The 10 Deal Breakers in Real Estate

by Houston Agent


Sissy Earthman Lappin is the broker/owner of Lappin Properties in Houston.

By Sissy Lappin

Houston, or Texas for that matter, is like a private island in the world of real estate. We are not only surviving the recession; we are thriving! But on occasion, real estate deals do fall through.

Many times, this could be completely avoided by educating either the buyer or seller. This list is sort of the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” for real estate. The difference between an amateur agent and a professional can be determined by how well they can survive these 10 dealbreakers and turn around a potentially awry situation. Selling homes can have pitfalls; even the most experienced of us can fall into them. You should know how to avoid them as best you can…or you will have to learn how to dig yourself out.

  • Exclusions: Sellers need to make it clear which furnishings and fixtures come with your house and which don’t. You should disclose these items when you show the house, or remove them beforehand. These days, wall-mounted TVs seem to be causing a lot of disputes. Don’t let the deal fall apart over a TV or a chandelier! 
  • Failure to disclose: When in doubt, disclose it, and the earlier the better. A problem will seem much bigger to buyers when they have discovered it on their own or are already under contract. 
  • Appraisal: The days when a home always appraised for the contract price are gone. Sometimes the appraisal comes in “short,” and this can be a deal breaker. Do not assume the appraiser knows the area; send the appraiser the comparable sales.
  • Survey: As you approach closing, you might get the survey back only to find out that your fence stretches 5 feet into your neighbor’s property, making your lot short of the 7000 square feet your buyer wanted. Know the boundary lines.  Many contracts call for a survey three days prior to closing – but, you should have the buyer order the survey when they order the appraisal. Don’t wait! If you take care of this in advance, you’ll have time to work out a solution, should you need one.
  • Inspections: Most inspectors call it like it is. But sometimes a buyer will want the seller to fix every single potential problem that the inspector sees. An inspection report is like having a mechanic look over a used car.
  • Lender changing the deal: This is a tough one to avoid, since this falls in the buyer’s court. Still, you can emphasize to your buyer the importance of working with a reputable and reliable mortgage broker, not someone’s cousin or a friend of a friend
  • Spooked buyers: It’s very common for buyers today to get spooked by cocktail party talk. Jealous friends and relatives (who typically bought real estate at the peak of the boom and are suffering) tell buyers what a terrible time it is to buy a house, and they start to worry. Never forget that in real estate the best advice to follow is, “When the news is the best, sell it, and when the news is the worst, buy it.”
  • Lender dragging the buyer over the coals: Today’s lending environment is very different from the environment even a year ago. Chances are good that the everything-but-the-rectal-exam approach that lenders are taking these days will scare your buyer. Many buyers take the lender’s tactics as a sign that they shouldn’t be buying a home. They fear they will not get approved and do not want to go through the humiliation. Reassure them that it’s normal these days, and they just have to get through it.
  • Lenders will close on the 30th: The 30th of which month? Lenders these days have little regard for time.
  • Waiting too long to respond: Always get back to your buyer or seller within 24 hours. Procrastination is a deal killer.

Sissy Lappin is the broker/owner of Lappin Properties in Houston. She can be reached at:

Direct: 713.922.0602
Website: www.lappinproperties.com
Email: [email protected]
Blog: www.southernhousemouth.com

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