You’ve probably heard the horror stories from friend or had the unlucky experience yourself where you’ve sold your property and then unexpectedly you haven’t. You were making plans to move, maybe already had an offer on another home and now everything is back to trying to sell or buy a home. It’s one of the more frustrating parts of buying and selling real estate, but it happens. So in this article we’ll discuss some of the common reasons and some indicators to be on the lookout for.
There are several items that can require negotiation when selling / buying real estate and each one can be a potential trouble spot. Obviously the starting point is negotiating the price and contingencies in the purchase agreement. An offer with more contingencies is the first warning as that makes more hurdles to get over to finally close the transaction. The Derrick Team takes pride in writing ‘clean’ offers that avoids this when possible. Solid offers mean better chances of closing making everyone in the deal happy.
But there are usually at least 2 contingencies that cannot be avoided after the price has been agreed upon. First the buyers should be getting an inspection for their own protection and a seller should be prepared for this, even if selling ‘as is’. Once the inspection report is done the buyer can renegotiate getting items repaired or an adjustment to the price. This is a common part where things go wrong as the buyer is in control here and the seller has to be on top of things to keep the buyer happy. If the buyer is not satisfied they can walk away and only be out the inspection costs.
The second contingency kicks in if the buyer is getting a loan, as then the property must be appraised to determine the value meets the loan amount. This can be tricky in today’s market because of the recent drop in home prices in some areas (that’s just now starting to climb again). This is a wild card and again the seller needs to be prepared for this possibility. In some cases the appraiser will point out some condition items of the home that have to be addressed as well, especially if its a FHA, USDA, or VA loan.
A few of the other common reasons are the buyer loses their job, the buyers own house sale falls apart, or the buyer loses interest and walks away (usually forfeits the earnest money). In rare cases the seller suddenly doesn’t want or need to move anymore and does a mutual release to remove the property from the market. In that case the buyer can hire a lawyer but it usually costs less to just go find another home.
For all these reasons and more it pays to have a good Realtor working for you. As mentioned a solid clean initial offer reduces the chance of a deal falling apart.
A seller should know the general condition of their property and thus have some expectations on what a home inspection is going to turn up. When setting the marketing price that should be a consideration so if needed you can have a little wiggle room to address possible issues. One of the things we guide both sellers and buyers on is that the inspection report should be used to spot potential safety and expensive repairs, not cosmetic issues. But then there is always those surprise issues that show up (mold, hidden water damage, termites, etc) that can change everything.
If the home marketing report is used to set a realistic sales price the appraisal shouldn’t be an issue. But some homes are easier to estimate depending on the types of homes in the area. If there is an issue with the appraisal there are ways to keep the deal moving forward and a good Realtor knows how to do that. But this sometimes is what we call the ‘wild card’.
So a couple of things to watch for from the initial offer are a low earnest money amount (buyer doesn’t have much to lose if they just walk), or a lot of contingencies that have to be addressed before closing. A good Realtor will discuss all these with you and if any of them are a big concern.
Another red flag can be when the lender seems to be dragging their feet on getting the loan approved resulting in multiple delays on the closing date. Again a good Realtor can stay in contact with the lender to see what is holding things up and let you know what your options are if things don’t look good.
What You Need
A smart Realtor stays on top of every deal to make sure no options are missed when things start to go wrong. We at The Derrick Team work hard for our clients to make sure we get deals closed. We advise our clients on possible sticking points to try and eliminate surprises and explore multiple options when there are. We want everybody to be happy when we walk away from the closing table with another successfully closed transaction.
Call The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110 when you are ready to sell or buy and know you’ll be well represented in your next real estate transaction.