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As those of you who have done a relo deal know, relocation companies can be a pain in the rear with due diligence that resembles a colonoscopy. In addition to paperwork that releases them from even a whisper of liability or risk, they always want to see the mortgage commitment and contract for the buyers down the chain. If you are selling your house and buying a relo, the firm won’t go forward unless you provide them with information that verifies the solidity of your sale. I have never seen it otherwise.

Today I got a call from my client’s lawyer informing me not to provide the relo company with my clients’ buyer’s mortgage commitment or purchase contract. I asked why. “I have a moral, ethical and legal issue with providing the relo company with material that is none of their business,” he told me. While I was assured that he wouldn’t kill the deal (cough cough), he felt it time that someone make a stand with these unreasonable demands made by relo firms, who, in fairness, position themselves as God in a transaction.

He has a small point- our purchase is not contingent on mortgage or sale of my clients’ home so their buyer’s information is actually immaterial. However, I really think that this guy has too much time on his hands. If the buyer’s of my client’s home were selling a home too, I’d want to see their buyer’s mortgage commitment and contract as well. It is part of advocacy and having a handle on the deal.

Watching an attorney duking it out with a relocation company is like watching  a termite fight with a cockroach; you kind of hope they both lose. Here in New York, attorneys are too often self aggrandizing pains in the caboose who create more problems than they prevent. While I dislike the sometimes draconian lengths relo companies go in a transaction, it is part of the landscape we are all used to. Not only that, the only real outcome of this line in the sand the attorney is drawing will be to delay the closing at best, and possibly tank the deal. Observing this fight between the termite and roach make me wish for just one thing: a giant magnifying glass.

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