. Ready, willing, capable, committed, sincere people can out negotiate higher priced offers by moving away from standardized forms. Ask me how.

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