Tom Polk, ABR, CRS
Austin area real estate,
 over 30 years done properly


    A home seller was surprised when she received an offer that was different from her expectations.  I'm used to all kinds of offers and my clients are not.  So it occurred to me how convenient to home sellers it would be for real estate agents to have available a list of surprises that sometimes occur during transactions.   Thankfully, all these issues usually don't arise in the same transaction.  But any one, or some could pop up in your transaction.  Because there are so many possibilities, each of which is unknowable at the time the property is being listed, most often an agent will discuss them and deal with them only when they come up.   So I don't think you'll see this information in one place anywhere else in print or on the world wide web.  This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of nonexpectations.  It is simply a list of surprises (some unwelcome) that home sellers could encounter.   I'll not list the welcome surprises, for obvious reasons...

Warning! If you tend to worry about things, don't read any further!

The Purchase Offer
Low offers
Seller asked to pay buyer's closing costs
Seller asked to leave non-realty items with property
Seller asked to repair items seller disclosed as not to be repaired
Seller asked to repair items when he sold the property "AS-IS"
Seller unaware that FHA and VA costs seller more money than conventional or cash
Buyer wants to use Seller's survey
Buyer offers seller more money for house to pay for carpet, paint, flooring, roof, etc.
Buyer wants to move in prior to closing
Buyer wants seller to make a loan to buyer
Buyer doesn't respond as expected
Buyer doesn't respond
Buyer lowers offer
Buyer changes what he wants
Renegotiation during option period
Buyer requires seller to make more repairs than seller expected
Buyer asks for a credit in lieu of repairs
Buyer changes financing
Buyer changes terms of contract
Buyer asks for longer option period
Inspection results
Toilet loose on floor
Various leaks and other plumbing issues
Water heater not vented properly
Need for GFCI devices or other electrical issues
More fogged windows than seller thought
Rotted wood
Termites or carpenter ants
Disintegrating AC ductwork
A/C needs servicing
Roof needs repair or replacing
Foundation worse than seller thought
Buyer's loan problems
Buyer can't get contract interest rate at closing
Buyer can't qualify for loan, even with approval letter
Property appraises for less than sales price
Contract has to be renegotiated for any of the above three problems, or buyer gets earnest money back
Seller's loan problems
Seller forgot to include current month's interest when estimating payoff
Seller forgot that interest and taxes are paid in arrears
Escrow shortage
FHA requires extra month's interest paid
Title defects
Last title company did incomplete research
Mechanic's liens
Released liens not recorded
Seller has name similar to someone who has a judgment against them
Seller's marital status changed
Survey problems
Last survey was inaccurate
Fence not on property line
Undisclosed easements
Buyer changes mind
Buyer changes mind
Acts of God 
Fire (spontaneous or otherwise) 
Lightning, hail 
Accident, sickness or worse
      I hope you found this list to be of value.  My appreciation goes to Mrs. Carter, who gave me the idea.

      Not all the surprises listed above are problems.   Of those that are problems, most have solutions.  Some surprises are situations that just need to be viewed in proper perspective.  In either case, an experienced Realtor can be helpful.

      The main thing to remember here is that in real estate, everything is negotiable.  That doesn't mean that everything is achievable or that either party always gets his way.  It simply means there are a thousand roads to the same destination.  I hope your trip is safe and pleasurable!

Call Tom: 512-327-9310 x 234

Stanberry & Associates has operated as a real estate brokerage firm licensed in the State of Texas since 1985.

Tom Polk is a real estate broker licensed in the State of Texas.


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