Sellers listen up and take heed.
Sellers need to seriously consider their contractual and ethical obligations when they accept a real estate offer, hence why I call this post “Ode to Sellers.” So sellers listen up and take heed.
The real estate transaction will take many twists and turns until recordation. The business aspects are relatively easy to control and manage. However, when emotions become involved, “we have trouble, trouble right here in River City.” To what am I referring?
Subjective “facts” are the problem. Buyers have in their minds particular actions that will occur and when they will occur; belief becomes fact regardless what the contract may state. You, the seller, are pivotal to managing these expectations. My experience working with buyers leads me to believe emotions can be tempered, though challenging. There are those occasions when emotions will spiral out of control.
Buyers are all excited to be moving into a home. Once they receive the key, they want to move in without delay. Here are some tips for sellers.
Move out needs to happen without delay.
Be honest at the beginning of negotiations as to when you can be completely moved out. Don’t make that the day of closing. If possible do so at least five days before closing. Buyers inspect the home for a final walkthrough, see all the stuff that still needs to be moved and freak out. The common phrase is “I just don’t see how they possibly can get all this stuff out before we close.” I realize that technically sellers have until 6:00 pm day of closing to completely vacant the property. The sellers who stay till 6:00 pm will more often than not create animosity from the buyers. The buyer’s agent can’t force sellers to perform, only persuade and suggest. Failing to perform ushers in a barrage of phone calls and emails.
Should you need additional time for moving make the request up front. I find most buyers will accommodate and be understanding if presented honestly with ample warning. Understand that buyers are making plans for their move-in. Surprises are just unnecessary.
Those pesky repairs.
If you, the seller, are going to perform repairs do so as quickly as possible, having all completed before the final buyer walkthrough. If not possible maybe a close of escrow extension should be initiated. At the very least have work, and payment schedules defined and make the buyers sign off. Repairs to be completed after close needs to be communicated to the provider(s) and new owners. This would go a long way to preventing any misunderstandings. I believe all work performed after close should be paid by the escrow company to assure the buyer’s repairs get paid. Be sure to provide proof work was completed.
Cleanliness is next to Godliness!
Listen up sellers. If you want to create goodwill please LEAVE THE PROPERTY CLEAN. If you have the means, have the home professionally cleaned before closing. The contract does say the seller will leave the property in clean condition.
You won’t be the one receiving the calls from the angry buyers the agents will take the brunt; the buyer’s agent from the buyer, the listing agent from the buyer’s agent. Your agent will keep you protected by securing your contact info. If the buyer does obtain this information, be forewarned, the calls will come. Every little issue will become large.
Garages should be void of all cobwebs and any grease spots. Don’t forget the cobwebs outside the home. If stove grates have years of baked-on grease, consider replacing. All appliances should be ready to be used day one. There is nothing worse to a buyer’s psyche than walking into their newly purchased home finding it dirty or untidy. Ugh! Be kind and have it cleaned. If you are going to leave it dirty, make that part of your marketing campaign.
Clean is a subjective term. My clean is most likely different than yours. Having your listing “professionally” cleaned before close will suffice for most buyers. Again, you will create goodwill and prevent future complications for yourself and agents. Would you not want the same?
Show courtesy towards your buyers and create goodwill.
Yes, I know that on a resale the buyers are not purchasing a new home. There will be warts. Buyers should not expect the sellers to change/repair every defect. By doing the above tasks, you, a seller, will show courtesy towards your buyers and create goodwill.
Next time I will post an Ode to Buyers.