Writing a Purchase Offer in Washington. Got it.
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Do buyers today really listen and read.
I recently had the good fortune to write an offer for some young clients. The standard offer form we use in our MLS is five pages long with the front page being mostly blanks to fill in terms and then 4 pages of boilerplate. In addition to that there are various addenda which usually bring the offer to 15 pages or so.
The first time I write an offer with any client I like to go through the offer pretty slowly. The way the laws read here, and in most states, I think, are that I can tell the client what each clause says, but I should not interpret how it effects them and their rights in the contract. If they have any questions about that, they should see an attorney. I'm pretty careful about the process and do like to go over every clause on each of the 15 pages.
The couple I was working with are smart people with good jobs and one would think they would have an interest in knowing what they are signing, but more an more I am seeing changes. And I think the cause of this new attitude is the Internet. That's right. The Internet.
So, as I was reading the boilerplate items to these clients they would often interrupt me toward the end of the first sentence of the paragraph and say "Got it." And I had to wonder if they were speed reading the clause and already knew what it meant to them or did they just not care? It is boring, but important stuff. Things like how we count days, and what delivery of a notice means. These things don't make and difference to us right now. Right now we want this house.
I suspect that there are agents out there who don't takle the time to go through the details. It would be easy just to tell the buyers to sign here and initial there and that is how you get this house. There are terms the buyers could actually change in the boilerplate and if the seller goes along with it, it's quite alright.
It seems to be a case for the buyers of: they dont know what they don't know. Is it up to the agent to make them know these details or to let them sign and then later, when there are questions, just say, "Well, you signed it."
I'm happy to take as much time as you would like when writing an offer. It is important to know the details of the documents that you are signing.