“An optimist figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster; it’s more like the cha-cha.” – Robert Brault, from my favorite daily blog, Jack’s Winning Words.
My wife oft accuses me of being a pessimist and I admit that I must constantly fight against that unfortunate natural predisposition. Life is full of little set-backs; many of them following close on the heels of the little victories that we also get to celebrate. One can choose to see only the negatives in life or one can choose to see both the good and the bad and get used to doing life’s version of the cha-cha.
In real estate, many deals end up feeling emotionally like an episode of the TV show Dancing with the Stars. You’re up, you’re down, you’re twirled all around. Cha-Cha-Cha.
On the surface the process appears to be fairly straightforward – the seller offers his property for sale, a buyer makes an offer that the seller finds to be acceptable and they move to the closing. But, along the path from listing to closing there are often ups and downs, twists and turns and even starts and stops. Cha-Cha-Cha.
Just the process of getting the property listed can have its own twists. Often the Realtor will make suggestions for repairs or improvements that the seller may object to or argue about. Sometimes the seller will reveal things during the process of filling out the listing paperwork that he failed to mention before and which might impact the ability to sell the place for the suggested price. The Realtor has already had a high (getting the listing) and a low (discovering a major fault) before the house is even on the market. The seller might have experienced a little letdown from the pleasant high of having made the decision to list. Sometimes seeing the sign go up in the front yard is the first time that it has really hit them that they are selling their house. Dip your partner! Cha-Cha-Cha.
There may be lots of little ups and downs before the first offer – good reviews from visits that get hopes up; but, which then don’t result in anything further and the bad reviews that must be discussed and decisions taken about what to do. There may be one or more discussions about pricing, which are often emotion filled. Eventually you get to that first big lift – you get an offer. What a thrill as your emotions go higher and higher. CHA-CHA!
Then it’s down again as the inspection reveals what looks like a deal-killer problem – maybe it’s mold, maybe it’s hidden water damage, maybe it’s even something that the owner “forgot” again – “Oh, yeah, that was caused by the fire.” Fire! What fire? You didn’t mention a fire on the Seller’s Disclosure. Down you go your heart racing and gut in your mouth. Then a twist and a turn and a couple of good remediation quotes and you’re back in the deal – the buyer will accept the suggested fixes. Up go your spirits again. Cha-Cha-Cha
Next up is the dreaded appraisal. The agent does what he/she can. They take comps for the appraiser that support the sale price and then you wait. And wait. And wait. Funny what tricks your mind can play on you while you wait- lots of imagined twists and turns are analyzed. You can cha-cha all over the place mentally. Then good news! The place appraised! Yea! You’re happy again. Cha-Cha.
Just then you get an email from the Title Company that reveals that the examination department has determined that there is an old water and sewer assessment that has never been discharged. Oh, by the way, they did not see a private road agreement on file at the County either; so please supply that. Cha-Cha-Cha!
Once you have all of the issues resolved it’s time to move to closing. In fact time is running out. The contract expires in a week or less and panic replaces fear. Are we clear to close yet? No! Why not? Did the buyer get his insurance lined up yet? No, why not. Whose job was it to tell him? What do you mean that underwriting hasn’t finished yet? They’ve had it for 40 days. Why haven’t they contacted the PMI company yet? Are we going to make the close four days from now? What do you mean you don’t have a closer available? We can go anywhere. My seller has movers coming. Yes I know that he was supposed to wait for the clear to close, but he didn’t. The buyer has to be out of his apartment next week. What do you mean we’re not ready to close yet? Cha-Cha-Cha.
Just when it seems all is lost, miracles happen. It’s part of the process. Underwriters magically get done, the PMI company rushes the decision and clears the deal, a cancelation means that there’s a closing slot and closer available and all parties show up at the right place at the right time (maybe just a little late to draw out the drama) with the right amounts of money and their drivers licenses. Yet another real estate transaction gets competed. You can breathe again. The dance is over – for now. Cha-Cha-Cha.