What to do when…

Sometimes real estate agents find themselves in troubling situations that fall outside of the proverbial training box. While realtors are typically schooled on activities like completing a purchase and sales agreement, and writing contingency clauses that read as if lawyers wrote them, training does not always cover real world challenges that include, but are not limited to: prying open a rusty lock box, figuring out before entering a home if the seller is still inside, quickly determining which key out of ten opens the first of four units in a multi-family house in sub-zero temperatures, or handling arguments that erupt between buyers. In these situations an agent has to think on their feet, and essentially just wing it.

argument

Uncomfortable home disclosure questions

In New Hampshire, sellers typically fill out a standard disclosure form. For the most part the items covered are predictable, such as the age of a home’s roof or the estimated annual heating costs. However, there are a few somewhat unexpected questions on the disclosure form that catch sellers off guard. For instance, one asks simply, “Do you have knowledge of methamphetamine production ever occurring on the property?” The seller has the option of checking either “yes” or “no”, and if “yes” they are prompted to explain. While I have never yet seen a disclosure form with the box checked “yes”, it has obviously been an issue before since it made its way onto one of many pages that make up the property/seller disclosure form.

meth-lab

Here, not here

Technology makes it difficult for people to remain fully present in any given moment, giving all of their attention to those in their immediate presence. Still, in the world of real estate buyers try to select an agent that not only knows what they are doing (or seem to at least), but also one that gives them their full attention while showing them properties, writing up offers, or otherwise conversing with them.

pokemon_done

Closing time

Many first time home buyers do not know what to expect when they get to the date they are supposed to close on their house. Sometimes, if the buyers have faced stressful challenges associated with their financing, they feel a little shell shocked by that time.

In New Hampshire, the closing process works like this: the buyer signs a lot of paperwork and seller usually signs a smaller amount of paperwork. Then the closing concludes and the buyer gets the keys to the house.

But did I mention there is a lot of paperwork?

closing paperwork

 

Creative landscaping

In real estate, much emphasis is placed on a property’s curb appeal. Taking time to improve the exterior of a home prior to putting it on the market can be an effective means of motivating buyers to make an appointment to see the inside of the house. Many buyers drive by homes they think have potential to get a better feel for the property and the neighborhood. Sadly, many homes are crossed off a buyer’s list before an appointment is even scheduled due to an unsatisfactory drive by.

While improving curb appeal typically calls for maintenance and landscaping work there are times when sellers do not think they need to put in any extra time on the exterior since they regularly maintain what they already have. However, in some cases sellers must consider whether their current approach to landscaping is one that will appeal to prospective buyers. Sometimes bizarre landscaping themes can detract from other positive aspects of the property.

children of the sunflowers

Contingent upon the seller…

Contingencies within a Purchase and Sales Agreement in the state of New Hampshire are common. When the realtor working with a buyer assists in making an offer on a home, he or she will include appropriate protective contingencies based upon a buyer’s circumstances and needs. Inspection and financing contingencies are among the most common, followed by requests for seller concessions. Appraisal contingencies are often included as well – either within the P&S or, in the case of FHA and VA loans, on an amendatory or escape clause form.

Sometimes sellers will include a contingency that makes a purchase agreement subject to something specific, such as the seller finding suitable housing. This is not all that uncommon as sellers want to know they will have a place to live by the time they close on the sale of their home and hand the keys over to the buyers. However, once in a while a seller will throw a curveball at buyers and ask for something a little less typical.

An example might be the seller requesting access to the home for a number of days following the closing to complete their move out of the home. Another possibility is they may ask to remain in the home for a longer period of time as a kind of short-term lease arrangement. It is important for buyers and sellers to understand that some of the less common contingencies come with risks that must be carefully weighed before a decision is made. Buyers and sellers should discuss the implications of an unusual or uncommon contingency within a legally binding purchase contract before they sign it.

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