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Vail Daily column: Should I sign extension for buyer?

Joan Harned

​Dear Joan,

My home has some wonderful​ and unique features, ​so​ when I listed it​ for sale​ it went under contract in the first 30 days. I have plans for the proceeds from the sale and have been anxious for the closing to take place. However, the buyer’s Realtor has just now asked for the fourth extension ​for the loan issues the buyer is having. ​I am seriously considering not signing this extension. ​The​ buyer’s agent​ keep​s​ assuring us that everything will work out, but I am wondering if we should just cancel and start over with another ​b​uyer.​ ​What are the odds of continually extended deals eventually closing?​​ Any words of wisdom?​



​Dear Postponed,

With great luck you could close in 60 to 90 days with another buyer. I am guessing the extension ​you​ have been asked to sign is much shorter than this time frame. Therefore, often the extension is your best bet for a timely close.

There are definitely too many unknown circumstances for me to pre​dict the outcome of your situation without​ obtaining​ more facts.​ One fact I do know is that no one wins if the transaction does not go through, not the buyer, their lender, their agent, your agent or you. Therefore, we must presume that no one is intentionally wasting their time on a transaction they believe will never come to fruition. They all believe it will work out, partly because they want it to, but mostly from their knowledge of this transaction. They have been through these difficult situations before and most of the parties know the chances are good or they would pull the plug and work on something that has a chance of succeeding.



Hopefully you had a pre-qualification letter from their lender in the beginning and hopefully you have checked off most every contingency​ in your contract​ except the one issue that is causing the delay. Consult with your broker so that you can better understand the problem and know the odds of it getting solved.

If you decide you won’t sign this last extension, then, presuming the buyers have met all of their dates, they will receive their earnest money back. You will want to make sure you have a termination notice signed by them so that you will not have any legal hang ups ​when​ you sign another​ buyer’s​ contract.



SQUARE ONE

Then you begin the process all over with your broker to market and show your home again. Every broker showing the property will know that it was under contract and “fell out” … and they will want to know why. They worry that there ​was ​something found during the inspection of the home that caused the buyer to not go forward​ with the purchase​. Your broker can explain that it was not a fault of the property, but rather the buyer, if indeed that is true. Then you can hope that you will get another acceptable offer in the next 30 days and then go through the inspection and loan process ​all over ​again, hoping for a better outcome. With great luck you could close in 60 to 90 days with another buyer. I am guessing the extension ​you​ have been asked to sign is much shorter than this time frame. Therefore, often the extension is your best bet for a timely close, unless it is a​ truly​ unsolvable issue.

Rely on the information and advice your experienced ​Realtor ​gives you.​ Most of us have been thorough this many times. Sometimes your Realtor can get the buyer’s agent to get permission from the buyers to let your Realtor speak directly with the buyer’s lender. This can often give you the facts you need to determine the likely success of the transaction. Good luck in making an informed decision!

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at Joan@TeamBlackBear.com, 970-337-7777 or http://www.SkiAndTeeHomes.com.


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