Jim Valentine: Timing is everything in real estate

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Timing is important throughout real estate transactions, from looking at the property, through negotiations, to the closing of the escrow. It isn’t something to be taken casually if you want to compete in a dynamic market. Once you get into escrow, it is critical that you comply with the time frames set out in the sales agreement.

If you find a home to look at be sure to see it as soon as practicable. Coordinate with your agent about getting you in so you can determine if it will work for you. If it is something that you want to make an offer on then you shouldn’t waste any time getting your offer to the table. Sellers want to be under contract so they can move forward with their life. Don’t dally getting your interest in the property known to the seller so you can be a part of their offer consideration.

When you craft your offer be careful to notice the timelines you are agreeing to. Offers have many timelines that must be adhered to and they can vary. One of the biggest variations is the difference between days and business days. Offers contain both so understand which you are dealing with when planning your escrow course of action. It helps to make a timeline at the beginning of the escrow for each event and translate the number of days stipulation to a date. That makes it easier to comply with the timeframes within which you have to perform as you can see a date instead of a number of days that needs to be calculated.

Make sure your timing for performance is realistic. Occasionally, we receive an offer in which the timing is mixed up. If an offer’s timing doesn’t correspond correctly, it is more likely to be breached thus allowing the parties to rescind the transaction. This can be detrimental to your interest if there is a backup offer on the property or if the buyer finds another property in the interim and is looking for a way out of the transaction without incurring costs or paying for damages. It is worth countering to clean up the timing to minimize the opportunity for a buyer to withdraw from the transaction.

Closing dates should be looked at closely. Don’t just put in 30 or 45 days. Look for a date certain that will enable you to close on a Friday if you want to have the weekend to move in. This is key for working couples who are anxious to occupy their new home. Sellers, on the other hand, likely will want to close on a Monday so they have the weekend to move. You can save cash out of pocket by closing toward the end of the month if you are getting a loan as it allows you to pay less prepaid interest than if you close in the middle of the month.

When you make the offer, there are two timing items sellers will look to, the time allowed to accept the offer and the close of escrow. If there is a lot of competition and you are moving quickly, you won’t want to give the sellers days to decide; shorten the fuse to make them act before other offers get presented. The close of escrow can separate you from other offers if you close quickly. Sometimes, a longer close is preferred by the seller. We had one that provided for a six-month close and our buyer was selected over others because the seller wasn’t in a hurry and wanted the time.

Our advice: Timing matters permeate the real estate world. Buyers look at how many days a property has been on the market and how long a seller has owned a property. Title reports must be supplied and acted on within a set period of time as do HOA documents, inspections, earnest money deposit delivery, etc. Pay attention to the timing at all times. Don’t slack in your performance, stay on track and meet your deadlines.

When you write a reasonably timed offer and stay on track you have a better chance of getting additional time for something if you need it due to some unforeseen reason. It is a natural to work together to extend and close than to be upset about how things should have been done when they weren’t done right.

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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