Monday, June 11, 2012

10 Deal Breakers ... Revisited: Part 2

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 a reputable and reliable mortgage broker, not someone’s cousin or a friend of a friend.

7. Spooked buyers: It’s very common for buyers today 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, and they start to worry. 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 from the environment even a year 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 they will not get approved and do not want to go through the humiliation. Reassure them that it’s normal these days, and they just have to get through it.

9. Lenders will close on the 30th: The 30th of which month? Always make sure you know the lenders closing date. Double and triple check it. 

10. Waiting too long to respond: Always get back to your buyer within 24 hours. Procrastination is a deal killer.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

10 Deal Breakers ... Revisited: Part 1

As you may remember, in September of last year I wrote about the "9 Big Deal Breakers in Real Estate." With a new year comes a new deal breaker. But before I get ahead of myself, I find that the remaining nine are more important than ever! Let's quickly review numbers 1 through 5, shall we?

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 deal breaker.

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