June 14, 2024

What No Contingencies Mean To A Buyer, Seller, Agent, & Real Estate Attorney in Orange County 

In the game of real estate, some say that the key to your dream home is in tugging at the seller’s heartstrings, waxing poetically about how much you adore their special place, and how no one better than you and your folks will appreciate their special place with the love and care it deserves.

Others say that if you swoon and flatter too much, sellers might get cold feet, not budging on price, unwilling to let go of their special place without a big enough financial justification. 

In the California real estate market, where competition is as hot as summer days, bidding wars have zapped the romance out of the long-lost fantasy of discovering your dream home, followed by offer and acceptance. The peaceful back-and-forth tugs have become a tug of war, with buyers surrendering to the supply shortage which favors sellers. The highest bid alone is not always enough to win, with many bidders waiving all contingencies, offering a high price for the property “as is”.

Offers without contingencies should be as straightforward as they come. Yet still, unexpected twists may arise. Picture an “as is” offer that has been accepted. However, right before the deal is closed, the buyers insist on an informal inspection, to which the sellers relent. After all, the sellers have nothing to fear if the offer was accepted for the property “as is”, right? However, the pre-close inspection reveals the presence of asbestos, requiring further testing to determine whether or not the levels are hazardous to life.

There are varying interests among the three separate parties. Firstly, it is in the interests of the seller to close the sale in an uncomplicated transaction. However, the discovery of an unknown amount of asbestos during an informal inspection has muddied the waters. Secondly, it is in the interests of the buyer to protect their health and mitigate any safety risks that the asbestos may pose. If asbestos levels are hazardous, it is in the interests of the buyer to be compensated for the removal, either directly or by a price concession. Thirdly, it is in the interests of the real estate agent to expedite the closing of the sale in order to receive their commission earnings. 

While the buyer, seller, and agent will each act in their own best interests, there is a fourth party, whose job is to act in the best interest of their client: the real estate attorney. Legal counsel with the expertise of a firm like Burris Law will strive to negotiate a resolution before escalating to litigation.

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The situation presents several questions. Should the buyers receive compensation or a price concession for the asbestos, despite submitting their offer waiving all contingencies? Did the seller act in non-disclosure or in a way that breached the agreement? Perhaps the only way the truth may settle before the asbestos particles is through the help of a real estate law firm. As the real estate market continues to boom, it is expected that swift, non-traditional offers will not only become common but all the more necessary to secure keys to castles. As real estate evolves, so too will real estate law to encourage good faith and mutual responsibility.

If you are seeking a real estate attorney in Orange County, give Burris Law a call today.

Burris Law
488 S Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866