Real Estate Reality – After the signature

John Hancock SignatureWhat happens after the contract is signed?  Real estate reality shows make selling real estate look easy. Realtors show only three homes, sellers accept low offers and buyers move in a few days. They leave out the negotiations concerning the earnest money, option period, down payment, closing/possession dates, home warranties, lease backs, contingencies and who picks the vendors. After all that you get a signature but a signed contract is only a small part of the process. Happy Days aren’t here yet!

Numerous things can go south between signing, closing and that magic word, funding. Let’s start with natural disasters. Sales can be held up during hurricane, tornado, winter and spring storm seasons.  Would you still want the home that a tree crashed through?  In North Texas, many transactions get held up or cancelled over hail damage and who would have guessed that sales might be held up due to earthquakes? .  You can’t stop the storms but getting a roof inspection for prior hail damage & repaired can save you a delay at the closing table.

Have you thought about what happens if the buyer loses their job, gets transferred, is served with divorce papers, can’t qualify for financing or just changes their mind?   Lenders often require additional repairs, homes may not appraise for the selling price, the buyer may no longer qualify or inspections turn up serious problems.

Repairs are frequently the cause of sales falling apart.  Sellers may have lived with spliced wires, leaky faucets or sticking doors for years but buyers won’t & home buyers don’t want sellers repairing items they are not qualified to fix.  The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) sales contract requires that in most cases repairs will be done by licensed contractors.

What about title defects, liens on the property or survey issues?  Sellers may have an un-cleared mechanics lien for work done in the past or they may have encroached on their neighbor’s lot when they fenced their property.  All these things come out during a title search and survey, and can affect the “sold” status of the home.

There are a number of important milestones to work through after the contract is signed that can delay or cancel a sale. The option period gives the buyer the unrestricted right to cancel. If the survey, disclosure, HOA and deed restriction documents are not delivered on time or repairs not suitable, a buyer may delay or cancel.  Lenders frequently cause delays providing the correct paperwork or approving the funding after closing.

The law, insurance companies and lenders may require many inspections, notices and disclosures including lead based paint if your home was built before 1978, formal seller’s disclosure, septic system disclosure , water district, (HOA) Home Owners Association documents, tax & flood certifications, Clue reports and various others.

The real estate reality shows are far from reality.  With so much at stake when you sell your home and so much that can happen after the signature, it only makes sense to use an experienced real estate agent. That is the best way to get to the funding and fun part – cashing the check or moving in!

 Call Keith Laursen to help you navigate through the process at 469-233-1234. 





About Keith Laursen

I am a Fathom Realty Realtor specializing in town and country properties in the cities of Van Alstyne, Anna, Melissa, Howe, Gunter, Tom Bean, Whitewright, McKinney and Plano, TX.

My trusty horse and I will help you "spot" the best in real estate. Remember, it can't sell if it's not spotted!
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