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Selling Tip #14 Avoiding a Break Up

What does a wedding cake topper have to do with selling your home? I'll explain.



When you accept an offer, the buyer is only just beginning their relationship with your home. Mistakes you make while 'Under Contract' (think the courtship period) can leave you standing solo at the isle (Closing Table).


We've seen this many times. Fortunately, much of this is common sense (you would think). The following are true examples, that have led to costly credits and unfortunately, loss of sales.


When selling a home in Toms River for an investor, the investor made the error of not maintaining the pool or lawn while under contract. The pool was green and the lawn was overgrown. The neglect that was shown, along with a poor response to inspections, caused the buyer to terminate the sale. The home was then sold to a new buyer for $13,000 less.


In Middletown, during the buyer's final inspection before closing, they arrived to hot house. The exterior temperatures were 102 degrees. The seller had moved out earlier in the week and the air conditioning was off. When the buyer turned the unit on, so they could check and see if it was working, the unit died. The buyers were then granted a $7,500 credit to replace the air conditioning. I'm not a specialist in these systems however it was told to me that the stress of turning a unit on, in these conditions, can cause them to fail. Had the system been left running at a moderately cool temp, say 78 degrees, it's possible that it would have survived the closing. To make matters more elevated, the home was left messy.


Another investment mishap. Selling a home in Brick, the buyers arrived during the inspection to find water in the basement. The owner was aware of the water. The presence of the water and the sellers failure to maintain the property (again with this) caused the buyers to walk. Often, water can have causes that are not serious and easy to address, while other times, it is major. Either way, it's a Red Flag for most buyers. *Also note, that any material defect, past or present, must legally be disclosed.


And in Colts Neck, the seller did not winterize the home and keep the interior temperatures above freezing. Broken pipes led to a waterfall, a canceled sale and some costly repairs.


What are some things you can do to avoid a breakup with your buyers?


  1. Keep the exterior maintained.

  2. Maintain a comfortable temperature inside the home. This is applicable both in extreme heat and cold temps, both of which are not good for the house and make showings uncomfortable and less pleasant.

  3. Cleanliness is King.

  4. Be amicable. Negotiations handled with grace go further.

  5. Be timely. Failure to communicate in a timely manner can send a negative message.

  6. Be honest. Any indication of misrepresentation will surely scare off the majority of buyers. It's also the law.

  7. Follow the advice of your agent. TK


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