Haus Schwatz: Cati's DC Real Estate

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The Seller's Right To Be Stubborn

Moss on 1930s cement shingle roofSo, you have bought a house, and you're eager to prepare for your move. Less than a month until closing, the contingencies have been removed, and there is sooo much to do.

It's a big house that needs quite a bit of work, a lot of which is better done before you move in: refinishing wood floors, stripping flaking paint that's potentially laced with lead, opening up a couple of walls, removing asbestos insulation in a crawl space that needs waterproofing, and even replacing the 80-year old cement shingle roof that is now covered by a pretty ecosystem of moss and crawleys.

You also have a house to sell, and you don't want to miss the spring market. So you really need to get going. You need to get the architects in and the contractors, you need to plan and make decisions, you need to get estimates and to hire and to budget.

But then there's the seller, a kind and gentle elderly lady who has lived in the house for 40 years, has raised her family there, lost her husband there some decade ago, and simply needs time to say good-bye and let go of it all.

She does not want your visits or your contractors. All your planning and the spring market don't matter to her. She has accommodated the inspector, the appraiser and the termite guy, and now that's it.

It's a NO. 

We've asked. Again. And again. It's still a no.

Now, I'm your agent, and I do get it. I see what's at stake, and I know that whatever you plan for will likely end up taking twice the time, anyway. You have little kids, and you need to know where you will be in the summer, and where you will be when school starts. I get it. 

But legally, Mrs Seller has a right to be stubborn until she hands over the keys to you. Is it appropriate for me to keep begging the listing agent and thereby putting him in an uncomfortable spot?

Calling on all you brokers, agents and sellers: What do you think? Do we have to back off, or is it just unreasonable for this seller to cause all this delay and the uncertainty and possible financial losses that come with it? Is this handled differently in different parts of the country?

Please tell.

 

© 2012, Catarina Bannier 

www.BannierHomes.com

www.DCHouseCat.com

www.DCHouseSmarts.com

     

Comment balloon 8 commentsCatarina Bannier • February 05 2013 08:55AM
The Seller's Right To Be Stubborn
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So, you have bought a house, and you're eager to prepare for your move. Less than a month until closing, the contingencies have been removed, and there is sooo much to do. It's a big house that needs quite a bit of work a lot of which is… more