One in four real estate transactions fall through before they get to the closing table. It’s these odds that keep me up at night worrying about my clients who are in the process of selling their home.
There are multiple reasons why some deals fall apart, but many are completely avoidable. Here are some examples:
Buyers might not get their loan commitment because
Here Is How I Avoid These Deal Breakers
One of the first things I do with a client who is going to list their home with me is what I like to call…
EXPLORE & PREPARE
This takes place in a seller’s home before deciding on a list price, before photos, staging, internet marketing and sometimes even before I've run comparable home sales in the area. It’s just me and my client exploring their home. It’s time consuming, but fun and very informative. Clients are able to show off upgrades they’ve made and I am able to provide them with preparation, staging and damage control advice as we move room to room.
As we discuss ideas and possibilities, I use the time to explore and look for potential issues that could kill a deal that may be so far off in the distance, I am the only one thinking about it. I credit sheer experience to giving me the ability to spot issues that need to be addressed before I recommend putting a home on the market:
OVERCOME POTENTIAL OBJECTIONS BEFORE THEY ARRIVE
It’s not always easy to tell a client they need to repair a deck I’ve discovered is not up to code and unsafe or to remedy a mold issue or a rodent problem I've discovered in their attic. When you are living in your home, issues like these are not always as obvious as a dirty kitchen or pile of laundry.
If you’re selling your home, it is sometimes advantages to consider having a pre-listing home inspection performed on your home. Since home inspectors will find issues with every home, having a pre-listing home inspection will give you the opportunity to correct issues that you may not be aware of before they become an issue for a potential buyer.
It's a good idea to have the septic inspected and the well water quality tested prior to listing. The icing on the cake is to make sure you heating/cooling system maintenance is up to date, the gutters are clean, the chipping paint and rotted wood repaired and...I am a firm believer in the power of the subliminal message of a clean house - including windows! These tips will go a long way in keeping your deal pleasant and stress free.
ON THE BUYER'S SIDE
If you’re buying a home, having a home inspection is prudent. It’s important to remember that every home will have some issues and that the primary reason for a home inspection is to uncover any HIDDEN major defects, it is not meant to be a punch list.
A seasoned buyer agent will help keep their buyers in check even before the home inspection, pointing out the obvious such as the age of the systems, roof condition and age, visible cracks in driveway or basement walls, exterior wood rot. These items should be taken into consideration prior to making an offer. It is not fair to the seller to use a home inspection to get a lower price on the house if it is an issue that was clearly visible to the naked eye during the showings. Squeaky hinges, dirty carpet, visible cracks in the driveway are not considered hidden major structural defects. Take a close look and consider the obvious when making your offer!
Finally, a seasoned buyer agent should be conducting due diligence on properties their client is interested in - ideally, before making an offer. Making a trip to the town hall building department, board of health and conservation commission to make sure there are no outstanding issues concerning the property is a must in ensuring a smooth offer and closing.
Demand Due Diligence From Your Agent
When you start the process of buying or selling a home and are interviewing Real Estate Agents to represent you, please make sure they are willing to commit to you fully and will conduct the due diligence required to prevent avoidable deal breakers from happening to you.