How to keep your home deal from unraveling before closing

December 31st, 2012

Sellers can avoid closing disputes by staying in contact with multiple parties throughout the entire process.

Once individuals have found a buyer and agreed upon a price, many may feel like the process is complete. However, there are several things that can go wrong between the sales agreement and closing, and this is the critical time that sellers need to be on their game.

Buyer’s remorse, poor inspection ratings and title issues can quickly cause a home deal to go sour, so it’s important that sellers take preemptive measures to see the deal the whole way through.

1. Make sure the buyer has been pre-approved
In many cases, buyers who thought they would qualify for financing are rejected by lenders at the last minute, causing the home deal to fall apart. To avoid this common scenario, it’s important that sellers take buyers with pre-approved financing more seriously than those who have not been approved.

However, it’s important for sellers to note that simply because a mortgage company pre-approves a buyer for financing does not necessarily guarantee the lender will extend the loan. For this reason, sellers are encouraged to stay in close contact with a buyer’s agent to ensure that their loan is still valid and on track.

2. Price the home fairly
Few buyers will proceed with a home sale without securing an appraisal first. While sellers who have lived in a home for many years, making various home improvements, may subconsciously overvalue the property, an appraiser hired by a lender will be less likely to do so. Low appraisals can quickly kill a home sale, making it important that sellers do their own research on the market values of surrounding areas and homes when setting a price.

3. Get the home inspected
In addition to having the home appraised, buyers are likely to bring in their own home inspector to make sure the property is structurally sound. In many cases, the inspection process can shed light on issues that sellers themselves were unaware of and give buyers more room to negotiate the price. To avoid these issues, sellers may benefit from having the home inspected before placing it on the market. Taking care of potential issues before buyers view the property can help sellers set an accurate price and avoid disputes that may arise from a poor inspection.

4. Be flexible with buyers’ needs
It’s unlikely that a buyer will view the home once and make an offer. Purchasing a home is a significant investment and many will want more than one showing to get an accurate assessment. It’s important that sellers accommodate these wishes and make their homes open to these individuals. In addition, many may ask questions about the neighborhood, school systems and crime rate. Sellers should keep in mind that buyers will find out this information eventually, so being honest and helpful can go a long way in establishing rapport.