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Seller Trying To Edge Me Out...potentially...


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#1 JerseyJeff

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 06:13 PM

I showed the home today that I have under contract (referenced in this thread). The buyer wasn't interested and after she left I spoke with the realtor mom of the owner at the house. I told her I had a few more people who may be interested. She said, "yeah, I showed the house yesterday to a family. They're very interested, but only as a rental. So, if you have anyone else who is interested in rent to own, you better show them soon because although David (her son) would prefer to do the rent to own, he wants to have the place rented before winter hits." :D :lol: :o :o Huh???
I was caught so off guard by this statement, I was like, um, okay? I left shortly thereafter.

Now, David and I discussed when he signed the agreements that he might rent the home for a weekend before the Jan. 1st lease start date, but I don't know what realtor mom and son are up to here.

I didn't hear this from him so maybe realtor mom is wrong (probably not) so I think I need to send him an email to straighten things out before they get even more out of hand (he's already gone back to Europe so email is all I have, besides dealing with realtor mom).

I'm asking your help in what to say in the email, and basically advice on what my options are here. I mean I know I have a contract signed, but...Ah jeez...I knew I would have a tough time selling the $750K home but now this too???

Any ideas on what I should say in the email? I don't want to come off as negative, or harsh because that could set things spiraling in a direction I don't want it to, but I also want to remind him he signed an agreement and what the agreement states.

Your thoughts?

Thanks all,
Jeff

#2 Gordon Holtner

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 06:50 PM

Hi Jeff

It does sound like the mom is controlling the deal. I would suggest sending something like this
"Hi David
I just finished talking with your Mother and she said that she has been showing the property herself as a rental. She also said that you wanted the house rented before winter. This caught me off guard because the agreement that you signed with me stated that the lease and option date would start the weekend before Jan 1. Are you still interested in dealing with me? Please let me know soon because I have more houses to find Tenant/Buyers for and need to know if you still want me to market your house.

This is fairly simple and to the point without being angry. The last sentence
lets them know that they are not your only deal so that they can't jerk you around (even if this is your only deal right now) Try the bluff and see if they call it. If they don't they are not interested in dealing with you and you've just saved time. This is my opinion What do the rest of you think?

Gordon Holtner

#3 JerseyJeff

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 06:58 PM

I like the opening but on the whole it makes it seem like I'm okay if he just decides not to honor the agreement he signed. I have the contract. The ball is legally in my court and I want to keep it there.

I don't want to give him an option to walk away. I just want to politely remind him that he signed the agreement and if he rents it out there is going to be an issue. If he's looking to rent it before Jan 1st, that's fine. If he is setting up potential renters for after Jan. 1st should I not be able to find a TB, that's fine too, as long as the renter understands that I have an option on the home. (but I know this isn't how they're doing things; he's just trying to fill the home).

I don't want to give options to the seller like I would if we didn't already have a deal in place. I'm just unsure as to the wording I should use.

Thanks,
Jeff

#4 Gordon Holtner

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 07:35 PM

Hi Jeff

The reason that I wrote it like this is that they are already disregarding your agreement and your posture in this deal they think you'll take it and plead for more just to keep their business. By calling them out a bit and letting them
know you your time is important politely they have 1 choice your way or the highway, It sounds like you want to threaten a bit to let them know who's in charge of that deal. I would rewrite the line Do you want to deal with me? With David we have a signed agreement and understand that I still hold the option and a signed lease agreement that gives me the right to assign it to whomever I choose, if your Mother would like to help me fill the property I am fine with that, however if you are trying to work around me it and rent it out by yourself
it will be impossible for you to rent it out until our contract expires since you can't lease out the same house twice to different people. Please let me know
as soon as possible what is going on since I have other houses that I am working to find Tenant/Buyers for.
What do you think Jeff?

#5 MichaelC

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 05:01 AM

Jeff, I wouldn't jump to conclusions just yet. Mom may be forgetting that although she is a Realtor, she isn't the Realtor for this property. I would email the son, and politely get to the point:

Joe, I had a scheduled showing at your house yesterday with a prospective tenant/buyer. While there, much to my surprise your mother informed me that she showed the house the day before to some folks who might be interested in renting for a while.
I was not aware that you had made arrangements with your mother to have her showing the house, also. I'm confused as we have a signed Agreement that is in effect. I have already begun marketing your house, have had one showing, and a few more potential interested parties in line.
At your earliest convenience would you please advise me as to what arrangements you have made with your mother regarding your house? Thank you.


Then I'd wait a day or two, at most. If you hear back from him, let's hear his reply and we'll go from there. If not, I would then immediately contact dear ol' mom and tell her that you emailed sonny but you haven't heard back from him. "In the meantime, Mrs. Jones, I'll ask you the same question...", and then I would confront her about her involvement and your Agreement with her son. It could very well just be a misunderstanding, as opposed to them intentionally trying to go around you. Again, Jeff, if you get attitude we can figure out your next move, which is usually going to be they pay you to break the Agreement.

#6 JerseyJeff

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 06:55 AM

Thanks for the replies.

I used the suggestions made here and sent the email off to Mr. Seller. We'll see...

The best way to resolve this issue is to place a T/B in there asap. Now if only dem T/B's would cooperate. :D

Jeff

#7 MichaelC

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 09:14 AM

The best way to resolve this issue is to place a T/B in there asap. Now if only dem T/B's would cooperate. :D

Jeff

That would quiet mommy dearest, wouldn't it? :o

#8 JerseyJeff

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 09:19 AM

That would quiet mommy dearest, wouldn't it?

And to think, she reviewed the agreements and gave her son her approval before he signed them. I shouldda known something was up when she commented "no wire hangers..." :D

Jeff

#9 Gordon Holtner

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 09:28 AM

MC

You're the man you wrote that so much better!! :D

#10 JerseyJeff

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 01:11 PM

Either the seller is busy working in Italy, or he wants to do things the hard way. As of this post, he hasn't replied to my email. I sent it Sunday morning, and Italy is about 6 hours ahead, I believe, so he's had some time to respond.

I guess I need to call realtor mom at this point. I'm curious how I should respond to questions/comments such as,
- If I find a renter, I'm going to rent it...
- So, you have a contract; what are you going to sue us?
- Can't we cancel the contract?
- How much $$ do you want to let us out of the contract?

Any other ideas on responses I should be ready for?

Thanks,
Jeff

#11 MichaelC

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 01:36 PM

Jeff, yes, it is time to call the mother.

So, you have a contract; what are you going to sue us?

"My preference is not to have to go down that road. But, yes, we have a signed contract and if necessary I will turn matters over to my attorney."

Can't we cancel the contract?
- How much $$ do you want to let us out of the contract?

"Yes, you can cancel if you prefer. The cancellation fee is __________ ." Fill in the blank, Jeff. I'd shoot for an amount equal to one month's rent.

#12 JerseyJeff

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 01:58 PM

Spoke to Realtor Mom today and she confirmed that she, and her son, are still actively trying to rent the home in addition to what I am doing; they're advertising in local papers and everything. She said her son is covering all his bases. I reminded her about the agreement her son signed and she thought that it wasn't exclusive. I told her I have a lease agreement for Jan. 1st, and she couldn't grasp the subject, and kept saying, my son wants to rent this now, not wait until Jan. 1. I told her that her son and I talked all of this over, and he was okay with Jan. 1 and he even said he may rent it out for a weekend before Jan. 1 to someone who rented it over the summer. So either she's playing dumb or she isn't aware to what he knew. I have a feeling when I speak to him he'll be doing some back-tracking as well.

I got her son's cell # in Europe and she said she'd tell him to call me when she talked to him tomorrow. She also said he's staying at a friends right now and his PC is at his place, so he probably hasn't been able to get to it yet.

Now that I know what they're up to, I'm thinking maybe I should stop reaching out to him (the wait and see approach). If/when he wants to discuss this, he'll call, and we'll talk about it then. If they find a renter, they'll call me at that point, and I'll remind them about the signed contract, and ask for a cancellation fee. In the meantime, I'll keep trying to move the house and proceed, for right now anyway, full steam ahead.

As always, your thoughts?

Jeff

PS. How should I broach the subject of the cancellation fee if/when the seller calls? I thought I would just tell him I am actively marketing the house and still plan on fulfilling my part of the agreement on finding a TB and am getting calls everyday about the home. If he is fine with that, we hang up. More likely, he'll bring up what if they find a renter, at which point I can tell him the cancellation fee is X dollars.

Again, thoughts?

#13 MichaelC

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 07:15 PM

Jeff, no surprises to read how your conversation with mom turned out. They want the best of both worlds. Don't we all?

I reminded her about the agreement her son signed and she thought that it wasn't exclusive.

As a Realtor, she knows otherwise. She is well versed in contracts and agreements.

Now that I know what they're up to, I'm thinking maybe I should stop reaching out to him (the wait and see approach). If/when he wants to discuss this, he'll call, and we'll talk about it then. If they find a renter, they'll call me at that point, and I'll remind them about the signed contract, and ask for a cancellation fee. In the meantime, I'll keep trying to move the house and proceed, for right now anyway, full steam ahead.

First, I would definitely continue strong, hard efforts to move the property. That's your payday, Jeff, and there's no reason at this time to stop working towards that goal.
In the meantime, I would wait a few more days. If I didn't hear back from the son, I would contact the mother again and let her know you haven't, and that you need to be on the same page regarding your Agreement. They either understand and accept it is exclusive, or they can cancel and pay you your "standard cancellation fee" of _______. Get that out in the open sooner, rather than later. No one works for free, and marketing costs money, too. They shouldn't be allowed to think otherwise. You are a professional and your time and costs will be compensated. Don't blink, Jeff, because you are in the right here. You have a signed agreement that is clear and concise. Let them know, if it comes to this, that you'll get your attorney involved if they don't honor the Agreement.

#14 JerseyJeff

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 07:25 PM

Well, the inevitable occurred today. I called Realtor mom to schedule a showing to a potential TB and she let me know that her son is going to rent the home to someone who's interested starting Nov. 1st. I reminded her of the contract her son had signed and she said that the person who is renting was shown the home a few months ago so that precludes the contract her son signed with me. I informed her she was nuts, in a more professional way, and she told me that she was a broker and I'm not. I told her I was sorry to hear that and that it doesn't change anything. I asked her if this renter signed a contract two months ago; she said no; I said well then my contract is still valid. We kept going back and forth and she basically said, tough sh!t, so I told her my attorney and I will review the paperwork and will be in touch. (She was being a real b!tch at this point, condescending, etc.) She replied, donít you threaten me!!! I said I'm not threatening you; I have a contract here that you are reneging on. She said she doesn't have to justify her actions to me and said goodbye and that was that.

Now Iím debating if I want to put even more time (and money) into this deal and go speak with an attorney, or just walk away.

So much for my first deal...

Jeff

#15 Gordon Holtner

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 09:49 PM

Hi Jeff

Wouldn't it be great if we could all sign the papers in our lawyers office?
I know it wouldn't be convient but it would give us the proper posture of power
to put unruly sellers or landlords in their place. Anyways Jeff maybe you can get your lawyer to write them a letter? or phone them?


Gordon Holtner




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