Home-selling tips: What to do when things go wrong
Special to the Sun-Bonanza
So you are motoring along in your transaction and all of a sudden the wheels all come off. Scraping and bumping you sense things grinding to a halt.
Your world is upside down and all hope seems lost. Such can be the feelings when an “event” occurs during the course of an escrow. In residential real estate emotions are rampant making “events” seem worse than they actually are.
An “event” can be anything from something that somebody says that is misconstrued, to serious problems that are potential deal killers. Everyone will view the “event” from their own perspective, Buyer, Seller, Agent, Lender or Escrow Officer.
It is really important to recognize the “event” and identify solution options as quickly as possible. Agents, Lenders and Escrow Officers are all really good at solving problems, for most it is the essence of their job. The seasoned professional has likely seen the situation, or a similar one, before and can usually pull a quick resolution from their knowledge base.
“Events” can be unexpected costly repairs resulting from inspections, the appraisal not coming in or requiring something not anticipated, credit bumps — legitimate or mistaken identity hassles, Buyer getting a furniture line of credit the day before closing blowing their loan approval, or the Buyer getting laid off from his job.
Federal, State, County, Town or HOA rule, policy or law changes that affect loan qualification, allowable uses, intended use, etc. can slow or stop things through no fault of either party to the transaction. It is important to recognize such changes before closing for the sake of all parties. Litigation isn’t fun for anybody.
When things go wrong it is important to determine what is real and what is perception. Because perception is reality, people may take action that they think is appropriate not understanding that it is actually detrimental to their desired position that is still attainable.
Everyone should act quickly. If the problem is miscommunication, often the case, then correct it, settle everyone down, and keep moving towards the close.
If a problem is real determine remedies, how long they will take to implement, cost involved, effect on the parties, and make sure everybody has a clear perspective of the reality of the situation.
If something has a large detrimental effect on one of the parties that can’t be rectified the transaction may be terminal. Time issues can often be worked out between the parties. Money issues can as well if there is sufficient motivation by the parties to make offset adjustments, or to simply go ahead as is.
Technical issues may take finessing until they become a time issue that is resolvable. Title defects are a good example of this type of issue. They can be fixed but take time. Money transfers or sourcing funds can also become a technical difficulty that is resolved with time.
Our Advice: Every transaction is unique because of the parties involved. The land is what it is, but the people are what make the difference. Stay calm and focused on resolving the problem. Don’t act out, it won’t help matters. That applies to the professionals involved as well as the principals.
When Buyers and Sellers bond and truly understand the motivation of the other, few “events” stop them from ultimately closing. If one of the parties is in to “gotcha” real estate, little bumps can rock things apart quickly.
Working together to a common goal is good for everybody and will help you sail through the troubled waters and stay off the rocks on your way to the safe harbor you seek, the close of escrow.
Don’t let a bump stop you from achieving your goal. Figure out how to move past the situation and make an action plan to achieve it. When faced with an obstacle remember, “What’s a hurdle to a hurdler?!”, and keep moving down the escrow track to the finish line, the closed escrow.
Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, CDPE, SFR, work for RE/MAX Realty Affiliates in the Carson Valley. Visit carsonvalleyland.com or call 775-781-5472 for information.
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