5 Step Guide to Selling Your House – Step 5: Racing to the Finish Line
With our first four steps now behind us, we have so far done a great job of staging, pricing, marketing and negotiating the deal on our listing, which leads us to the final step – the “race to the finish line”. Is this easy? No, not at all.
At this point in the transaction we make a concise calendar of deadlines to be met. Missing a deadline can create a delay, or even worse, a reason to negate a contract. Some of the major deadlines to consider include completing the appraisal process, getting the Homeowners’ Association information to the buyer, if requested, and securing final loan approval.
With the new financial privacy laws, it can be difficult to follow-up with the loan company on a buyer’s loan. One way to deal with this is to get the loan company to give you a weekly update of progress, without compromising any of the personal information. If Homeowners’ Association documents are required, plenty of time must be allowed for the request and receipt of the documents and to give the buyer time to object.
The appraisal can be one of the most difficult timelines to control. A few years ago, after thousands of incidents of mortgage fraud involving appraisers, loan officers, buyers and sellers, the federal government took appraisal ordering out of the hands of the mortgage companies. Today, appraisals are ordered by a non-biased third party and the appraiser is not allowed to consult with any other party to the transaction, including the agents. This can cause frustration as an agent, as only the third party has the ability to expedite the process. The entire deal is very vulnerable to the outcome of the appraisal – if appraised value does not equate to sales price or better, the contract could possibly require renegotiating.
Final loan approval is another HUGE deadline followed by another, fairly new, federal mandate that buyers must receive their closing documents 3 days prior to closing. Meticulous coordination is absolutely necessary to get this done, and the agent plays an important role here as well.
One of the final steps is ensuring that the title company and mortgage company work together to get the final documents drawn up. The title company then puts the “package” together and will send out the final closing statement. A quality agent will scrutinize this document carefully to ensure there are no mistakes on items such as repair allowances or closing costs paid by the seller for the buyer. It is also important to ensure that calculations such as the proration of taxes are accurate – I have requested the recalculation of prorated taxes on many occasions, which has saved my buyers and sellers thousands of dollars.
Real estate is not a job for the faint of heart or for agents who are not knowledgeable of potential roadblocks that can delay a closing or cause a deal to fall apart completely for one of the reasons mentioned above.
I, along with my agents, am very experienced at staging, pricing, marketing, negotiating and closing a property in order to maximize a seller’s net. We at Beth Ferester & Company limit our listing inventory per agent so that I, or the agent, can oversee each detail of the listing personally to make sure the transaction proceeds smoothly. If you’re thinking of buying or selling, get in touch with us today and let us put our 5-step guide to work for you.