Fine Print: You “May or May Not” Get an Offer
[Note to Readers: The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway (“Berkshire”), or any other entity referenced. Edina Realty is a subsidiary of Berkshire.]
It turns out there are three main catches (at least) with Twin Cities real estate agent Kris Lindahl’s pitch to would-be home Sellers to receive a “guaranteed offer” for their home — with “no showings and no open houses,” to boot! — in 48 hours or less.
One. Price range.
According to Lindahl’s “terms and conditions,” the program only applies to homes with a market value of $100,00 – $500,000.
Two. The offer excludes homes in cities that require municipal inspections, except for St. Paul, West St. Paul, Maplewood, and Golden Valley.
That leaves out homeowners in such cities as Minneapolis, Bloomington, St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Richfield, and Robbinsdale.
Three. The “Guaranteed Offer” . . . really isn’t.
Note this caveat, buried in the fine print:
“You understand and agree that third-party investors may or may not decide to provide you with an offer, and KLRE has no control over whether you receive an offer.”
Of course, that’s in addition to this rather sweeping loophole: “Decisions regarding your qualifications for the Offer Program are made at Kris Lindahl Real Estate’s and its third-party investors’ sole discretion and will be considered final and binding.”
“Terms and Conditions May Apply”
So, with all those caveats and disclaimers, exactly what IS Lindahl guaranteeing??
As best I can tell, once homeowners satisfy all the “If’s” (right cities, price range, home features, etc.), and IF they receive an offer they decide to accept . . . the Buyer is guaranteed to financially perform.
Umm . . . OK.
Veteran Realtors know that — short of a rare legal action called “specific performance” — there’s really no such thing in residential real estate.
Instead, savvy listing agents (representing Sellers) have several ways to protect their clients from the risk that the Buyer can’t — or won’t — close.
That includes negotiating for sufficient earnest money (what lawyers refer to as “liquidated damages”); verifying the Buyer’s financial bona fides with their lender; and establishing a contractual deadline for underwriting the Buyer’s mortgage (evidenced by what’s called a “Written Statement” in Minnesota).
I’m sure that that’s what Lindahl meant . . . 😉
P.S.: If you think you see Lindahl’s ads (for him, not his listings) everywhere in the Twin Cities . . . you’re not imagining.
On his online questionnaire, he asks visitors to indicate how they heard about him.
The list of media options is reproduced above.