How to Make Sure Your Home Sale Closes

If you want to be sure a buyer is qualified to close on your home, you need to find out who they are as a person.

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When you get an offer on your home, how can you make sure the buyer is qualified to close on it?

It’s important to check their finances and make sure they’re pre-approved, but you also need to understand who that buyer is. Where do they live? What do they do for a living? What kind of person are they? Are they easygoing or will they be really nitpicky when it’s time to do the inspections?

When we look at deals that fall out of escrow, it’s usually because of some kind of discrepancy involved—especially in a competitive environment. When inventory is low, buyers are more apt to squeeze themselves into a home that doesn’t really fit them. In this case, there’s a much greater probability of them eventually realizing that they’re not buying the right house and canceling escrow.

We’d only have to worry about a buyer’s finances if that was the single reason deals fall apart, but they fall apart for lifestyle reasons too. This is why you need an agent who knows how to probe these kinds of details: You’ll know what kind of negotiating leverage you’ll have in making sure the deal sticks.

"When you get an offer, find out what your buyer’s background is and see whether your property is the right fit for them."

Sometimes, characteristics you may not like about your buyer will actually give you leverage. For example, we just sold a home where the buyer made a contingent offer. Most sellers would run away from this kind of thing, but we didn’t. When we really examined the offer, we realized a couple of things.

First of all, they were moving from San Jose, which is an incredibly hot market. Secondly, we found out that they were already living in corporate housing here in San Diego, which meant that they were uncomfortable in their previous living situation and wanted to move in quickly. Also, their property in San Jose was already under contract, which meant as soon as the contingencies were removed from that property, they had to close on our listing or they would become homeless.

So when you get an offer, find out what your buyer’s background is and see whether your property is the right fit for them. Don’t be afraid to ask the kind of questions other sellers and agents are afraid to ask. Most agents in San Diego County sell just 3.7 homes a year on average, which means they work in scarcity and tend to push deals together, so make sure your agent isn’t in that position.

The bottom line is that you need to accept an offer that will lead to a deal that will close—not one that will end up broken.

As always, if you have any questions about this or any other real estate topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.


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