“Ripeness”: Legalese for “First Things First”
Even though it’s been decades since I practiced corporate law, I use the training practically daily.
To pick just one example, I consciously apply the legal doctrine of “ripeness” to prioritize decision-making ” both mine and my client’s.
In the legal world, “ripeness” means that courts will not consider an issue until it’s “ripe” to be decided: that is, it’s a here-and-now problem (vs. hypothetical), and has been distilled into a clearly focused, legal question.
In real estate, it means tackling things in order, and not speculating about multiple, possible scenarios.
“What If There Were No Hypothetical Questions?”
So, when a new property comes on the market, it’s natural for prospective Buyers to want to know why the Seller is selling**; whether the home is likely to attract multiple offers ” and if so, what it might fetch; the age of the roof, etc.
But, none of those things matter if the client doesn’t like the home.
Which is why step #1 is invariably to get my client in to look as soon as possible.
Plan B: for me to preview and report back.
If my client likes the home (or I think they will), there’s plenty of time to answer their other questions.
If they don’t ” which is more often the case ” none of those questions matter.
Or, to invoke another legal term, “they’re moot.” 🙂
**While I understand why Buyers (always, always) want to know the Seller’s motivation, they should understand that good listing agents are never going to divulge that ” or at least, anything that will harm the Seller’s interests.
So, the most I’ll offer as a listing agent (representing the Seller) is some variation of, “the Seller needed a bigger/smaller/different home in another location,” or an even more innocuous, “it just was time for the Owner to sell.”