Jim Valentine: When the going gets tough

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Real estate transactions are like putting a puzzle together. There are many pieces that must fit together to get the whole picture finished, to have a safe transfer of ownership in this case. As the pieces are identified there can be problems with them, like a rusty part on a car being refinished. You know it will fit, but it won’t work in its present condition. Can it be remedied, replaced or is it a project killer?

Real estate is the same way. Do you have a faulty component that is too expensive or will take too long to complete. This can be a failed septic system, extensive mold or a title glitch. Whatever it is, the resolution time and expense will be a factor that needs to be evaluated as to its impact on you and your wants and needs for the property. If you need in before the end of the month you may have to adjust your expectations or plans.

The cooperation of the parties is essential in a transaction. If one party gets an attitude for one reason or another and doesn’t want to cooperate there are options to be considered. To make someone act against their desire to not behave appropriately can involve a pressure or power move.

That can be tough, but it might be necessary. This type of behavior is usually experienced in a divorce or estate situation where one of the parties is trying to influence others on their side of the table, not their counterpart across the table, i.e. seller vs. seller rather than seller vs. buyer. There are numerous ways to facilitate things moving forward, but the art is to select the option that empowers the problem seller to want to cooperate so as to avoid a repetition of the behavior when faced with another circumstance that he can use to further his personal agenda.

Surprises can and do happen during the course of an escrow in all areas. The most common are the results of inspections when an unexpected expensive deficiency is discovered. Other surprises can be an appraisal that is below the agreed on purchase price, or interest rates increasing, or the death of one of the parties, or a job loss, etc. Due to the many components in a real estate transaction, there are literally thousands of things that can change and have a direct impact on the agreed on terms. What you and your agent do when they occur is what will separate you from others.

Have you looked at the problem from all angles? Have you evaluated your position/perspective and assessed potential changes you can make to your expectations/demands that would make things continue to work? Can the problem be solved with money or time, or are you hung up on the principle of getting what you originally bargained for? There is good reason to expect to get what you bargained for unless it is no longer viable. Did the seller contract in good faith with an understanding about the property that was changed during the course of escrow events? Has your buying power been altered to where the seller must consider adjusting or rescinding?

When you weigh options, consider what the other party knew going in. Did they know or should they have known about the problem and not handle things appropriately? Did they hold back from their agent or did the agent know? Are the problems surprises that caught everyone off guard? How are each of the parties affected? Remember, agents are not part of the transaction, think only of how buyers and sellers are affected.

Our Advice: When the going gets tough is when your agent will earn her keep. Be sure to take the emotion out of it when you make your assessment. Get the information, weigh the ramifications of altering the transaction, rescinding the transaction or moving forward without changes if that is possible. It won’t be easy which is why you must keep your eye on your end goal, what is best for you and your family.

If you do what is best for you and your family you will adapt to any change that comes along. Remember what we always say, “What’s a hurdle to a hurdler?!”

When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs… Experience is Priceless! Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-3704. dpwtigers@hotmail.com


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