Did I say check back in a week to find out what happened with Keith and Emily? Oops. Good thing I’m not a professional blogger! So many real estate stories to tell but so little time to write them.
So back to the story, Keith and Emily, my clients they were all ready to settle on the sale of their home. Offer after just 2 days on market, above list price, all was well in their world. They had a contract in on a new home in Fairfax which was closing in a few weeks. Everything seemed to be working according to plan. As I stated in my last post, this was when the figurative bomb was dropped on us.
Two days before closing (Saturday!), the settlement company called to inform us that the closing would not happen as scheduled on Monday. Naturally, I contacted the Buyers’ agent and Lender immediately, but could not reach them. I attempted throughout the weekend, to no avail. Finally, late on Sunday, the Buyers’ Agent called me to inform me that the lender was not able to underwrite the loan due to a financial situation that should have been resolved prior to closing. If we had known of the condition at the time of offer, we would absolutely have passed on this offer. We were in a position of strength with multiple offers to consider. In fact we had turned down another offer due to a similar condition. This put my sellers between a rock and hard place because the market was not as hot as it was when they first put the house up for sale but they also couldn’t afford to wait to see if the Buyers’ financial situation would work out. We decided to move forward with breach of contract and get the house back on the market immediately.
A large part of my job is to take any market fluctuations and other obstacles in stride. This was an occasion to put my skills to use. The market had slowed, the house was empty and no longer staged and we were back to a fresh relationship with any buyer and their agent that might come along. The market slowing created the possibility of a lower offer. The unknown of a new buyer and their relationship created room for other obstacles and challenges. A staged home makes such a difference when selling because it gives buyers a vision for living in the home and gives context to any flaws and blemishes.
The sellers and I rolled up our sleeves and got the house back on the market in only four days and under contract in under two weeks!!! We restaged the house and I re-engaged with agents and previous potential buyers to inform them the house was back on the market. I share with my clients, Buyers & Sellers alike, that real estate sales is a messy process. It is important to set that expectation so that when things go awry, in this case very awry, that they are prepared and ready to discuss options to work it out. I help them to keep perspective and calm throughout the process.
The new offer was a decent one, however communication with the Buyers’ agent was difficult which made the process longer than it needed to be. The previous offer had waived the home inspection but this offer required one. The inspection brought up a variety of issues that needed to be addressed. They missed the initial inspection deadline. Despite missing the deadline, the Buyer had other means of backing out of the contract. I recommended that Keith & Emily address a few of the items in the home inspection report in order to keep the deal in place. After agreement, we moved towards closing. As we continued towards closing, difficult communication with the Buyers’ agent created doubt towards meeting the closing date. Keith and Emily were now in their new home and were really hoping for a smooth finish to this sale.
Wouldn’t you know it, just before the closing (AGAIN!), the Buyer decided to change lenders. This pushed the closing date by weeks and we were left with the option of doing ANOTHER breach of contract and relisting the home on the market or simply waiting. Listing the house again for the 3rd time meant putting it on the market during one of the slowest times of the year for real estate and having to disclose all of the issues found during the home inspection. Not ideal for selling a home at a good price and in a timely manner. I advised Keith and Emily to stick it out and wait for the financing to come through with this Buyer. It meant using my negotiating skills for a variety of heated and complicated phone calls with the new lender and the Buyers’ agent. My priority was to make the process as easy and pain free for Keith & Emily as I could so that owning two homes would no longer be their reality.
We finally closed nearly three weeks after the offer was extended. It was quite a process but it allowed my relationship with Keith & Emily to deepen, my negotiating skills to be refined and another successful sale to be completed.
Even in these complicated and somewhat frustrating scenarios, I love my job and am so thankful to be able to serve my clients throughout the whole buying process.
Thankfully, I have amazing clients to work with and I think the feeling is mutual.
Signing off and on to the next,