Can I write an offer for a house while I am in home inspection phase of another?

Asked by Suman, 97232 Sat Aug 15, 2009

We are in our home inspection period of a house. The house needs some work. Meanwhile another bank owned property has come and we want to know if we can write an offer for that whilst we decide on the first house which just had its home inspection.

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Phil Anderson, , Portland, OR
Tue Aug 18, 2009
Hi Suman.

Again, "Am I breaking any law here?" is not something any Realtor can answer, unless they have a license to practice law in Oregon.

I think Jolynn's message says it all. Re-read her suggestions. And speak with your Realtor. And perhaps an attorney.
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Suman, Home Buyer, 97232
Tue Aug 18, 2009
I am the buyer and I wanted to add some details. To answer Major's question, the first house inspection came out not too good. It needed new roof. I am concerned if the sellers will be willing to consider replacing the roof because it is being sold by an estate. If we state to both sellers the situation and make the second sales agreement with a clause that says "Offer is subject to buyer's withdrawal of sales agreement (A-first house). Buyers, within one day of mutual acceptance of this sale (B-second house) are to deliver written notice to both sellers of the withdrawal of offer (A) or this offer (B) is null and void.", then we have disclosed to both the sellers of the current situation. Of course all this is handled by our only realtor.
It is a very big decision and I don't want to loose an opportunity to buy what I want, at the same time I don't want to break any rules. Am I breaking any law here?
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Carla Muss-J…, , Portland, OR
Sat Aug 15, 2009
If you are being represented by your own real estate agent, then you have a fiduciary . . . and I would suggest you talk with them about this question.

If you are NOT being represented and have your own fiduciary . . .are you using the listing agent in a DUAL AGENCY -- "Disclosed Limited Agent" as the State of Oregon defines "dual agency" -- capacity. Hmmmm, yeah . . . good luck with that!

I always wonder what people are they thinking going with the listing agent on their home purchaese. Do they realize the listing agent represents the sellers? And when they are in a "Disclosed Limited Agency" capacity, agents CAN NOT take one side over the other . . . 'cause that would be a conflict of interest. Is this why you're posting to Trulia?? You might not want to talk to the listing / dual agent. You don't want them to know you might be backing out??

Hmmmm . . . I think Mr. Anderson (the first response) has the right idea. We are licensed, and can not tell you or suggest to you, or consult with you on this topic. Sounds to me as if you are in a contract. I wouldn't touch this question with a ten foot pole . . .

I wish people would stop "playing" Realtor(r) and engage the services of their OWN real estate fiduciary, someone that can answer these questions. My suggestion: Have someone represent you WITHOUT conflicts of interests. Engage someone who will be able to negotiate on your behalf . . . a dual agent can not!

Carla Muss-Jacobs, Broker/Owner
EBA Portland, LLC
Exclusive Buyers' Agent
Assisting Buyers in Metro Portland since 1999
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Tom Inglesby, Agent, Portland, OR
Sat Aug 15, 2009
When dealing with a bank owned property if could be weeks for a response so I would never wait for a response in a short period of time and that said there could be many offers on this house and the bank will not let you know that you are the highest or the best offer so you just sit and wait. This is not a great way to buy a house unless you have time and you are not waiting to decide between two homes. Good Luck,

Tom Inglesby, Broker
RE/MAX Equity Group Inc
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, ,
Sat Aug 15, 2009
Yes-No-Maybe You have a legal contract to purchase the home you are currently inspecting. I assume that the offer was contingent upon a satisfactory inspection. If the inspection is unsatisfactory and you notify the Seller within the time allotted in the contract, you can terminate the contract leaving you free to write an offer on another property. If you don't terminate within the allotted time frame you maybe subject to losing your earnest money deposit.

If you want to make an offer on the new bank owned property without letting go of the first property, I would suggest that you write the offer contingent on 'being released' from the first contract. Chances are you will not have an answer back from the bank before your inspection time frame expires. However, you may be able to extend that time frame via an addendum giving you the opportunity to wait until you hear from the bank.

Bottom line is that you can not have two active contracts unless you intend to purchase both properties. There is the matter of 'good faith' when dealing with purchase contracts. The contract does say that the Sellers only recourse against the Buyer is the forfeiture of the earnest money deposit, so keep that in mind as well. It may also be a good idea to consult an attorney.
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Lana Lavenba…, Agent, Grants Pass, OR
Sat Aug 15, 2009
Only if you are ready, willing and able to buy both homes. You need to be very careful with what you are doing. Dont get yourself into "double jeopardy". Nothing says you can not own 2 homes though. So if that is your thought, go for it!
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Phil Anderson, , Portland, OR
Sat Aug 15, 2009
I suggest you speak with an attorney. Realtors should not address this type of question directly.

You certainly run the risk of having to purchase both, or being sued for non-performance under one of the two purchase agreement contracts
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