Home & Leisure



How to Draft a Real Estate Contingency

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: We are selling our home to a neighbor down the street. We didn't know them, but they knocked on our door a month ago and asked if we would be interested in selling. We got several opinions from agents and decided we could do this on our own. We have now agreed on a price, and I agreed to write up our agreement. They want a home ...Read more

The Pros and Cons of a Home Sale Contingency

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: Our home just went up for sale 10 days ago. We have had two showings. We just received an offer for our asking price, which is acceptable. We are hesitating because the buyer has a home to sell. We asked our agent about the buyer's home, but the offer came from another company. Our agent had no information about the house. What is ...Read more

Home Sellers and Buyers Beware!

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: We will be selling our home in the spring. Our house was built in the early 1940s. It is a large three-story stone home in a historic district. The inspector did not mention two environmental-type items, asbestos and lead paint, which surprised me, as I suspect we have both. Do I have to disclose this to a buyer?

Monty's Answer: ...Read more

The 23 Construction Steps to Build a New Home

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: We have decided to build a new home. We have seen no existing home we like well enough to own. What are the actual steps in the construction process?

Monty's Answer: Assuming a poured concrete full basement and a 2,500-square-foot ranch home, without comment on cost, financing, timetable or builder variances in step order, here ...Read more

The Perfect Real Estate Transaction

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: You describe your writing as advocacy for industry reform. You also stated that technology would replace real estate agents in the future. Others have similar thoughts, but I have yet to see any of them make a dent in the industry. I am a full-time real estate agent, and I am curious to know if you will share a more detailed ...Read more

Typical Buyer Complaints About Real Estate Agents

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: We have been looking to buy our first home. It is discouraging to listen to the media. The headlines are about high interest rates, little inventory, the bubble theory and high demand. Our issues are closer to home with the agents. With sales shrinking, one would think they would make more of an effort. For us, it is the opposite. ...Read more

Are Sizable Earnest Money Deposits Necessary?

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: We are trying to buy a house, but the seller backed out of the sale. The real estate agent is holding our deposit until the seller pays their commission. I know this is not legal, but how can I get my large deposit back?

Monty's Answer: The seller signed two contracts in this transaction: the listing contract with the broker and ...Read more

For Sale by Owner Asked for Photo ID Before Showing. Why?

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: We went to look at a home that was for sale by the owner. When we arrived, the owner greeted us at the door and asked to see my driver's license. I was surprised, but I complied. My wife and I are wondering if this practice is something new. We saw a home earlier with an agent, and a driver's license did not come up. We bought the ...Read more

Four Options When the Seller's Agent Refuses to Present an Offer

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: We made an offer on a home through our agent that is $400k overpriced at $1.3 million. Our agent researched the comparable sold homes in the area. They recently listed the house. They rejected the offer. Sixty days later, we tried again, removed several contingencies, and left the price as before. Their agent responded, telling our...Read more

Six Reasons for an Agent 'No Response' to an Offer

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: Our agent (buyer's agent) presented our "as-is" full-price offer to the seller's agent. The seller's agent has not responded, and it's been 72 hours. What are my options to get the seller's agent to respond?

Monty's Answer: A critical piece of information influencing my answer is missing. What is the acceptance date? You gave the ...Read more

The Cause and Effect of Post-Contract Home Inspections

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: We are first-time homebuyers. We asked the seller for a credit when the home inspection revealed several defects. They refused. Our agent thought we should let them handle it. The sellers agreed to make multiple repairs and remove mold. They also agreed to a new furnace and compressor. The sellers used handymen and unlicensed ...Read more

The Future of Home Selling Is Near

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: You wrote an article about technology replacing real estate agents last fall. It was a view of the changes taking place in the industry from 30,000 feet. What would the process look like if we went down to ground level and envisioned a home seller's role in the transaction? We are planning on selling our home next year. We are ...Read more

False Advertising In The MLS, Or Anywhere, Is Illegal

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: I told the selling agent that the home on the MLS (multiple listing service) is falsely listing the square footage. They are advertising 1,650 square feet of livable space, but I checked with the township, and they state the house is 1,446 square feet. I put in an offer based on the actual square footage. They have other offers, ...Read more



Heathcliff Andy Marlette Adam Zyglis Between Friends Crabgrass Crankshaft