June 07, 2017
When Edward Murphy made his now infamous statement “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong” he was only referring to a new measuring device. The sentiment so resonated with the rest of the world, the rest, as they say, is history.
A flawless real estate transaction? It does happen, but not often! The reality is that there are so many details that make up every transaction; from getting approved for a mortgage for buyers and setting exactly the right list price for sellers – to choosing the real estate agent to work with, the process has room for missteps and hiccups to happen!
When you are considering the purchase or sale of a home, anticipating possible problems that others have encountered and learning from their lessons will hopefully help you avoid them and lead to a more satisfying experience.
LET’S START WITH CHOOSING AN AGENT
One of if not the biggest influence on your transaction rests with the real estate agent. As your counsel for advice about the market, details of the process and information for making your best decisions choose the agent whose first concern is achieving your goals!
- BUYERS – a savvy agent will ensure you don’t overpay for a home or overlook potential repair and maintenance considerations. Choosing a local agent with familiarity with the area gives you an advantage in negotiating value
- SELLERS – an agent with expertise in the local market is better able to determine value range for list price and defend that price in negotiations. You also want an agent well versed in the latest marketing techniques to get your home in front of the greatest number of buyers and keep your home from sitting on the market longer than it should
MAKING AND ACCEPTING OFFERS
While price is obviously the first thing most of us look at, if the home is listed within market value range and the offer is made within that range, a few other things to consider will be:
- Earnest Money – is it enough to prove serious intention? Will it cover losses a seller may experience if the buyer backs out of the deal?
- Loan Conditions – is the buyer fully approved? Is the lender reputable?
- Conditional requests – are the actions being required reasonable for both parties? Has the buyer requested any personal property be sold with the house and is the request acceptable to the seller?
- Action and Closing dates – has enough time been allowed to provide any documents or make any necessary repairs? Can the home be vacated by the closing date?
If there are any unacceptable requests or conditions, an agent should be able to offer wise counsel on a counteroffer. Having carefully chosen your agent, now is the time to rely on their expert advice, although all final decisions are yours to make.
TIME TO INSPECT THE PROPERTY
Almost all buyers will want a third party to inspect and determine if the home has any hidden flaws or needs any immediate repairs to be concerned about. Your real estate professional knows the industry standards. They’ll assist in requesting needed repairs or how much of a price reduction should be allowed. Keeping a cool head and letting your agent speak on your behalf during this stage will help you avoid a pitfall; that of making an emotional decision!
Rapid changes in the market affect home values and tight inventories have caused some major challenges for lender appraisers to overcome. Home owners must be comfortable relying on their agents ability to defend value in the case of low appraisals.
FINALLY, THE CLOSE!
It ain’t over till it’s OVER! In the case of a real estate closing, it isn’t a done deal until all paperwork is signed and money has changed hands. Murphy’s Law presides over closing tables, where any number of events could delay or even cancel the closing.
- Buyer financial situation has dramatically changed, rendering them no longer eligible for their mortgage loan! The worst mistake a buyer makes is taking on new debt right before a closing
- Funding is held up for any number of reasons
- Either party disagrees with the final HUD statement figures
- Paperwork delays cause the closing to be pushed back
Flawless real estate transactions? Perhaps not always, but working with an experienced local market specialist will certainly go a long way toward keeping Murphy’s Law in check during yours!