Real Estate 101–Make Sure Your Agent Understands the Contract (duh!)

As my broker, esteemed Utah Real Estate attorney David Johnson, says “What’s written into the contract does not become important until there is a problem.” At that point, whatever is in writing prevails and the party represented by the less competent agent loses. Two examples that happened to me this week–
1. My buyers were made aware the seller of the home they are purchasing was planning on “switching out” the hot tub. I turned to the contract where we had written plain as day that the hot tub was part of the purchase contract. Seller quickly realized her error and there was no issue. But what if I had written a contract that was ambiguous? I might be in the position of buying a hot tub for my buyers.
2. My sellers and I were anxiously waiting for the clock to tick to 5pm, the time the inspection contingency ran out. Yeah! We were home free as I had not heard from the buyer’s agent. At 6:00 she sends me a list of items the buyer wants repaired. Oops, I tell her. You are too late. Your clients have no leverage now because you got this to me after the deadline. I pointed to the section in the contract that she was obviously unaware of where it stated any inspection issues had to be resolved by the deadline. I am not sure what she told her clients, but my clients were pretty happy that they were represented by someone who was clearly protecting their interests.

So there you have it. One of the major purposes of hiring a real estate agent is to have your interests protected. Make sure you hire someone who has the knowledge and skills to provide you the best representation possible. Those who are good at their jobs make it look easy.

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