Ask Kathy: Where Common Courtesy and Contract Collide

What the CA Residential Purchase Agreement has to say about Seller’s Reply to Buyer’s Request for Repairs (Credits or Concessions)

Q. Kathy, I am just so darn frustrated! As a REALTOR® specializing in Buyer Representation it is so annoying when Sellers do not respond to a Buyer Request for Repair! It really makes my clients angry too. Isn’t there something in the contract that requires a response from the Seller?

A. While I understand your frustration the truth is the contract is very clear in this regard; paragraph 14 B. (2) clearly states: “Seller has no obligation to agree to or respond to Buyer’s requests.” Sadly, there is no contractual obligation when it comes to courtesy!

It isn’t too difficult to understand why Buyers and their Agents would become both frustrated and annoyed when requests are ignored but consider this: if Buyers understand the Residential Purchase Agreement (“RPA”) and other transaction documents, it is far less likely that those feelings will surface.

This subject always seems to lead me to a discussion on the importance of an initial Buyer Consultation! Taking the time to explain exactly how a real estate transaction unfolds is an integral component of building a client relationship founded on trust and respect. It is important to remember that a client’s trust is not an entitlement — it is earned. Personal relationships mean everything regardless of the advancement of technology and mobile devices!

Setting and managing Buyer’s expectations is one of the best ways to avoid conflicts! Knowing what to expect in terms of the process, combined with a solid understanding of the transaction documents goes a long way toward reducing the stress all the way around.

My simple solution; make communication between yourselves and your clients a priority, use technology to support your business but don’t hide behind it.

As always, if you have specific questions you know where find me!

Questions? Email them to:

The foregoing is not to be construed as legal advice. It is for the purposes of real estate brokerage education only.

Kathy Mehringer
Regional Director of Risk Management & Education
Broker Associate
CalBRE # 00625769
9560 Wilshire Blvd, Ste 200
Beverly Hills, CA 90212