We need a short form WB-11 Offer to help WI Homebuyers

Twenty people in Madison, WI submitted WB-11 Residential Offers To Purchase on the same home. The homeowner recognizes one of these Offers is not like the rest. The first noticeable difference is physical; it’s much thinner. People committed to keeping a promise require far fewer exit doors and opportunities to change terms later. In competition, less is more. 

Common and Counter-Productive

Nine out of ten agents load their client’s Offer with their company’s Addenda of good ideas and extra-safe precaution contingencies. Addenda can swell the simple ten-page Offer to double or triple the size. The favorable elements of a person’s intentions get hidden in the jungle of contingencies. With more emphasis on learning the content of the WB-11 and company addenda, the licensee could help their buyer clients improve the appeal of their Offer without depending on merely paying more money. Until brokerage firms demand and expect greater comprehension of contracts and far better dialogue of options with the client, Wisconsin home buyers will acquire homes by overpaying and lose homes in a competition by diluting their Offers with unnecessary junk contingencies. We know agents can do much better. First, they have to want to.

Wisconsin Home Buyers and Sellers Need an Alternative Offer

The Wisconsin real estate documents are products of years of evolution of fears. Stick around any industry long enough to see unusual, unexpected, unlikely events occur. When those events happen enough times (like once), someone will suggest a precautionary fix be inserted into the contract to protect 100% of the transactions. It doesn’t matter if the incident is highly unlikely and improbable unless conditions a, b, c, and 1, 2, 3 occur. If the person who offers the solution to the problem that doesn’t exist has the respect of the forms committee leadership, the answer could make its way into the Offer. Enough time and enough ideas allow a one page Offer to Purchase to grow to ten to thirty pages. And when the person filling in blanks and checking boxes only knows which blanks to fill in and which boxes to check, the least risk-sensitive, most qualified, committed person’s Offer will come out looking just as reserved and non-committal as the least capable buyer. For the undereducated licensee’s client, there could be an alternative simplified Offer. 

Remove Optional Contingencies

The Offer most appealing to the home seller looks like this:  I, Tom Meyer, Offer to purchase your real estate at ____________address for $___________this amount of money. I will give you the payment in full on __________this date provided you give me the deed to the property and a clear title. 

Beyond these two sentences, there could be a few paragraphs of understanding as necessary by Wisconsin Disclosure law. By eliminating pre-written contingencies that are intended to be optional but become standard because the contract drafters defer to including every condition without learning the consequences and explaining those consequences to the consumer, some home buyers will benefit. A clean and simple Offer doesn’t include extra safety conditions for the buyer client. That’s not a problem if the safety the condition provides is inconsequential to that buyer. In these scenarios, safety becomes a detriment.  

Give the Buyer an Optional WB-11

One advantage of having an Offer prepared by an attorney is the attorney is not obligated to use the WB-11 form. A lawyer could craft a simple Offer that gives the buyer only the protection they need and appeals to the owner’s interest in simplicity. Real Estate Licensees are not permitted to create their Offers, and the extent to which we can modify prewritten documents is limited. The WRA and the State could collaborate on a simple Offer document. Eliminating optional contingencies and striking redundant sentences will allow home buyers to make their Offer stand out without relying on overpaying. Home sellers will benefit by being free of problematic junk contingencies. We can’t protect everyone from everything, but we can give people a choice to represent themselves as the ready, willing and committed person they are. 

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