Never Leave the Ball in Their Court

Never Leave the Ball in Their Court

Never leave the ball in their court. Read that and repeat it. Good, because it’s the absolute truth. It goes for any situation in real estate whether you’re working with the buyer, seller, or the other agent. If you leave the ball in their court they will drop it. It’s Murphy’s Law.

Yesterday we wrote an offer and we were good to go. The Seller was going to sign in the morning, so we’d be under contract and moving forward with no problems. Come morning the seller wants us to extend closing by 15 days so they can find a new home. No problem, send me over the counter to the offer with the date change. Murphy’s Law, another offer comes in after they send us the counter and before my buyer is able to sign it.

I left the ball in the listing agent’s court and of course what can happen, will happen. Another offer comes in, the sellers are not obligated to work strictly with us, and they withdrew their counter since my buyer didn’t have time to sign it. What do you do? I set up inspection, sewer scope and early radon testing. I had my buyer sign the counter anyways. I was proactive as a sign of good faith and wasn’t going to let this deal fall because action wasn’t taken. I wasn’t going to leave the ball in their court.

As it turns out we did go under contract later that evening but I’d like to think that the actions we took while we didn’t know what was going to happen worked in our favor to get the deal done. In the future, I would rather go under contract first and then amend/extend any dates and deadlines because I don’t want the worst to happen. I can’t leave the ball in someone else’s court.

The same goes for with buyers. Don’t wait for them to tell you what homes they are interested in. Send them 5 homes and set a day and time and go show them. If you wait for your buyers you’ll always be waiting. The same goes for sellers. If you wait for them to sign the listing agreement or disclosures you’ll never get it signed. You must be proactive and you can’t leave the ball in their court. That’s not good real estate.

Marc Bayes is a Broker Associate with the Colorado Dream House Team, Keller Williams Realty DTC. Contact Marc at, or

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