Saturday, February 6, 2016

What To Do With A Low Appraisal

I have successfully used the third option and would consider the fourth option.  I don't think that the first and second options are realistic under most circumstances.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Earnest Money Deposit: What You Should Know

This article contains good general information and advice on earnest money deposits.

However, Wisconsin buyers should not rely upon the last section of this article.  What happens to your earnest money deposit "if the deal falls through" is governed by lines 376-94 of the WB-11 Residential Offer To Purchase and Wis. Admin. Code s. REEB 18.09.  In general, you should get your earnest money deposit back if the sellers breach the contract, but the sellers should keep the earnest money deposit if you breach the contract.

For more information, please see my blawg post on this subject.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Don't Go To An Open House Without A Buyers' Agent

Real estate brokers often hold open houses for their listings over the weekend. Why do they do that? Many of you might think that real estate brokers hold open houses to sell properties, but open houses are just as likely to attract mere gawkers, buyers who cannot qualify for a mortgage loan, nosy neighbors, or even burglars looking to case the joint.    

The real reason why real estate brokers hold open houses is to recruit new customers and clients for their brokerage.  Let's say that Teddy from Viking Realty has just listed a colonial for sale in Wauwatosa.  By scheduling an open house, Viking Realty can ensure that two of its agents get paid from the sale.  Buyers who show up at the open house will get cornered by Adrian, who happens to be another Viking Realty agent.  Adrian cannot negotiate or advocate on behalf of these buyers, but they will believe that he is "their" agent because he isn't Teddy.

As I've explained before, hiring a buyers' agent is a no-brainer.  A buyers' agent will negotiate and advocate on your behalf without costing you anything.  Trouble is, you lose your right to buyers' agent representation when you enter an open house alone and allow yourself to get cornered by the sellers' agent.  You need an agent who is on YOUR team before you go to an open house.

You can reach me at if you want me to accompany you to an open house.  From now on, I will alert you to open houses for properties featured on this blog.