closing: When Sellers and Buyers Talk.......Too much! - 07/19/07 05:46 PM
This past week, I had a closing that really went quite smoothly, but with other clients, it could have been a total disaster. There are many good reasons buyers and sellers should not interact substantially until sitting across from each other at the closing table. Here's reason #58:
The sellers will be renting back for a month, so on the day of closing, we wanted to complete a benchmark walk-through to determine that the agreed to repairs had been completed and the home was essentially in the same condition as when we went under contract. The sellers are in the property while … (7 comments)

closing: Bad news only gets worse over time undelivered…….. - 10/03/06 09:27 AM
Back in 1990, I received some of the best advice I ever received in real estate. You know how hard you work to get a listing sold or a buyer under contract. Then you hold your breath, get out your tap-dancing shoes and imagine you are walking on egg shells until you walk away from the closing table. In some instances, that’s really true given the jittery and unpredictable nature of some people under stress, whether they generated it or not.  The advice was: "when you're in a situation with a client and, you know something you don't want to tell … (13 comments)

closing: Title Insurance: Who needs it?? - 10/01/06 08:48 AM
How many times have you gone to a closing as a listing agent and watched the drama unfold over whether or not the purchaser is going to buy title insurance? Most of the time, they are clueless about the cost and benefits. Oftentimes, the settlement agent isn’t much help because he then has to disclose that he gets to keep a big chunk of the premium as a commission. What do you do?
I am not an attorney, but I have been around long enough to know that if you are in ownership of real estate, you should seriously consider having … (8 comments)

closing: Real Estate Attorney or Settlement Technician? - 09/24/06 08:24 AM
Have you ever gone to a closing, expecting to see a seasoned real estate attorney and end up with a settlement technician, who has maybe been around for a month or so? What happens when things go south at the table over unresolved contract or repair issues? Yes, we Realtors have a duty to help facilitate and clear matters up before reaching the table, but sometimes the parties don’t reach an agreement beforehand. Then what? I had a very difficult situation come up and, the settlement technician was basically rendered comatose and speechless. The attorney who was responsible for managing the … (2 comments)

closing: He really, really didn't want to buy or get married! - 09/21/06 06:16 AM
A couple of years ago, I had an engaged couple contact me for assistance in finding a place to live. She had made it clear that they wouldn't be moving in together unless there was a ring and date. Her birthday was a month off and his plan was to give her a ring, set a date and start the purchase process. The birthday came, he romantically presented the ring on bended knee and made a commitment to marry in six months. Two weeks later, we found a very nice condo in a good commute location at an affordable price.We were … (3 comments)

closing: Horrid Closing Process - 09/20/06 05:14 AM
With more lenders and settlement agencies trying to extend their geographic tentacles, quality of service inevitably suffers. In Virginia, the purchaser the Purchaser usually selects the settlement agent. Typically and thankfully, no other attorneys are involved unless there is a dispute between the buyer and seller. We had a closing yesterday that no one particularly cared for. Everyone was ushered into a conference with a speaker phone and a Notary Public, who was not overly familiar with anything she notarized. The settlement agent was located in North Carolina and proceeded to minimally review forms and contracts to be signed by both … (2 comments)

closing: Appraisals Get Tough When Sales Slide - 09/17/06 05:18 AM
This is every agent's and seller's nightmare scenario: spend thousands sprucing home up, put it on the market, get an acceptable contract, find a new place to live, complete plans to re-enroll kids in new school, make arrangements to move and then the appraisal doesn't support the contact sales price! As a listing agent or buyer agent being asked for help in developing a price range for an offer, how do you value a piece of property when local home sales are down 20% to 40% from last year and all the trend lines are pointing negative?
Some appraiser are going … (5 comments)