A family I know want to move. They called a Realtor to help them purchase a new house. Realtor finds out that they currently own their own home and sees an opportunity to get two commissions. So Realtor comes round to discuss their options.
This family is looking for a pretty specific scenario. They want to downsize but stay in a SFH. They have about 85% equity in their current home and when they sell they ideally want to spend no more than 85% of the sales price on their new place thus freeing themselves from a mortgage.
Their plan was to take their time finding a new house that fits their needs and make a conditional offer subject to them selling their own place. Their Realtor's plan is to sell their house first, thus creating a pressure situation that will force them to buy a new place quickly. This family feels like this situation could at best get them into a house they aren't completely satisfied with and at worst get them into a financial situation that has them in worse shape than the current good state of their financials now.
Somehow in the confused state of the arguments for and against the Realtor's advice, this family found a sign on their front lawn and copy of a contract that they don't quite understand why and how they agreed to sign in the first place.
Here's my question to Realtors reading this blog: what happens if a seller decides to break their contract in the immediate week after singing it, prior to the listing going on MLS? Should Realtors be subject to a "grace period" or "cooling off" period where there is a reasonable time limit on buyer's or seller's remorse, say like a week? where the seller can change their mind consequence free?
To me, the whole scenario paints an ugly picture of the industry. These people were told by the Realtor that in this market, conditional offers aren't being accepted. They were told that they should prepare themselves for bidding wars on good properties.
It seems to me that the Realtor could have secured two commissions by giving good service. Instead, hopefully, this Realtor will lose out on two commissions by being a snake. The trust is blown for these people. They have already told the Realtor that they won't be buying through them now.
Let's hear your thoughts and advice...