Gather round y’all, have we got a story for you! Tiny and Tammy Johnson chose JJ to represent them in the sale of their lovely split level home in central Nevada. They wanted a single level a little ways outside of town a nice piece of land (that JJ found for them and also represented them on, as the buyers!), and figured it was time to move on. So, we worked our marketing magic, got their home listed, video toured, and got lots of interest. Shortly thereafter, a buyer moving in from out of town liked it a lot, made an offer through another agent, and we got them into escrow. So far so good…..
Then, weeks went by, and we heard not a peep from the buyer. This was a bit concerning, you see in a real estate transaction there are several milestones that take place throughout that both buyer and seller have to sign off on. The other agent was attempting to contact their buyer to get them to do these and not having any luck, which was very worrying. More time went by, and we were stuck in a holding pattern, still in escrow, but unable to move forward without the buyer’s approval. This was really quite the mystery-we tried looking up relatives and contacting them, searching online databases, and more. Finally, after playing Sherlock Holmes for some time, we found our man! Unfortunately, he was in an accident and was in a hospital out west in Wyoming. Turns out he had decided to take a big road trip on his motorcycle to celebrate his new home, and gotten into a real bad accident…..
A flurry of calls between JJ, the buyer’s agent, family members of the buyer, social workers at the hospital, etc ensued. It soon became apparent that he would be unable to complete the purchase of the property. Now we certainly felt very bad for this gentleman in the hospital, but our first duty, legally, morally, and ethically, is to our client. The Johnson’s had their house off the market for several weeks while all this was going on, and missed out on who knows how many other offers during this time. Because of that, legally, and ethically, they were entitled to the earnest money deposit from the buyer, since he did not complete the transaction.
However, this brought up another issue… generally speaking, in order to cancel a contract and disburse earnest money, generally both parties (buyer and seller) have to sign off on it. Since the buyer was unable to sign anything we were kind of stuck. However, since we always want to do right by our clients, we figured there had to be some sort of solution. We spent a great deal of time talking with attorneys, researching the relevant laws and regulations in this area, and finally hit on a solution! With the approval of the title company, in the event of a buyer failing to perform, the broker was able to make a good faith decision awarding funds, after properly notifying the other party and giving them time to respond.
We did this, and after the waiting period elapsed, Tiny and Tammy were able to get their check, which helped them out while we put the house back on the market. And after a little while we got another buyer and were able to get an offer accepted, and another backup offer in line, just in case! Thankfully, this transaction went smoothly, and the Johnson’s are finally able to build their dream home and couldn’t be happier. Tiny and Tammy, thank you for your patience and faith in us, and know that we’ll always be by your side!