How to Avoid A Few Potholes in the Road to a Successful Closing

Many times the toughest challenge of any REALTOR is to get a deal closed once the contract price, stipulations with all terms and conditions have been agreed upon and the deal is binding. Like most things in life there are solutions to the obstacles that arise and some with which you can be pro-active.

When you are the seller, I am of the opinion the appraisal is most likely the biggest hurdle to clear. The appraisal is a contingency embedded in the finance contingency of the contract and any home must appraise for the contract value or more of the home being sold. Appraisers are all different and as your REALTORS we will provide as much data as possible to support the contract price. A few examples would be recently sold houses on the street or within the neighborhood, upgrades and options and any other added value to the property. If you have listened to your REALTOR and priced your home according to the data shown in the comparative market analysis then your appraisal should be ok.

Home inspections are part of the due diligence period of the transaction. Even with new construction there will typically be a few items of concern. In many cases the buyer will request the seller to repair/replace specific items of concern. As the seller you have the right to agree to repair/replace any of these specific line items. If you choose not to address these issues a direct result may be a termination of contract. It is best to acknowledge and negotiate any issues either by repairing them or a contract price adjustment. If the home does not close you are obligated to disclose any item/issues which have been uncovered via the home inspection. Items such as roof leaks, water damage or any deficiency within the house will then have to be disclosed on the seller’s disclosure.

Listen to you REALTOR when it comes to negotiating and agreeing with any potential offers. I can’t tell you how many times the truth behind “your first offer is typically your best offer” stands true. We recently had a very willing, capable and eager buyer for a home we had listed. We lost the deal over less than 1% of the purchase price and the fact the seller was unwilling to negotiate in good faith. The buyer was then concerned with the due diligence and the home inspection and it’s associated negotiating. They got cold feet and moved on to another home.

By being conscientious and avoiding some of these common pitfalls you will be able to achieve your objective of getting your home under contract and ultimately sold.

Pete Chaison is co-owner of Savannah list For Less and can be reached at 912-313-2759 or