Are You Sabotaging Your Real Estate Transaction?

Every now and then we get a client who – unintentionally of course – throws a wrench into his real estate deal, and the whole thing starts to fall apart.

This was recently the case with a client of ours (a very nice man), who was purchasing a lovely waterfront condo with a great view. The condo needed a bit of work, and was priced accordingly – our buyer was thrilled to be getting a fabulous view and a great deal too. The next step was the inspections, which were done within a few days.

And then, before the inspection report was ready, the buyer disappeared for an entire week, unreachable on his cruise ship!

Once the property inspector’s report is ready, we normally go over the entire report with the buyer, point by point, and determine if a) he still wants to purchase the property, and 2) does he want to ask the seller to make any repairs. (Yes, even in an As-Is sale we still negotiate repairs when it is called for.)

However, after he got back, and before we had a chance to get with him about the report, our client instead emailed his trusted buddy, the loan officer at the bank where he’d applied for his loan, who he mistakenly thought was his best advisor for all aspects of his transaction. He emailed a copy of the inspection report to the loan officer, who promptly forwarded it to the underwriter responsible for approving or disapproving the loan application. The underwriter then demanded every item on the inspection report be fixed by the seller!

(It was obvious to us that the loan officer was new at his job, because there is no reason for the lender to get a copy of the inspection report. An experienced loan officer would have hit “delete” on the emailed report, and told the buyer to discuss the inspection with his agent.)

As the realtors, we had numerous discussions with the loan officer to get this handled, and we got a different response each time as to what would satisfy the underwriter. Meanwhile, the closing date was fast approaching and the seller made it very clear he was not going to put any more money into the condo he was selling. And his agent let us know that he was still getting inquiries from other prospective buyers… including some cash buyers. With each passing day, it became increasingly clear that the seller had started thinking about selling the condo to another buyer, maybe for a higher price, so asking for an extension was out of the question.

The deal was going over the cliff, and fast.

After considerable discussion, we finally got our buyer to see that he was going to have to start over with a new lender, and pronto, if the deal was going to be salvaged. A local mortgage broker, who’d helped us on many previous deals, agreed to expedite the loan process, and he got with the buyer the same day. It was a win for everyone involved when that mortgage broker got the loan approved by the original closing date, and with no further fuss about excessive repairs.

The moral of this tale is that, whether you are buying or selling, there is no one else as committed to getting you to the closing table as your Realtor. As real estate agents, we are more knowledgeable about every aspect of the transaction than any of the other players. We are truly your most valuable resource, we are focused on every detail, and we are always in your corner.

And the second moral is, don’t leave on a cruise in the middle of your deal.

If you’re getting ready to buy or sell, find the most highly trained, experienced and ethical Realtor you can, and then utilize him or her to the max!