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My Realtor Is Too Negative

Dear Phyllis,
I am going to help my son buy a house.  He has a Glendale condominium which will sell quickly.  When we find a Pasadena house that will suit him, my plan is to write a high offer with a long escrow, maybe 60-75 days. We can then sell his condominium and close on the home. Our family Realtor doesn’t really agree with my plan and thinks we need to sell the condo contingent upon him finding a house of his choosing. My Realtor is too negative about the market, and I am getting a bit tired of it. As a regular reader of your column, I would love to get your input.


Dear Ron,
As a Glendale home seller in this current real estate environment, you will likely receive offers and sell quickly, if your home is properly priced. You should be able to negotiate with buyers that your son’s sale is contingent upon him finding a home. Or you could ask for a 60-day escrow with a 60-day rent back. On this sale, you will be in the driver’s seat and can pretty much name your terms.

However, on your son’s purchase, that Pasadena home seller may have the opportunity to dictate terms. And one of those terms will be the duration of escrow. You may find a seller who wishes a long escrow, but you can’t count on it. When this seller is fielding multiple offers, they may receive several cash offers with quick closing times. A faster closing may be attractive to the seller.  You will be competing with other bidders many of those with better terms.

You don’t mention if your offer on the Pasadena home will be contingent on the sale of your son’s condo. In this event, the only way to compete is if your offer is substantially higher than all the others.

I don’t find your Realtor to be negative, but simply honest about the realities of our current market. Your Realtor is providing you with the facts about this market. They likely don’t want to mislead you about the process and set you up for bigger disappointment. It can be very difficult to help home buyers to keep their expectations in line with the current market.  Thank you for being a dedicated reader and good luck!