paceline don't stop peddlingExperienced cyclists know the way to crest a summit is to push hard.  In fact the most efficient use of cycling power when approaching a hill is to peddle harder and pick up speed before you reach the uphill.

Finalizing the negotiation of a contract is much the same way.

Once again this week an associate was working with buyers purchasing a home. They were nearly finished with negotiations, the buyer needed to sign the counter-proposal to finalize the deal but they were taking their time, letting life's other business get in the way.

Many home buyers don't realize how important it is not to stop or drag one's heels at this point.

My associate and her clients lost their house this week.  While they were "getting around to signing the counter" another buyer snuck past them and gave the seller a better offer.

It's a hard lesson to learn, but Colorado real estate contracts are only valid when they are in writing.  Verbal agreements don't count.  Buyer's have no "first dibs on a house" when they are in the middle of a counter-proposal.

Buyers have no "rights" in a negotiation until both sides agree in writing.  Until then the house is up for grabs.

Yes, someone else can grab it.

If you find your house, don't stop to look at the scenery until all parties have signed the contract.