Jim Valentine: Did we make the right decision?

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Buying and selling real estate involves the making of many decisions during the process. From deciding on the price to ask for your home or the price to offer for a home you like to what to think of the inspection reports, there are many things that pop up that can make or break the transaction. It is normal to wonder after the fact if you made the right decision on some of the items. While we can’t remove the natural doubt, we can help you understand why you made the decision.

Price is usually a focal point of decision discussions. Buyers contemplating making an offer will spend a lot of time and ask a lot of questions about what to offer. Sometimes they can learn things about the seller’s situation, or they will be emotionally involved and want the home “at all cost.” Regardless of such influencing factors, when an offer — or counter offer — is submitted, it is then up to the other party. We recently wrote an all-cash, as is, 10-day close on a home that ended up seeing the seller accepting an offer contingent on the sale of a home … without any follow-up conversation from the agent if there was any movement on our part. How does that happen? Are those sellers happy with their decision? More importantly, will they be in three months if the other home doesn’t sell?

Clauses are often inserted in or selected to apply for the protection of one or both of the parties. It is important that your agent not just put in a bunch of clauses to protect their license, but to be truly working on your behalf so that if there are problems during or after the escrow that they have rights and/or recourse. Sometimes clauses get inserted at the request of a buyer or seller but there is no consequence for a breach of that clause. It isn’t the insertion of the clause that might be lamented, rather the lack of enforcement, penalty or rescission options.

Consequences of decisions are important to understand before making the decision. It you are buying a home in a severe floodplain, you should understand the longterm consequences of owning that property even if you are a cash buyer. Will your tenant need to buy flood insurance? Will you need to protect your tenant? Did you decide not to disclose something? Floodplain matters? Structural questions by the buyer that rescinded the escrow before the one you are now in that you decide you don’t need to disclose? Bad decision with potentially expensive consequences.

Other common decisions that can cause pause include repair requests, selected loan program and terms, agreements to allow occupancy before or after the close of escrow, debris and cleanliness standards, the vacation during the escrow that impedes the process, insurance agent and policy decisions, property condition decisions — as is or what to request for repairs; if as is, do you go forward after receiving the inspection reports, or not, and so on and so forth. There are many decisions to be made and lived with. Make them well.

Our advice: Make sure you are properly informed and have the right perspective before you make a big decision. It is better to make a decision than to be paralyzed by the thought of the decision and letting things flow through. Remember, you are making the decision with information and circumstances that are known to you at that time. Things learned after the fact don’t count when it comes to assessing if your decision was the right one since you didn’t have it to use when you made your decision. Most transactions will see most of the same decisions made each time. The question becomes, do you make a good decision, overreach, underreach? Therein lies the fodder for the emotional ponderance of the decisions made.

Life is a series of decisions and resulting consequences. Real estate is no difference, but the consequences are usually felt in days or weeks, not years. Take the time to gain knowledge and information to help you get the right perspective so you make the best possible decisions with what you have to work with. 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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