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Asked by Tom and Heather, District of Columbia Tue Apr 15, 2008

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Pat Mulligan,…, Agent, Chesapeake, VA
Tue Apr 15, 2008
Unfortunately, yes-- as Glenda said, it could be worse. I just received some addendums from a bank/seller that they said we had to sign as part of the sales agreement. After a delay of one month producing them and two weeks before closing, I am horrified. There is a clause in these addedums that says, basically, that the seller has the right to cancel the sale agreement at any time, for any reason -- which, I guess could be the day before closing. They are also reminding the buyers that they are keeping it on the market and instructing the list agent to continue to accept offers.

These banks are unbelievable. While I hope they do not do exercise their rights under these "take it of leave it" addendums, my Buyers are really in a risky situation. I truly hope the government does not get stupid and bale these guys out. To me, this is just unbridled greed-- just like when they made a bad loan in the first place.
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Glenda Cherry, Agent, Herndon, VA
Tue Apr 15, 2008
Unfortunately, it's legit and it could actually have been worse. Many banks are requiring listing agents to continue marketing properties even after ratified contracts are in place. The first buyer lays out cash for inspections, appraisal, etc. Then the bank receives another offer and kicks out the first one. Think it can't happen? Happened to an agent in my office just last week ... three days before the scheduled closing.
Web Reference:
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Jeffrey Halp…, Agent, Hopatcong, NJ
Tue Apr 15, 2008
It is legit - not fair but probably legit. Hopefully the agent did not use your offer to get a better offer on their own. I would request in writing from the owner, that they did receive the offer from you. You also have the right to submit the offer to the owners atty. At least then, you will know that the owner received your offer and may use it as a back-up if the first does not work out.
Good luck!
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Danilo Bogda…, Agent, Reston, VA
Tue Apr 15, 2008
Nothing is set in stone unless it's in writing. In your case, it wasn't. Horrible professionalism, but seems legal. You could try and contact the listing agent to offer more money - it obviously worked for the other buyers who bid more than you.

Sorry to hear this happened to you. As Susan said, REOs and short-sales are not for the faint of heart.
Web Reference:
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Suzanne Walk…, Agent, Oklahoma City, OK
Tue Apr 15, 2008
In my experience this is typical of an REO/shortsale transaction. REO's don't tend to bring out the best side of this business. That is why I always say, 'dealing with distressed properties is not for the weak at heart, but sometimes worth the wait.'

Over half the deals I negotiate with banks and/or listing brokers I walk away wondering why my client lost or how on earth the bank can get away with wripping the carpet out from under thier feet. So I do relate to the feeling of wondering what is up. I don't blame the listing broker, they have to deal with this hourly. It's the bank's rules not theirs.

One of things I hate about bank addendums (rules of the contract) I've seen is that they get to continue to accept offers, regardless if they give a verbal acceptance, until the contract is fully and legally executed by them. And, I've even seen some that go on to say they have 8 days after you sign it to execute it. I decided not to list REO's because it would ruin my reputation. I'll sell them but not list them.

I'm in CO and things might be different in D.C. so you should seek legal counsel to ensure your rights and understand the legal terms of your contract. I just like to share experiences because it is the only way we as consumers can get educated on this process because it is going to be around for a while.

Sorry it happened to you and Good luck,
Susan Walker
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