How To Avoid Last-Minute Hitches In Real Estate Deals

Alex & Leah Del Mundo
Published on July 24, 2015

How To Avoid Last-Minute Hitches In Real Estate Deals

As the agreed-upon day of closing a sale on a piece of real estate draws ever so near, the buyer and seller become increasingly nervous. Their agents get ready with the final paperwork and the environment is generally full of anticipation. However, unforeseen delays can occur and throw everyone off their feet, which is why it is so important to anticipate surprises and set fall-back plans in motion. In the majority of cases, delays mean a little harm apart from the cussing and flaring tempers. Some other delays will require paperwork to be redone, fines are suffered and renegotiation kicks in.

Whether you are a buyer or seller, you do not have to sign up for a closing date you do not feel comfortable with. Consider all the factors surrounding the transaction and arrive at a date convenient for you, your agents and the other party.

Once you are good to go, initiate the plans below to ensure that no last minute snarl-ups happen.


1) Put your agent on the watch

Agents are particularly good at anticipating and sniffing out problems in the lead up to a sale. Good agents know where all possible bullets are aimed and will be keen to dodge them. Agents on both sides need to keep a wary eye out for potential problems. Once they identify them, they need to formulate a way out such that the sale goes as arranged.


2) The lenders need to be in the know

Banks and other lending institutions are full of surprises these days. Selling scenarios have been called off in the past because the lenders detected a last minute clause that had not been adhered to. In other situations, buyers find themselves surrounded by so much paperwork that they forget to provide information that is crucial to the closing of the deal. At other times, parties simply ignore some paperwork, believing that it is of little importance. Unfortunately, this complacency is always punished with a delayed sale. Nothing is as frustrating as having to field a call from your bank just when your pen is poised over paper for the final signature. 4 times of 5 that call is bad news because it means that the bank wants you to put everything on hold. To avoid such surprises, keep the communication with your lenders active. Tell them what is developing every step of the way and let them fill you in on the situation at their end.


3) Plan for seller-surprises

As a buyer, you expect to move in at the exact date agreed upon. However, the seller may get caught up in last minute hassle such that they do not move out in time and for you, this is incredibly discomfiting. Work to avoid this snag by setting deadlines. If you plan to move two weeks after the initial discussions, ensure that the seller is out a week before you move in. This span of time provides a wriggle room for both of you. If they are fixing up the place, finishing early gives you the time to take a look around and ask for corrections. Avoid last-minute inspections because at that point, you are rushed and tired, which makes it very easy for important details to be overlooked. Ensure that all agreements and deadlines are written down for reference in the unlikely event of violations.


4) Do not tamper with your finances

There is a big chance that you are financing the purchase of a piece of property by means of a loan. If so, keep a tight hold on your purse strings. Should you buy a new car or acquire a credit card in the period leading up to the purchase, you stand to violate your loan status and this could affect the sale. Try as much as you can to keep your financial position stable until after the sale has been closed.


It is always in the best interest of buyers, sellers and their respective agents that a sale be closed on the day agreed. All these parties need to work together, anticipating glitches and correcting them before they become full-blown disasters. However, there is little to worry about as long as plans are made in time. There is the odd instance where problems come out of the woodwork, and this is where parties need to stay alert, working together to plug any holes and ensure flawless execution at the end.