Written by Jaymi Naciri
You’re ready to sell your home, you’ve got a buyer lined up, you’re about to make an offer on that great home down the street, and then… everything falls apart.
“It’s a problem that’s more common than you’d think with home sales: a buyer has made an offer, the seller accepts, and it seems like the deal is done,” said Fox News. “But then something comes along to ruin the sale and it’s back to square one.”
The good news is there are easy solutions that can help save even the biggest deal killers.
“Industry professionals overwhelmingly named appraisals as the biggest obstacle they face in getting deals to the closing table,” said The Real Deal.
The solution? Gather as much information as possible about your home.
Your agent should be providing comprehensive information about comparable home sales in your area. Anything you can add to that—details about homes that sold, updates you have done—can help.
Boo boos on your credit report from years ago are one thing. Running out to make a big purchase on credit the week before you’re set to close is another.
“Your loan preapproval is based off your financial situation at the start of your escrow, and actual loan approval can be impeded by making large purchases (especially ones that cause more debt and monthly payments),” said REALTOR Steven Nottingham.
The solution: Wait until after your loan has recorded to make big purchases.
That way you don’t have any chance of derailing your deal. The bonus is that once your mortgage shows up on your credit report, you might also be able to secure interest-free credit lines from retailers like Best Buy or Home Depot.
When the inspection turns up a few issues, your buyer will probably request you pay for them. Especially with big stuff like roofing problems or water damage. You can choose to say no, which may result in a cancelled contract. And, you’ll have to disclose the issues that were uncovered, which may make it even harder to find another buyer.
The solution: negotiate.
There may be some wiggle room so you don’t have to cover 100 percent of the costs of repairs. Or, do the necessary repairs with your vendors. You may know people who can get you a deal to save you money.
“So, the inspections looked great (aside from the water damage in the closet, which the seller agreed to replace) and the loan is all set to go,” said Nottingham. “But then it turns out there was something else in that closet. Five years of unpaid property tax bills! And you’re just finding out by running title a few days before closing.”
The solution: Do your due diligence to make sure you are protecting your interests. “If this had been addressed early enough in the process, there might have been time for a negotiation to save the deal,” said Nottingham. “Make sure you educate yourself to be able to ask the right questions in the escrow process to avoid this kind of tragedy.
“One of the biggest killer of deals these days is time itself,” said The Real Deal. “Many deals are falling through not because a buyer isn’t qualified for a mortgage, but because it takes the bank too long to approve it.”
The solution: Good ‘ole communication.
A nervous seller may pull the plug on a deal that’s taking too long, especially if they have other options. Keeping the lines of communication open—between buyer’s and seller’s agents, and also between the buyer’s agent and the lender—can help save it.
You have a potential buyer—finally!—who loves your home. Now it’s just a matter of agreeing on a price. But you’re miles away and no one wants to budge. Even though your real estate agent told you from the beginning that your sales price was too high and is encouraging you come down, you just don’t want to take less that what you think your house is worth.
The solution: Listen to your agent
A professional Realtor really does know best when it comes to home prices. If you refuse to negotiate, you’ll probably lose your buyer. And when you find another, you’ll be in the same negotiating situation. If you’ve already found another house and are paying for two mortgages, you’re losing money by not selling, even if the price isn’t exactly what you had in mind.