Advice on property buying

I live in the UK, but am trying to purchase a property in Indio California. My realtor says that I need to submit a contract for the property with my offer price ASAP as there is another buyer interested.

The contract he has given me is the standard California Association of Realtors contract.

The house comes fully furnished but the seller will only give me an inventory of items once I enter escrow. I would like the contract to give me the option to cancel if the inventory doesn’t match what I saw when I viewed the property. There are also a number of other changes I would like to make to the contract. For example, my mortgage provider says it may take up to 60 days to finalise the mortgage, but at the moment, the contract says that I can cancel if I haven’t got a mortgage in 21 days.

When I ask my realtor about updating the contract, he says that there’s no time. I should just sign now to get the house in Escrow and then we can negotiate these things during the due diligence period, as that’s how it works in the USA. He also states that I can cancel (until the first contingencies are removed) and get a full refund. Is all of this right? Coming from the UK, that doesn’t seem proper.

I don’t want to miss out on this deal. But at the same time, I don’t want to sign something that I later regret. I have tried contact several lawyers but none seem able to help me within the timeframe. I would appreciate any advice.

Is the furniture really that important compared to the value of the home?

Your realtor is an idiot that only cares about their commission. Once you sign the contract, then you’re held to the terms of it. You can change things for your offer, but it might make your offer less competitive.

60 days seems like a really long time for a mortgage. I bought last August. The mortgage could have closed in 21 days. The sellers actually asked to close later, because they needed to find a place to live.

1 Like

Sounds fishy to me. How did you find your realtor? First of all, what is the big deal (of the seller) not willing to give an inventory of items frankly? I realize the market is still decent that sellers don’t want to do much but seriously?

That 21 days part is concerning, since you are from the UK after all. I mean your own mortgage provider is telling you up to 60 days.

I might actually go and try to hunt down another realtor who is active and has a high rating in the community. Yes, I know you love the house and it is a great deal but frankly there will be other homes. Better to be careful than sorry. You are after all, so far away.

1 Like

Is it a really good deal? If you think you get a 10% discount, sign the contract. If it’s market price, why can’t you wait for another house? Not familiar with Indio, but I think it’s in the dessert and I doubt it’s so hot

1 Like

Who the hell wants to live in Indio? It is not Palm Springs…
More like Desert Hot Springs


Several things do not gyrate. Some were mentioned.
1, It takes as short as 21 days to fund the money.
2. There are 686 homes on the market.
3. Home furnishing is very affordable all new. I will not want to inherit any personal items.
All the best,
Sam Shueh


My understanding is that as long as you have an inspection contingency, you can back out for any reason until you waive that contigency, so that sounds reasonable. However, generally you include things like appliances in the contract because the seller gives you a list of them. As for furniture, that’s
kind of weird, but can’t you get a list from the MLS listing by going room to room in the pictures and writing down what you want?

What doesn’t sound reasonable is the rush. If you are asking for a 60 day close (we did that as well due to a job change, so it’s not completely unreasonable), no one is likely to take your offer unless you’re much higher than the next person… unless there is no other person. In which case there shouldn’t be a rush…


Is there an offer date (if so, when)?

Why do you want the furniture?

Is the place staged? (If so, then you’re paying a stager for the furniture)

Are you sure you want to live in Indio? Will you be working nearby, or is this a vacation home?

1 Like

Did you write the first offer with 60 day contingency? I’m surprised that the seller chose you in hot RWC :rofl:

1 Like

Thanks for all the advice. In the end I hired a lawyer in CA, who strongly advised me not to sign the contract without the changes being made, as after its signed, it would be down to the Seller to decide if he agreed to the changes. And although the standard contract allows you to back out, that depends on making a good faith effort to get a mortgage. If I got the mortgage and turned around and said I was unhappy with the furniture (or something), then it wouldn’t fly.

I told this to my realtor who at last made the changes. But he said he can only change the addenmum. He can’t change the days for things like mortgages as they are standard and set by law. Is that true? Next to days, there are little lines (e.g. _17 (or _____) days) which I thought were for writing in new day periods.

The house will be an investment rental & vacation home. There’s a lot of furniture has been reinforced to protect from tenant wear and tear, so buying new furniture will be too costly. It wasn’t just the furniture I was after, but other things as well, which all together would make the house less of a good investment, if I didn’t get them.

But at the end day, I guess it’s best not to be pressured by losing a good deal, as it would be even worse to sign something I regret.

At first I thought maybe my realtor wasn’t good. But reading his responses carefully, I think he’s just skimming through my emails and not understanding what I am saying. I guess this would be easier face-to-face.

This is something I am confused about. I thought you would make an offer, get it accepted by the seller and then sign a contract. But my realtor says you make an offer with a signed contract and then negotiate and change the contract later and by California law you have 17 days to back out. (My lawyer says signing a contract and changing it later isn’t a good idea, because the seller would have to agree to the changes). So at the moment, I am rushing around to get this contract fixed, but as far as I know the seller hasn’t even seen my offer yet. This seems so strange to me, but apparently that how it works in America?

California is special. You can do many illegal things in California and still be protected depending on whether you can claim to be in a weak position. It’s a sanctuary state.

But I understand your concern, just do what you are comfortable with


No, get the terms you want in writing in the contract before you sign it. Anything after relies on the kindness of the seller, and they can tell you no. At point, you perform to original terms, or they can keep your earnest money. They can even sue for damages on top of the earnest money.

1 Like

I am curious how well you know the Indio market. And the VHR market in that town. It is not a vacation paradise more like a town for workers that work in the Palm Springs area. Simply put I doubt anyone on this forum would go to Indio on vacation.

1 Like

Shoot, @fluffykitten, forget Indio… join me in Malaysia in retirement… Many of your countrymen/women have done it…

1 Like

Yes we did. Things were slowing down. We were the only offer after 3 weeks and 7 days of open house. We offered over ask so that they would take us instead of waiting 30 days to see what else came in. I talked to someone else who had bought/sold same time. she also had only one offer.


OP can still back out after 17 days though as long as the inspection contingency is in place.

But I agree better to have everything right the first time.

1 Like

Absolutely you can write in your own numbers there! The seller can counter offer if he/she doesn’t like your numbers.

But furniture might very well be an addendum thing.

1 Like

Looking back, you might have got a deal

1 Like

We sort of did. Price per square foot was 25% lower than general rate for other houses in Redwood City. On the other hand, there may be defects that will keep that price low in the future–small kitchen (though we can open it up to the DR), low ceiling on first floor (not changeable), small backyard, and flag lot. I just don’t know how much was timing and how much is defect.

But we got around 2400 sq foot in a lovely neighborhood, so we are absolutely thrilled. I didn’t think we’d get over 1800 sq ft. Even have a guest room now, and each kid has their own room. Whatever lower price comes in the future, we at least have happiness right now.