Beware - Extending Your Closing Date Could Cause A Buyer Cold Feet
The next step after you find a buyer that can meet your needs and finalize a sale contract is the closing. This is the time all of your hard work pays off. After closing, you can officially move on with your life and leave behind the old. You may feel bittersweet about it but in all honesty, if you are able to sell your house and move on, it is a good thing. You are entitled to feel a bit sad but look at it as a new chapter rather than the end of the last chapter. A new chapter is full of promise and adventures yet to come.

The closing itself may have you a bit nervous, and that is normal. Not all closings are the same so even if you have been through the process before, this one may be different. You will, as a seller learn some lessons throughout the process.

Let me just list a few:

Once you have a buyer, work with them.

Don't act as though you are above their offer, even if they start off with a lower offer. This doesn't mean anything except they are trying to get a good deal. Sellers often get offended, for no real reason. If someone can get a lower price, why wouldn't they? The worst you can say is "no" and the majority of people have been taught to at least ask. The indignation sellers feel is sometimes caused by their agents and a low offer because the agent won't be paid a higher commission with a low accepted offer. Make a reasonable counteroffer. They can say "no" as well and then you both move on.

Don't be nervous about the closing.

You are not an expert on real estate and no one expects that of you. Feel free to ask questions and understand what will happen at the closing

Be prepared to dish out some money at closing and even throughout the process.

You may need to put some investment into the house to have it sell or you may have to pay some of the closing costs. It can still be a good idea to sell with that particular buyer if they are asking for reasonable concessions at closing.

Close fast and close quickly.

The faster you can close, the better. Too many times sellers will not be actually ready to move. Once you have an offer, plan on getting out as soon as you can. Many closings are held up by sellers who are not able to get out of the house. Don't be stuck in a house with a buyer who can back out.

Create valid, legal, and binding contracts.

Use words that don't allow a buyer to back out unless certain circumstances arise. Earnest money is always a good idea but you have to strike a balance between a reasonable amount and scaring off home buyers. Don't be afraid though to require some good faith from a potential buyer. You will be holding the house for them to follow through so asking them to be serious is not unreasonable.

It is important to remain in control of the situation.

When you have a clear contract with agents or strong communication between the parties, everything should move along in an efficient manner.

With that being said, buyers and sellers can both experience remorse over moving on or buying a property. When this happens, they may try to back out but when a contract is secure, they will want to reconsider because they can lose a lot of money. As a seller, don't hesitate to be strong in your demands as you are holding the house for that party.

A homeowner who starts to prolong the closing could run into problems.

Even with a strong contract, if they don't deliver the property on the specific date, they will find themselves in legal hot water. The seller cannot just decide on a whim to not sell their house or to vacate the property by a certain time. The protection is for home buyers as well as sellers. Not only will the homeowner risk legal problems, any extra time or extensions requested can give the buyer a chance to back out. The seller could lose the buyer in a short amount of time if they don't agree to the extensions.

There are legitimate reasons to prolong a closing and usually when this happens, both parties will agree to the necessary extensions. If the buyer cannot get their financing but it is close to approval, the seller could agree to an extension. Most sellers want to see proof of the buyer attempting to get the financing quickly, and will usually agree to an extension. This is the most common problem a closing can encounter.

Another reason to delay a closing is when there is a problem with the property.

Perhaps the inspection brought to light a serious mold issue. The seller is having it fixed but until the house receives a "clean bill of health" from the inspector, the financing will not be available. Most buyers will not buy a house that cannot be considered inhabitable. Until the buyer can secure their financing and see the house is fixed, they will not schedule a closing. Another property problem that could delay a closing would be if the seller owes taxes and in order for the buyer to have a clear title, the taxes have to be paid. The buyer will want to see proof of the lien being removed yet the seller may have to wait until they have the money to settle the debt.

A closing doesn't have to be nerve racking but you should know that things can go wrong. The easiest way to have a smooth closing is to plan ahead. Make sure to have everything organized and know what you are signing. Don't ask for an extension unless you absolutely must as this can cause mistrust on all sides of the transaction.

You are going to need to take one step at a time. Before you can close on your house, you need to find the right buyer. Where do you start with that? You can get your property information in front of a group of qualified buyers just by submitting our property information form! What are you waiting for? The sooner you submit your information to, the closer you are to your closing!

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