The dirty little Secret is that determination of Buyer’s Financial ability to perform is only the tip of a very large iceberg.
Pre-Qualification isn’t just for Home BUYERS . . . The savvy REALTOR also exercises some diligence to PreQualify the Home SELLER.
Some important things to verify:
MOTIVATION – Is the client sufficiently motivated to actually COMPLETE a transaction? Sometimes, little hiccups like “Buyer Commitment Issues” or Seller’s Emotional Attachment to the house become insurmountable stumbling blocks during the process . . . Far better to identify these issues prior to entering a negotiation.
Financial Ability - On the Buyer end of things, this is the “Normal” definition of Prequalification with a Lender . . . Nowadays, it makes sense to beef this up even to the point of completing lender underwriting of the Buyer’s Credit at the beginning of the process (Prior to looking at houses). When the Buyer finds a house and reaches agreement with the Seller, all that’s left to do are Inspection, appraisal, and Title work. Yes . . . SELLERS too! To whatever extent possible, determining the Seller’s financial scenario relating to the home sale can be just as important. Discovering the need for Short Sale and/or multiple mortgages . . . or looming foreclosure are particularly unpleasant surprises a few days prior to the closing date.
TITLE - Many Title Companies will pull the title of a property to check for liens and Verify ownership (People have been know to list houses for sale that they don’t actually own)
“3rd Parties” - I’m pretty sure that EVERY “seasoned REALTOR” has a few stories about the client who was cruising through the process without a blip until it came time to negotiate a deal . . . then . . . Out of the thin, blue air appears “Uncle Joe” (From Tupelo) who knows EVERYTHING about the Nashville Real Estate Market, is a Structural Engineer, Attorney, Mold/Fungus Expert, Electrician, Plumber, Water Management Expert, Accountant, and professional negotiator . . . and he makes a mess of things. Finding out about Uncle Joe EARLY in the process is imperative.
Heirs - In the event there’s been a death . . . WAY EARLY in the process, do whatever possible to determine who has signing authority and any rules that apply. Things get complicated when it’s discovered that Aunt Sally died a year ago and her 6 minor children inherited her estate but are not old enough to authorize the sale of the property . . . OMG . . . THAT is a MESS!
Property condition - In Tennessee, the Seller is required to complete a Property Condition Disclosure form . . . But what important matters might they conveniently forget? Within reason, there’s some diligence that can potentially save HUGE head-aches later in the game . . . Like Septic/Sewer – Prior Flooding – Neighborhood Nuisances – Association rules
For sure, There’s MORE!
We REALTORS cannot possibly turn over every stone every time, but we try.
Home Buyers and Sellers, we beseech you to indulge us in our obsessive compulsive verification and probing questions for there IS a method to our madness.
One thing we know for sure . . . EVERY real estate transaction has blips (Surprises) along the way, and our goal from the beginning is to minimize the damage when these surprises emerge.
All in the name of SMOOOOOOTHER experiences for Home Buyers and Sellers.
If you’re in the mood for a smoooooth move in Middle Tennessee (or anywhere), connect with me, and we’ll get things rolling with an appropriate dose of Pre-Qualification.
PS: November 13, 2013 from 10-noon, We’re hosting a Mastermind Session here in Nashville about Pre-Qualifying Home Buyers and Sellers.
Without question, this session will be full of entertaining “War Stories” from the participants and we’ll all come away with some fresh, new ways to minimize surprises as we practice our art of serving our Home Buying and Selling Clients.