Real Estate Law Is Borked.

Didn’t get the house. Someone came in with a cash offer after us, and so the bank went with them.

I have to be very honest: as someone who studied contracts in multiple classes in law school (heck, almost all of my elective classes were contracts-based), I thought I had a reasonable understanding of the way contract law works. I don’t understand real estate contracts even a little.

I mean, let’s take this house buying experience as an example. A bank lists a house for sale for $150K and advertises it on Zillow, RedFin, and other websites. If you did that with a piece of personal property or with services that you would perform, that would very clearly constitute an offer. But in the wild world of real estate it’s not considered an offer. I honestly don’t know what it’s considered.

In real estate contracts, the purchaser makes an offer to the seller to buy a house that’s been advertised. This puts all the power in the seller’s hands and allows them to pit bidders against one another so they can come out with the best offer for them. Oftentimes, because purchasers are expecting that haggling is a necessary part of the process, they low-ball their first offer.

Can you imagine if this was the way commerce worked for regular goods?


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