DALLAS, Texas — Last week, Dallas realtor Courtney Michalek told WFAA that she lost a bidding war for a home on the battlefield of North Texas' lucrative and booming housing market.
And the reason why is unheard of in the Lone Star state.
"The seller asked my clients and me to take out their option period," Michalek said, who works with Iconic Real Estate.
"So we lost the deal to someone who waived their option period."
If you don't know what an option period is, it's a specified number of days outlined in a real estate contract that allows the buyer to terminate the contract for any reason.
It mainly allows the buyer to do their due diligence on the home, to do desired inspections.
Michalek says it's necessary if you're planning on living somewhere long-term or if you're really trying to protect your investment.
"You make sure that the home is sound. You make sure that there aren't any huge red flags. And that's also an opportunity for you to negotiate with the seller for any repairs or anything going on with the house that really needs to be fixed," Michalek said.
The amount of time for an option period is purely negotiable, but on average, it could be anywhere between three and 10 days.
Michalek said her clients wanted a three-day option period to do their due diligence but wouldn't cave to the seller's request that they waive that right completely.
It's not the first time Michalek has seen something like this in recent months, and it won't be the last.
"The house could have issues with the foundation, the roof could be a mess, there could be mold; I mean, the list goes on and on, " Michalek said. "They want us to say, 'Oh yeah, you should definitely forgo your option, period the house is just fine.' I won't do that."
It's just the latest tale connected to D-FW's housing market that seems to be like the Wild West.
Forget investing in stocks; real estate is where people in DFW are putting their money.
Or how about realtor Todd Tramonte's agency, Dallas Home Realty, sweetening home offers with paid cruises for sellers?
"We're offering them a five-day, four-night cruise for two adults prepaid to help us get our offers accepted," said Tramonte. "So we're offering a cruise on top of a super-aggressive offer...that's the world we're living in."
Tramonte also told WFAA that he's seen buyers waive their option period to stay competitive in a bidding war for a house.
"I have to have the shortest window to get an inspection, or we'll see people waive their right to one," Tramonte said. "That's bananas."
In a seller's market, it makes sense. Why lower your home's value or pay for repairs when someone is willing to ignore the wear and tear?
For Michalek, nothing makes sense anymore.
"There are no rules anymore," Michalek said. "The things that used to work for us don't work at all."