Can a seller back out after accepting an offer? Can a buyer? Every property has its flaws, but what are your property’s potential deal-breakers? Here’s how to manage these from a seller’s perspective – and still get a good deal on your home.
The last thing you want is for something to derail your real estate transaction. But what happens if something unexpected crops up to threaten a successful closing? Read on to learn more.
What Constitutes a Deal-Breaker When Selling a Home?
Every home seller has their own breaking point, but there are some deal-breakers that are fairly universal. First, let’s look at a commonly held understanding of a deal-breaker: a condition or event that can prevent the formation of a contract due to a change in the desire to pursue it. Deal-breakers can arise at any point during negotiations, causing a sale to tank.
Obviously, this is not something you want to occur. The first step is to educate yourself as to what exactly can constitute a deal-breaker during a potential real estate transaction.
Be aware that a lot of deal-breakers have to do with the condition of your property. This – in addition to many other reasons – lends major support to the idea that you need to get your home in good condition before putting it on the market.
Kid-Friendly – Boon or Bust?
This is one of those elements that can go both ways. Some people are truly drawn to the idea of a kid-friendly neighborhood, replete with community pools and playgrounds. Others want nothing to do with this. Still, others lie in the middle ground – but odds are that your buyers will have a preference.
Here’s the thing: there’s not much you can do about this particular deal-breaker other than be completely honest with potential buyers about whether or not your neighborhood and home are kid-friendly. From there, they’ll have to sort it out for themselves.
It’s a Noisy Neighborhood
Keep it down! You may be the quietest neighbors around, and your home may seem completely soundproof to you, but rest assured that if the teens next door are doing donuts in your cul-de-sac, whoever’s in your house is going to hear it. That, unfortunately, includes potential buyers.
In this situation, you may be able to discuss the problem with your neighbors directly. Perhaps you’ll be able to gain their sympathies – and stop the noise altogether. That’s the best that you – and your neighbors as well as your prospective buyers – could want.
Here comes a huge one. The deal-breakers listed above may either be minor or major issues depending on your prospective buyer, but the condition of your property is key to whether they will actually wish to buy it.
Here is a comprehensive – but by no means exhaustive – list of things that have the strong potential to turn off a buyer:
- Roof issues
- Lack of central air conditioning
- Termite infestations
- Unpermitted modifications
- Faulty wiring
- High crime statistics
- Marketing misrepresentation
Some less serious but still important issues include:
- Pet Odors
- Long commute times
- Outdated kitchens
- Low curb appeal
- Poor flow of floorplan
- Low walkability factor
So What Can I Do?
One suggested approach: get your real estate agent or a very honest friend in on the deal. Ask them to come into your house and help you list every negative that they can find. For each item on the list, decide whether or not you’ll be able to fix it satisfactorily — or if you’re even willing to.
Don’t get defensive when someone tells you what’s deficient about your home. You asked for their opinion. Take it for what it’s worth.
A few suggestions:
- For roof issues, understand that fixing it is going to be expensive. Also, know that you’ll probably have to do it, so factor this into your sales budget.
- If you have poor plumbing, the above also applies. However, you can keep it as is and expect negotiations for a lower price point.
- Should your electrical system be subpar, this could present a fire hazard. Buyers will likely check the wiring and the main fuse box to ensure they’re in good working order. Be aware of this.
Keep in mind that the best way to avoid deal-breakers is to be prepared beforehand. As you’re planning your real estate deal, do as much research as possible so that you’re armed with information.