What’s the #1 pitfall when buying a home? The closing date.

Gorgeaus Home in Fuquay VarinaBuying a house isn’t that hard really.  But believe it or not the #1 pitfall when buying a home is the closing date.

Pick a bad date and the process can be brutal. I’m scratching my head over what it takes to get a real estate transaction CLOSED in today’s real estate market! Not sure how anyone would chance selling their home on their own.  It has become a mine field that really does require some very experienced professionals to get the job done.

Here’s what happened… We had given ourselves what we thought would be plenty of time to do our due diligence; we even cleared the closing date with the lender. But here’s an example of an ‘out of the blue’ scenerio that really happened

Sold a gorgeous home to a great couple relocating here from Kansas.  The normal consultation meeting, overview of the area, discussing their parameters all went well.  Even finding their new home went smoothly.  Inspections, negotiated cash in lieu of repairs, lender process – yep, all going smooth as silk eying the date to close.

BUT then 1 week before closing the lender sends my client an email and cc’d me, here’s what they said;

…we are wanting to see a copy of the inspection report. I know that you stated that they have to replace some flashing on the roof and fix a leaky toilet but we are really wanting to see a copy of the inspection report to see what the real problem is with the roof especially.  We may need a certification verifying that there are no active leaks and the roof is fine for 12 months depending on what the inspection report says.  Can you please forward me the inspection report as soon as you can so we can take a look at it?

There was no mention of any leaks on the home inspection report (and believe me when I say I use a very very meticulous inspector!!).  So I sent them the ‘roof’ section of the report the next day thinking that will answer any concerns about a leaking roof and they’ll move on getting the loan package to the attorney… But oh no – here’s the response we got;

…we want a roofer go out to the property to inspect the roof and have him send something on company letter head signed and dated stating there are no leaks on the roof and the life expectancy is at least 12 months.  We need this to get the purchase agreement approved and the faster you can get that to me that would be great.

WHAT?  It’s 3 days before closing.  I called and left messages for reputable roofers I know and work with here in the Triangle.  But lo and behold they were all booked!  The earliest I was able to get a roofer out to ‘fulfill’ this request was 3 or 4 weeks out.  BUT REMEMBER WE ARE SCHEDULED TO CLOSE IN 3 DAYS.  So I emailed the lender back and told him I was having problems getting a roofer that I knew and trusted to go to the house in such short notice; and again asked him since the inspector didn’t mention any leaks would he reconsider his request…he writes back;

Pam-is there any other roofing companies out there that can go to the property and inspect the roof before the 25th? I ask that cause I know <your client> will want to close on the home before then.

I wasn’t about to start calling random roofers…  what to do? Fortunately I thought to call a builder I love working with.  I called Massengill Design Build.  He was kind enough to refer his roofer who ‘dropped what he was doing’ to get to the house and get me that letter within a couple of hours.

I question why that happened in the first place?  There was no indication on the home inspectors report about any ‘roof leaks’ , and the home is just 6 years old with 30 year architectural shingles!!! 

This is just one example of what can snarl a closing, and there are many other issues that can/and do come up; so please have a back up plan for your closing date.  It relieves a lot of stress and tension.  Especially if that moving truck was scheduled for the same day as closing. Not having a back up plan if closing doesn’t go as scheduled, it’s the #1 pitfall when buying a home.  Give yourself some breathing room….  You’ll be glad you did if something comes up.

Happy House Hunting!


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