Cincinnati Real Estate

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Kathy S. Koops GRI

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Beware of Buyers with Strings Attached

filed under: For Sellers posted on December 15th, 2010

buyer with strings attached

The top items on every home seller’s wish list this season is “find us buyers” or “would somebody please just make an offer”.

Home sellers in Cincinnati, West Chester, Mason and surrounding neighborhoods anxiously await for the sounds of buyers but for some sellers “the buyer” comes with strings attached.

Between November 11th to December 11th of this year 1015 home/condos closed and 946 went “pending” in the 4 county area around Cincinnati.  I don’t have numbers for the number of deals that were pended and didn’t close-but based on networking and an unofficial count-the average is somewhere  between 20%-30%.  Many of the “imploded” contracts fail for legitimate (not appreciated but understandable) reasons.  Sometimes buyers cannot finalize securing a mortgage loan, inspections may reveal problems nobody wants to fix and in the case of short sales- buyers walk away after waiting months for the lender’s final acceptance of the contract.

Most buyers are great and all they want is a good deal.  However approximately 10%-15% of today’s buyers are nightmares and have absolutely no qualms about holding the sellers hostage prior to actually closing on the property. 

Beware of those buyers with strings attached!

You can identify the stringy ones- they negotiate and sign all the paperwork.  They might be a few days late with inspection requests- but worried sellers don’t want their agents enforcing contract dates.  Finally you think everything has been agreed to and signed and maybe a week or two before closing, the buyer wants something more- a new roof (not just repairs) or new furnace. Or maybe the mortgage interest rate has increased and now the buyer is holding out for closing costs or a price reduction- just something to make the deal work. 

In this market- a buyers market- where the buyers have the upper hand in bargaining and desperate sellers don’t want to lose the deal- buyers with strings attached can and do hold sellers hostage.  Smart sellers need to team with their real estate agent and dot the “i’s” and cross the “t’s” and expect the buyers to do the same.  There are legitimate reasons why some negotiations take place after the contract dates-but sellers should be very careful of being strung along.

Please comment below if you have a “negotiation” story to share.

  1. Kevin the California real estate loan guy

    Inspections can reveal issues that no one wants to fix and they happen all the time, one thing that can save the day I’ve found is the 203k loan, especially the Streamline version. The lender does have to redisclose and the appraisal has to be adjusted but it can save a deal. It’s tough enough to keep a buyer on the hook on a short sale, this gives another option on how to not let them wiggle away.

  2. Kathy Koops

    It may work for some buyers-thanks.