Home Buying in Toledo>Question Details

R Whitman, Home Buyer in Toledo, OH

Made an offer then Bank Owned Seller made a verbal counter offer which we accepted. Submitted written

Asked by R Whitman, Toledo, OH Thu May 15, 2008

acceptance to counter with $500.00 a week ago still no word. Is there a time limit a seller has to ratify verbal agreement in writing?

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As long as you had it in writing that there was a time limit. Verbal agreements are binding in Ohio, but difficult to prove. I usually explain to the other party if they make a verbal offer that the clients I am representing only consider written offers. Please let me know if you have anymore questions.

Christina Asad Edwards, REALTOR
2006 & 2007 Sales Masters Top Agent
Christina.AsadEdwards@RealLiving.com
http://www.teamedwards.info
mobile or text 937-205-4741
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Real Living Realty - #1 in OHIO!
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Web Reference: http://www.teamedwards.info
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 15, 2008
it is not unusual to have to wait a week or more to sign the bank addendum forms. When buying a bank owned property, you have to play by their rules and timing and the first contract submitted is supplemented by an addendum from the bank. Patience is the name of the game here and the bank will most likely honor their verbal agreement. Our company processes hundreds of bank owned properties every year.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 15, 2008
Mr. Whitman - Patience is the operative word here with REO properties. There is actually a time limit on the offer, but what we find is that it's really up to the Buyer if they want to wait for the lender to reply. Sometimes this takes an agonizingly long period of time. This is because the lenders are overwhelmed with foreclosures.
Web Reference: http://www.jolyman.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 15, 2008
Good Point. You made another offer. The verbal counter means nothing! You accepted nothing, just made another offer. Banks will collect offers until they are satisfied.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 15, 2008
Verbal agreements are NOT binding in a real estate transaction - period. See the statute of frauds -- all real estate transactions and agreements must be in writing and signed or initialed by all parties involved in the transaction - regardless of ANY verbal agreements.

If the bank has not signed the agreement, then there is NO agreement until it is signed. My experience in representing both banks and investors purchasing bank owned properties has been that all banks are different and many take a long time to get anything back. The one I am in the middle of now, took 3 weeks to get the contract back in writing. I am representing another bank right now and it has only taken 3 days to get turn around from them on anything - so they are all different.

Also, you may want to consider the agent who has it listed. Some of them are very quick to resspond and some of them are not very fast. As you can imagine, all agents who list bank REO homes are a bit busy at the current time, so the best advice I can give is to wait it out and be patient - they usually do what they say they are going to do, but it may take some time.
Web Reference: http://www.SWOhioRealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 15, 2008
There are statute limits on a private seller about returning a timely response. I don't think banks care about that. They can wait and hope a better offer is submitted.

Is your REALTOR on top of the situation? He/She might not be able to break through the bureaucracy. It takes an experienced agent to establish a report with a bank.

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 15, 2008
Mr. Whitman,

First, did they cash your check? This could be an implied acceptance of contract, and surely, if they didn't accept it, you should have some recourse for why they cashed your check.

Second, presuming they didn't cash your check, then no, there is no defined timing on your offer, unless you put one on it. Interestingly, some past situations have been decided in favor of the party that submitted an offer and waited a "reasonable" amount of time for a response, having none, they presumed their offer was declined. But there are cases where the definition of "reasonable" is undefined and the seller accepted an offer after a "long" period of time and the buyer was held liable for the offer.

Your best course is as earlier answered, some patience. REO property sales can be done in a week, or sometimes as long as 6 months in the worst cases. I find the best alternative is to call the bank every single day until you get an answer, and don't put up with getting passed on to differently people. Find the decision maker, figure out how best to communicate with them, and bird dog them until you get an answer.

In the end, some would say that until you retract your offer, it's still valid and could be accepted by the seller. If you don't want to be on the hook, send a notice to void the offer, but again, try working with the bank to get the communication process working.

Best regards,

Jeffrey
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 15, 2008
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