Closing On Your New House: Does It Have To Be Stressful?
August 20, 2016 | Richard Sites
Buying a new house can certainly be an emotionally stressful time. If you are moving to another town, so there is the travel while searching for a new house. During the peak of our real estate season you may be faced with difficult winter travel conditions.
You may also have your current house on the market adding even more stress. Then there could be other issues like relocating the kids, dealing with insurance and the movers, and repairs or upgrades before you settle in. But the closing should be one of the less stressful parts of the deal, if handled right.
The closing of a residential real estate transaction is really simply the closing up of the loose ends and the passing of the keys and garage door clickers. Let’s review some of the earlier parts of the transaction before the closing.
The Right Agent
First, there is the job of selecting the right real estate agent. I maintain that finding the right agent is the most critical ingredient in your success. In Palm Beach County, I believe there are about 16,000 agents, but searching for an agent is more important than searching for a homes. How can this be true?
Unfortunately, most buyers use the Internet to hunt for a home instead of an agent. This leads to an endless stream of phone calls and emails with new listings from agents trying to cozy up to prospective buyers. Let me give you an example of why finding the agent is so critical.
Some buyers contacted me via my website this week. They had been looking at new construction in the area, had been reading this blog, and had several questions. Well, one of the communities they were considering billed itself as a Jupiter location.
While technically true, the location is really in Martin County, an undisclosed item in the sales info provided on the web, which means there kids would go to Martin County not Palm Beach County schools. Schools are the single biggest concern on these buyers list of “must haves” an immediately disqualified the community in question.
Once an agent is chosen, the house hunting begins and the stress goes up another notch. Actually, you should not need to see more than about 8 houses to find the right one. House hunting is done electronically, not out driving around, until the selection has been narrowed down.
Seeing too many houses muddies up the water, causes confusion and even more stress. When a buyer sees too many houses, they can’t keep things straight in their mind’s eye and confusion causes stress.
Then, an offer is made and negotiated until a contract is agreed upon. Next comes the home inspection. Both of these are very stressful times. Thoughts like, “Are we overpaying?” and “What’s wrong with the house?” creep into the buyer’s minds, even though the right agent could diffuse these concerns. (Note to file: Find a calm agent).
Once the deal is struck, there is financing to deal with, in addition to home insurance, repairs, new schools, new bank accounts and probably a new job or two.
So, if you have chosen the right agent, given yourself enough time to handle the details and financing, used a real estate attorney (as I recommend) to watch over the mine fields in the deal and used a competent lender, the closing should be smooth.
Today, the common practice is for buyers and sellers to handle their respective parts of the closings separately so there is not the tense time where both parties are sitting around the table making nervous, small talk. I’ve been at these tables and it can be awkward.
Sometimes things loosen up and the two parties have an amiable chat. Especially if the sellers have really enjoyed living there but are ready to move on.
If you would like to have a conversation about having a smooth closing on your next real estate transaction, contact me at 561-762-4073. I have been the calm voice in local transactions for 13 years and can help you too.