Friday, September 23, 2011

The 9 Big Deal Breakers in Real Estate

1. EXCLUSIONS: As a seller, you need to make it clear which furnishings and fixtures come with your house and which don't. You should disclose these items when you show your house, or remove them beforehand. These days, wall-mounted TVs seem to be causing an overabundance of disputes. Don't let the deal fall apart over a TV or a chandelier!
2. FAILURE TO DISCLOSE: In relation to deal breaker number one when in doubt, DISCLOSE IT, and the earlier the better. A problem will seem much bigger to a buyer when they have discovered it on their own or are already under contract.

3. APPRAISAL: The days when a home always appraised for the contract price are gone. Sometimes the appraisal comes in "short," and this can be a dealbreaker.

4. SURVEY: As you approach closing, you might get your survey back only to find out that your fence stretches 5 feet into your neighbor's property, marking your lot short of the 7,000 square-feet your buyer desired. Know your boundary lines! Many contracts call for a survey 3 days prior to closing, but you should have the buyer order the survey when they order the appraisal. Don't wait! If you take care of this in advance, you'll have time to work out a solution.
5. INSPECTIONS: Most inspectors call it like it is. Sometimes your buyer will want you to fix every single potential problem that your inspector sees. You don't have to do this! You both have choices.
Your buyer has four basic choices after the  inspector report. The buyer can:
  • Ask you to make their requested repairs
  • Ask you to reduce the sales price in lieu of repairs
  • Request no repairs at all
  • Decline to buy the property
They can't force you to make repairs, but they do hold the ultimate power of walking away from the sale if they can't live with the decision of your repairs.
As the seller, you have three choices. You can:
  • Agree to the buyer's request and make all of the repairs
  • Agree to part of the request and make some of the repairs, or create an allowance for the repairs and stipulate in the contract, "the house is being sold 'as is'"
  • Agree to make no repairs or credits at all
6. LENDER CHANGING THE DEAL: This is a tough one to avoid, since this falls in the buyer's court. Still, you can emphasize to your buyer the importance of working with reputable and reliable mortgage broker, not someone's cousin or a friend of a friend.

7. SPOOKED BUYERS: Today it's very common for buyers to get spooked by cocktail-party-talk. Jealous friends and relatives (who typically bought real estate at the peak of the boom and are suffering) tell buyers what a terrible time it is to buy a house. Enough of this information will spook any buyer. Never forget that in real estate the best advice to follow is: "When the news is the best, sell it, and when the news is the worst, buy it."

8. LENDER DRAGGING THE BUYER OVER THE COALS: Today's lending environment is very different form the environment even a couple of years ago. Chances are good that your buyer will get scared by the everything-but-the-rectal-exam approach that lenders are taking these days. Many buyers take the lender's tactics as a sign that they shouldn't be buying a home. They fear that they will not get approved and do not want to go through the humiliation. Reassure them that it's normal to feel that way and they will just have to get through it.

9. WAITING TOO LONG TO RESPOND: Always get back to your buyer within 24 hours. Procrastination is a deal-killer.


  1. Sissy,

    This is great article!!!! If this is a part of what you were telling me you were starting keep it up it is assume!!

    Ginny Hopper

  2. Thanks Ginny
    people want the truth. I finished my book and will have it out in January.
    i hope you are loving your new home.

  3. This is a really great article. Every homeowner should read this especially is you are buying or selling in the near future. Just one or two of the tips above (Disclosure, Survey) could make or break a deal that could have easily been resolved before it even occurred. Pass this on to any friends who are buying or selling it will give them skilled insight for free!

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