A Real Estate Divorce

Real estate divorce, like many relationships these days that end in divorce, many can be attributed to 2 major problems: communication breakdown and money. The same could be said for real estate transactions and relationships. It’s been my experience that these are the two biggest roadblocks both between agents and clients, and buyers and sellers.

The obvious: Money

More than just the sale price, there are other points of negotiation pertaining to money during a real estate transaction. The first opportunity is the home inspection: the buyer has the opportunity to bring in an inspector to evaluate the current condition of the property along with future needs for maintenance, upgrades, and repairs. Depending on the findings, the buyer has the opportunity to request a credit from the seller in lieu of repairs. More money.
Then comes the termite inspection, usually paid for by the buyer (some contracts will ask for the seller to pay this nominal $45 fee). If the inspection comes back with treatment or repair necessities, the seller is contractually required to repair such findings. More Money.
Then comes the appraisal, a 3rd party independent opinion of market value to support the loan amount for the bank. If the appraisal comes in at or above sale price, everyone is happy. If the appraisal comes in below sale price, the buyer can request a reduction in price of the seller to match the appraised value, or the buyer and seller can split the difference. More Money.

So you can see, depending on the individual situation of each seller and property, there are many times when money comes into play in the transaction and can kill the otherwise amicable relationship.

It comes down to this: how much do you, as the buyer, want the house? How much is it worth to you? And as the seller – how much do you want to sell this house? How much can you afford to put into the deal in order to do so?

The not so obvious: Communication

Tell me how you really feel. Isn’t that what most women say to their partners? Well, that’s true of your relationship with your Realtor(R) as well. Be honest with us, it helps us do our jobs better. If I know as your agent you really want to find a way to make a deal work, I will work harder to find a solution that will make all parties happy and moving on towards settlement. If you know, without a doubt, there’s no amount of money that will compensate you for a finding – tell me. We won’t waste time trying to renegotiate and make everyone upset, we’ll just move on to finding you something better. Now,that said, there’s also something to be said about the relationship between the 2 agents.
Email is always tough when dealing with sticky situations because you can’t understand tone (or similarly, it’s easy to misunderstand tone) in an email.  Encourage your agent to either pick up the phone, or arrange for a meeting for all parties so that there is no misunderstanding about requests. Such as  repair – make sure everyone is on the same page so a meeting of the minds can be arranged leading to a happy result for all parties. You may find that things are conveyed in a way that they weren’t intended to, and that the situation could have been much less stressful for all parties.

Just like we tell toddlers, use your words. Tell us what you want and everyone can work towards a common goal: a successful transaction with a happy buyer and a happy seller.