The Home Sale: Securing the Deal
Ready to close the deal? Maybe not.
Sometimes unforeseeable issues arise just prior to closing the sale.
Hopefully, with negotiation, most of these have a workable solution.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. But don't panic. Another
buyer might still be found who is willing to accept the house as is.
Imagine that your prospective buyers are a couple with young
children. They envision your unused attic as the perfect playroom
for the kids but, before closing the deal, they request an
inspection to see if it's safe and also if they will be able to
install a skylight to provide natural light to the new space.
This inspection reveals that under the shingles that are in good
condition is a roof that will only last another year or two. The
prospective buyers immediately balk, not wanting to incur the time
and cost of replacing the roof. Their plans were to move in and only
have to spend time and money renovating the attic. The additional
cost of the new roof, they say, is just too much.
At this point, you sit down with the prospective buyers and calmly
discuss the situation and how it can be solved to the benefit of
all. First, you agree to get another professional opinion on what
really needs to be done. Inspectors are only human, and are not
infallible. Once the extent of the damage is agreed upon, you can
jointly decide what to do about it. While the buyers hadn't planned
on that expense, you show them that instead of a limited roof life
that they would get with most existing homes, they'll have a new
worry-free roof that won't cost them in repairs for the next decade
or so. Since the roof wasn't in as good shape as you had thought,
you agree to lower the purchase price to help offset the cost of the
By negotiating calmly and looking at all possibilities, what could
have been a "deal breaker" can be turned into a win-win situation
for both the buying and selling parties. In other cases, the most
workable agreement for both parties might be for the deal to be
called off. The seller can always find another buyer and the buyer
can always find another home.
To protect yourself against last minute "buyer's remorse," make sure
the purchase contract anticipates and closes as many loopholes as
possible after all known defects have been fully disclosed.