Most transactions do not have real estate conflicts. Buyers and sellers do ask Realtors all kinds of questions in a typical real estate transaction about what to do, things to ask, how the process goes, what to expect on so on. But, usually nothing creates bitter feelings, suspicion and even conflicts over the transaction.
Recently, I had an transaction that was unusual. The sellers actually felt that the buyer was “invading” their space. Despite a few conflicts, the transaction finally closed. But, I thought quite a bit about it afterward. All parties were uncomfortable with what should have been a great occasion for both buyers and sellers. Even though nothing was out of the ordinary about the process, the Sellers were first feel uncomfortable. They felt the buyers were too demanding about wanting to see the home several times after contract and before closing.
Sellers Feeling Invaded
Now, maybe other Realtors have experienced a real estate conflict of a buyer “invading” the sellers’ space. But, I hadn’t experienced this emotional real estate response before. So, I’ll share the whole story.
In the beginning, the sellers were a little reluctant to sell because they loved their home. But because life’s circumstances sometimes takes over, the Sellers needed to sell. So the home went on the market and there were a few showings early on. Then, only a few showings were scheduled for a few weeks and then the perfect offer came in. The showings were tough because one of the sellers worked from home. And the Sellers thought he’d be an asset to the sale by being at the showings to “sell” the house to potential buyers.
In this sellers case, that wasn’t a good plan. Anyway, after a little back and forth over a few details, everybody agreed on a contract. Things started out pretty g well and then the buyer scheduled the inspection. The sellers asked who was going to be there. I told them the inspector, the buyers Realtor, and the buyers. I should mention that these sellers were very private people. They didn’t have many people even visit their home. The sellers also wanted to close off certain areas of the house for showings.
The Home Inspection Conflicts
They were especially concerned about valuables and personal items during the inspection. On the day of inspection, the buyers agent asked if it was alright to for the buyer to bring a couple family members. They did so and the sellers was still home when the inspector showed up. The sellers left and returned a few hours later and noticed that some things were moved and that upset them. I told them that the things that were moved were because the inspector had to see some areas that were covered by their things.
They get through the inspection and then after a few days the buyers ask to visit the home again with some other family to show them their new home. They also wanted to take another look at possible furniture layouts. At this point, the sellers became frustrated with the process, thought that the buyers are invading their space and literally said they don’t want anyone coming in the house until after closing. They felt there was no need and that the buyers have seen what they need to see. That was a little shocking because the buyers weren’t over the top in terms of visits or out of line with requests. I coached the Sellers through these feelings. And, the buyers did came back without any further incidents.
Sellers Slow To Move Out
As we prepared for closing and the sellers began moving out, the Sellers again felt pressure. They had waited a little to long to begin the moving process. When closing day came and the sellers weren’t finished moving out, the buyers came for their final walk through. Of course, the buyers now felt frustrated because it was clear they weren’t going to finish moving prior to closing. The buyers couldn’t see the home how it was going to be turned over to them. By now, they didn’t trust the sellers and they noticed a few things missing. Those things were a fireplace mantle and some light fixtures. So, now they really didn’t trust the sellers! The buyers became so frustrated the decided to call off the entire sale.
The Sellers were now in a jam. They finally agreed to extend the closing and make a concession or two and the transaction was preserved. But, it was a close call for both buyers and sellers.
So what’s the moral of this story?
Realtors Help Avoid Real Estate Conflicts
The sellers didn’t want to sell in the first place, but they really had to. They felt emotionally that the process was “out to get them” and that the buyers were asking way too much in terms of looking at the house and were out of line with a couple extra visits. They also felt “everything” was theirs to take even if it was attached to the walls. I had to explain that the buyers weren’t out to take advantage of them but were actually helping them! I explained the process and that they had an obligation to adhere to the contract. However, they didn’t think anything was a big deal and that they’d just pay a penalty. See how easily real estate conflicts can begin?
Think about the buyers side and expecting to move in. Trucks would be showing up, family coming, people taking off work to help, moving out of a rental, having to stay in a hotel, etc. It wasn’t until I explained to the sellers about test driving a car that I think they really understood. When you’re looking for a new car, you can go around town, test them all out, sit in them, drive them, come back as much as you want and make a good decision.
When you purchase a house, you really don’t get to “test drive” it. You don’t spend the weekend, take showers, cook in the kitchen, park your cars in the garage and see how comfortable it is to watch TV! I encouraged the sellers to allow the buyers to come back and view the home. Plus, I explained that this kind of involvement keeps the buyers excited! I also explained how the Sellers should secure valuables during showings and buyer visits.
If you are the buyer, communication is key. Let your Realtor know in advance when you want to visit, what the purpose is for the visit and, of course respect, the sellers property. And, don’t go through drawers and sellers personal items. Leave the home as you came into it
Mutual respect in a real estate transaction is important to avoid real estate conflicts. Whether you are a buyer or a sellers, my best Realtor advice is to respect the motives and and the position of the other parties. That will make your real estate transaction smoother.