Buying and selling a home can be very emotional and stressful.
Once a contract is signed and the period of due diligence begins, the buyer has the right to enter the home with qualified professionals to determine whether or not they need to amend the contract in any way based on what is discovered regarding the condition of the home.
Issues regarding the cosmetic condition of the home are irrelevant after a contract is signed.
If a homeowner allows a buyer into their home to select paint colors, measure for new drapes, etc., then they are just being nice and helpful.
It is part of the real estate agent's job to manage everyone's expectations.
Here is a look at the situation from both the seller's and buyer's perspective.
A bit of compassion for the other side of the deal goes a long way.
The Seller’s Point of View
You are leaving a house you’ve called home for a number of years. You’ve been asked to move out your personal belongings, so the place hardly seems cozy or familiar anymore. You’re exhausted from keeping the place spic and span – show-ready at a moments notice.
Keeping after the kids and all their stuff is a job in and of itself, and being displaced repeatedly on weekends for open houses and showings is becoming quite annoying.
You’ve taken good care of the house for such a long time, and it finally paid off. You have an offer, and you and the buyers have come to agreement. But now it seems that the buyer ordered every inspection known to man, and was very aggressive in asking for one repair after another. Figuring all of that out means more people traipsing through your house, poking, prodding and who knows what? It’s very disruptive – you have so much to do to get ready for this big move!
They want to measure, photograph, match colors, re-visit – these extra visits are making you crazy! This house is so nice – close to perfect even! Why do they need to change everything? Isn’t it good enough for them – especially since they got it for such a screaming deal?
Enough already – can’t this all just wait until they own the place?
The Buyer’s Point of View
We’ve looked at a lot of homes. We’ve seen some in fabulous condition, but they’re too far from everything. This one has a great location and even though it’s had some nice updates to the kitchen and baths, there’s still a ton we have to do. The carpet’s worn. The paint colors are dark, and splotchy. The yard is very overgrown, so we’ll need to deal with that. And the heater and AC are old. We’ll no doubt have to replace those very quickly.
We were able to negotiate the price a bit, but we still have a lot of money to spend getting the place up to date. After all, the home we moved from had everything brand new. This feels like a bit of a step back, but this is where our job has taken us.
We could see quite a few ‘sins’ cosmetically and we were ok with those. But boy, we didn’t expect some of the things that came up as a result of the inspections. We still want the house and with the seller willing to make some concessions, we’ll put in a little more cash to make those other repairs as well.
But we’re getting a bit stressed out. There is some reluctance on the part of the seller to provide access to the house. We understand that they are packing to move, but the boxes and chaos doesn’t bother us. We have a big job ahead of us, and getting estimates and measurements helps us figure out what we can actually do right now, before move-in date.
With two little ones, it’s really hard to have any type of construction work after we move in. And we’re concerned about the dust and paint fumes a baby might breath in. Don’t they know how hard it is to move into a house, and then have to move everything back out so contractors can do their work? We only have a short window to get everything done while we have time off from work.
Why do they seem so concerned that we’ll be making changes to the place? After all, it will be our house soon.
You can see that both sides have legitimate concerns in this often stressful and emotional time. While difficult, understanding the situation from the other party’s perspective, will often help ease the tension. Usually, those sellers will soon be buyers, and one day, those buyers will be on the selling side.
Isn’t it good to know that most escrows are over in 30-45 days?
Debbie Durkee, CRS, ABR, CDPE, CHMS, CNHS, e-PRO, Green, GRI, REOS, SRES
1768 S. Utica Avenue
Tulsa, OK 74104