"OH NO!"

I just sold six properties this month; one rented and two contracts on the way. Don’t get me wrong, it is not a walk in the park as each transaction in real estate has its own character. (A nice word for “dilemma”). Let’s be realistic here: selling and buying a home is a complicated process by itself. It involves a team of professionals and multiple processes both legal and financial, not counting the emotions of both buyers and sellers. In my 10 years’ experience, I can only count with my fingers the “easy” ones or any that went smoothly. Most of the issues were beyond my control. With years of experiences, I learned how to unlock the difficulties before they get in the door before me. Here are ways to avoid these bumps or at least minimize them through the whole process. And yes, you are a big part of home buying and selling success.
First: Hire professionals!! Do not sell or buy your homes on your own unless you are a real estate agent yourself. If you are a seller; you might save on half of the commissions but you are not trained to negotiate on real estate. If an agent finds a buyer for your property; how would you proceed? Are you familiar with the documents you need to sign? Don’t dare to ask the buying agent as their loyalty is with the buyer. That is not a wise move. In the first place; you are only paying her half of the transaction; shame on you. The money you will save in the commission is not worth it as you may get more from your house if the sale is negotiated professionally. If you are a buyer; do not deal directly with the seller as of course; they will only state the best in the house and lure you with low sales price because you guys omit the professional fees. It is your best purchase in your life and technically, seller pays for the commission anyway. You are doing a favor to the seller and not looking after your own benefit.
If you are dealing with builders; still get a professional as you need somebody on your side.
Now you found professionals and contracts in place waiting for just the BIG DAY, the closing day or settlement day where you will sign all documents transferring ownership to the new owners. Well not too soon, after the contract is ratified; that is just the start of the process and you don’t want to be caught in surprises and may not close at the end. Here are some of the issues that most likely delay the settlement or worst; will not happen at all.
Title troubles – settlement is handled by another team which is the Settlement or Title Company; they coordinate with the agent, loan officers etc. to make sure there is no issue when you own the property. They pull public records as to history or anything that cloud the title. It may be a judgment on the seller, tax issues, homeowner dues or ownership itself. Most of these can be resolve but it may take time. Before I accept a listing; I will request a title search from my trusted title company at my cost. It will save me a lot of time and trouble. So, I know if I can list the property and can resolve the issue while in the process of selling. I also recommend to buyers to purchase a Title Insurance in case when it’s time for them to sell the property.
Walk Through – imagine you love the house and decided to submit an offer because of a lovely European Chandelier hanging at the living room. Or the garden has been landscaped with beautiful hanging flowers. Then a day before closing or on the day itself; they are gone!! Don’t be surprised; it happened all the time. Rule of thumb, all appliances and fixtures in the house (meaning attached to the wall or ceiling) are included in the sale unless noted by the agent and the seller. Big screen TV’s are attached to the wall but usually not included on the sale. Garden maybe beautiful but they are in pots or sellers decided to dig it all. When you are the seller; make sure to let your agent knows which will not stay and put labels on those items. Make sure they were listed on the contract to avoid issues at the end. If you are the buyer; do not assume, always have your agent ask for sure. Schedule the walk through at least few days before closing in case there is an issue so it will be resolved before the big day. They know how to resolve it.
Loan being disapproved – listen to your agent and loan officer. I meet my buyers for an orientation before we start with the process and I tell them Do’s and Don’ts on their financial activity while we are in the process until the end. I keep on repeating myself during the process. Most buyers are so excited that they got approved and found their dream homes. They shop for new furniture, appliances and even electronics ready for the new house. DON’T!! Now your financial status is not the same anymore when you applied for a loan. Your loan is now rejected and everything went to pfffftttt. Be like a kid who has to be nice until Christmas so you get the best gift. Refrain from shopping and unnecessary activity on your financials until you close in the house. Banks can still request for your latest bank statements; pull latest credit report and call your employers making sure you are still qualified for the loan up to the last minute. Let your loan officer knows whatever you think might impact your credit or approval. Being rejected for a loan the last minute is a nightmare to everyone involves in the transaction.
Constant communication with all parties involved is the key. I usually act as a liaison to a transaction making sure there is no miscommunication on all areas. Everybody should be happy is my goal and I envisioned a transaction when sellers give the key to the new owners; they are all smiling and looking forward for another chapter in their lives.
Note: Jocelyn Porteria is a Realtor® licensed in VA. Top Producer of Fairfax Realty and earning Five-Star Reviews from her clients. She is a Certified Expert Negotiator and also earned a designation as an Accredited Staging Professional; ABR, Accredited Buyer’s Specialist; CDPE Certified Distressed Property and Short Sale Expert, For more info, visit her website at www.jprealdeal.com and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/realdealconsulting. Call her at 571-432-8335 or email at realdealconsulting@yahoo.com for free confidential consultations.


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