The top three life-changing events:
No. 1 — The death of a loved one;
No. 2 — A divorce;
No. 3 — Buying or selling your home.
Often, No. 1 and/or No. 2 can result in No. 3.
A longtime agent in my office, Wesley Fender, has shared many stories that might explain No. 3. He often tells stories about times dating back to the late ‘70s. He tells how he would write a one-page contract out on the tailgate of his truck. The bank would close and disburse the money just a few days later. Home inspections, title companies, home warranties and many other items we now face would never have been considered. That simple one-page contract has now become a multi-layered, complicated transaction.
First, the sellers: They will take the time to get their home ready to sell, make necessary repairs, make sure they have a place to move into, and choose a realtor. Once their home is on the market there will be many showings of their home, maybe four to five a day. This means the home always needs to be in tip-top shape. It also seems they can almost never be there because it’s being shown so often. They will eat out a lot. After an offer is accepted, they may have to do certain repairs to satisfy the contract. Upon closing, utilities and insurance will need to be cancelled and it’s moving day.
Then the buyers: In order to make an offer on a property, buyers must first go through the task of qualifying for a loan. Once financing is secured, we now have an eight-page purchase contract, plus eight additional forms, for a grand total of 16 pages. The 16 pages are enough, unless there are changes. Changes like — someone decided to do a name change, Jimmy to James; there’s a price adjustment; the sellers decided to leave the swing set. The list of possibilities is endless.
Next, the process moves on to home inspections, an appraisal, bank underwriting, insurance, proof of income and employment verification, just to name a few.
Finally, it’s time for a closing. All closing documents are signed, a nearly 100-page closing package. After an hour or so of watching each other sign, we have new homeowners and sellers leaving with a mission accomplished.
With these steps and often more, it’s easy for one side or the other to become disenchanted. For those of you who watch the market, this is usually the case when you see a home go from active, to sale pending, then back to active.
Although this life-changing event can bring great joy, it can also be one of the most stressful things you ever do.
A good realtor can make a huge difference.
I am sure many readers here will have great stories both good and bad about their experience.
Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.