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Jim Valentine: Timing is everything

By Jim Valentine

Everything in real estate is about the timing. Normal times allow for predictable timing on the assorted components of the offer and acceptance, and escrow processes, that are easily established when planning the timing of the escrow. These are not normal times.

One unanticipated change that COVID-19 has brought to the “show” is the extra time buyers and sellers have on their hands. Many people are working at home which gives them more fudge time on their computer. More time to look for properties in the community they want to move to. They have more time with their spouse or significant other to plan a new future together and initiate the process. That means there is more interest in the market than we would normally see.

The enhanced market interest is causing things to sell quickly in Northern Nevada as buyers are seeing the new listings and price adjustments themselves very quickly. Offers are being made based on drive by viewings. The combination means things are happening quickly. If you are looking in a specific market and a home that suits your needs becomes available for purchase you must be ready to act quickly, very quickly. When you make an offer there will be many time frame components for consideration.

Offers contain a deadline by which the seller has to respond to have a valid offer. This can get tricky with multiple offers because of the time required to review and assess. You might be tempted to short fuse the offer but if the seller is told of another offer coming he may want to wait to see it and he won’t respond in a timely manner thus rendering your offer null and void due to the expiration of the time for acceptance. You can grant an extension to keep things going, or, if the Seller is going to counter you don’t need to worry about it.

In this market you must allow more time for inspections. Every professional inspector of every field is extremely busy and they can’t overbook because each job takes a lot of time. Knowing that you will encounter an extended time frame for these basic elements of the transaction, you should allow more time for the close of escrow. Remember, too, that lenders are extremely busy as they are dealing not only with the many new sales, but interest rates are so outrageously low that many people are refinancing. Every loan needs an appraisal so it goes without saying that appraisers are also extremely delayed in getting the property review completed and the finished appraisal out the door. Some are even charging high surcharges because of the demand.

If there are repairs need to complete the escrow … good luck! Handy men and contractors alike are all busy making it difficult to get work scheduled and completed to meet a close of escrow deadline. One option around this is to give a financial credit in lieu of the work being completed. This works unless the work is needed for the home to qualify for the loan being applied for.

“Time is of the essence is a clause in every contract.” Rarely is it so important as it is in the current market. Things are enhanced by COVID in some ways and delayed by COVID in others making timing unpredictable. Everyone is doing their best to keep things moving forward, but there are regulations that control our industries now with the threat of closing everything down. These are trying, yet very exciting times for everyone in and around the real estate industry. If you are looking to buy a home today be ready for a wild yet fun ride. Work closely with your agent, be candid, prepare, make a plan and execute it.

Timing in some transactions can be more important than the money involved. Opportunities, wishes and dreams are being fulfilled every day and when the right one hits the money involved is often the least important component. Keep this in mind – your timing is valuable.

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