Those 3 words + 1 Contraction are THE most HORRIFYING words any House Buyer or Seller could hear.
Both Buyer and Seller are facing the prospect of having to change ALL of their carefully laid plans for moving, switching utilities, time off from work, coordination of kids, delivery of furniture . . . This literally can turn the most calm, cool, and collected person into a Tasmanian devil on steroids in seconds.
Sadly, we REALTORS hear these words (or have to speak them) all too often these days.
The devastating emotions they elicit are palpable.
Everyone involved runs the whole gambit of emotions from:
denial – “It’s just a blip that we’ll resolve quickly and get it closed.”
to anger – “WHO is responsible for THIS? SOMEONE will have to PAY!”
to rage – “Who can I SUE?”
to “victim” – “How could this happen to us?”
to Resigned – “It is what it is! Let’s move forward and try to fix it.
and hopefully morphing into staid determination to do whatever it takes to get it CLOSED as soon as possible.
These words are a strong CALL TO ACTION for EVERYONE involved for “ALL hands on deck” so we can together figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it.
There’s no value in finger pointing, name calling, threatening . . . Put all that energy into identifying the problem and then finding our way over, under, around, or THROUGH it to a successful closing.
The good news is that, in most cases, we REALTORS along with our partners in the transaction (Title companies, Lenders, Contractors, Etc) can pull off the miracle that needs to happen.
These are the times REALTORS really earn their money.
Other than orchestrating an eventual successful closing thereby liberating the Buyer and Seller from the world of purgatory and allowing them to complete their moves, the most important by-product of this debacle is that all involved LEARN something that can help avoid future utterings of those fateful words: “We Can’t close today!”
In my experience, there ONE SINGLE action that can be taken EARLY that can preempt 80+% of the issues that cause day of closing draconian news . . . SO early in the process that it is the FIRST thing done following the House Buyer or Seller making the decision to move.
Let’s just call it “PRE-QUALIFICATION”
If you’re BUYING a house:
- Engage a REALTOR you know, like, and trust. Sign an “Exclusive Buyer Representation Agreement” with that agent, so she can guide you and represent your best interests throughout the process
- Engage a Mortgage Lender you know, like, and trust and request “Pre-qualification” including pulling your credit.
If you’re SELLING a House:
- Engage a REALTOR you know, like, and trust. Sign an “Exclusive Right to sell Listing Agreement” with that agent, so she can guide you and represent your best interests throughout the process
Those are the easy parts and rest assured that your REALTOR and Lender will keep you out hot water under “normal” circumstances . . . as long as YOU behave by doing what they ask you do when they ask you to do it.
Wanna make your transaction “WHAMMIE proof”?
Pull title on the House FIRST – Before doing ANYTHING else. Check for any possible liens/encumbrances which could be anything from a disgruntled contractor to a “forgotten 2nd mortgage” to a survey anomaly to a forgotten Heir or an ex-spouse.
Nothing can stop a house closing faster than a murky Title, and it’s complete lunacy for that not to be discovered VERY early in the process so any issues can be resolved prior to the day of closing.
This is too easy to do (for both Buyer and Seller) for it not to happen EVERY time.
(Hops off his soap box)