Ready to close the deal? Maybe not.
Sometimes unforeseeable issues arise just prior to closing the sale.
Hopefully, with negotiation, most of these have a workable solution.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. But don't panic. Another
buyer might still be found who is willing to accept the house as is.
Imagine that your prospective buyers are a couple with young
children. They envision your unused attic as the perfect playroom for
the kids but, before closing the deal, they request an inspection to
see if it's safe and also if they will be able to install a skylight to
provide natural light to the new space.
This inspection reveals that under the shingles that are in
good condition is a roof that will only last another year or two. The
prospective buyers immediately balk, not wanting to incur the time and
cost of replacing the roof. Their plans were to move in and only have
to spend time and money renovating the attic. The additional cost of
the new roof, they say, is just too much.
At this point, you sit down with the prospective buyers and
calmly discuss the situation and how it can be solved to the benefit of
all. First, you agree to get another professional opinion on what
really needs to be done. Inspectors are only human, and are not
infallible. Once the extent of the damage is agreed upon, you can
jointly decide what to do about it. While the buyers hadn't planned on
that expense, you show them that instead of a limited roof life that
they would get with most existing homes, they'll have a new worry-free
roof that won't cost them in repairs for the next decade or so. Since
the roof wasn't in as good shape as you had thought, you agree to lower
the purchase price to help offset the cost of the new roof.
By negotiating calmly and looking at all possibilities, what
could have been a "deal breaker" can be turned into a win-win situation
for both the buying and selling parties. In other cases, the most
workable agreement for both parties might be for the deal to be called
off. The seller can always find another buyer and the buyer can always
find another home.
To protect yourself against last minute "buyer's remorse," make
sure the purchase contract anticipates and closes as many loopholes as
possible after all known defects have been fully disclosed.
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