Paint Cans – A Real Estate Hot Potato

Want me to leave the touch up paint?

Paint Cans

Paint cans can be a bit of a hot potato leading up to a real estate closing. Emotions range from big hassle to huge favor. Environmental regulations can make disposing of paint cans expensive and difficult. On the other hand, the buyer may really want the paint for post-move touch up IF it is fairly fresh and matches the current trim and wall colors. The problem arises in the between those two and real life almost always lies in the middle.

The Best Scenario

The best scenario occurs when the seller has partially empty paint cans with notes of what was painted with it and the date. There are less than 6 cans and they are neatly stored with a few spare rollers and pans. Nice and tidy and organized.

The Worst Scenario

Cans are left from two to three generations of paint schemes (and all are still liquid) with various other project supplies that have all probably dried out by now. Now, if the paint has solidified, that is a great thing! Then it just becomes a household waste nuisance instead of something that requires special handling for disposal.

Leave Things Better Than You Found Them

I have found that living by this rule pays off for me every time. With camping, its “leave no trace”. That way nature is preserved for the next person. When it comes to turning your house over to a new buyer, leaving behind any helpful tips on how to maximize their enjoyment of it will be a blessing that cannot be calculated. Yes, it might take work. Yes, the buyer may have been a pain in the neck along the way and not appreciate it. But they don’t define who you are do they? Leave the legacy you want to leave and be proud of your reputation. You never know how small the world is. That buyer could very well end up being in position to return the favor some day.

Real Estate Sales is not Rocket Surgery

But you had better handle the emergencies well.

real estate

I just finished watching the movie Sully and it gave the audience a glimpse into the responsibility someone can feel for people under their care. It also highlighted the scrutiny that can follow when events don’t go as planned. What made me want to see this movie was the fact that this was a real life event that thrust normal people into an emergency situation. Captain Sullenberger had been quietly mastering his craft for 40 years. Then came a bird strike out of the blue and the emergency landing… His character in the movie remarked: “I’ve delivered a million passengers over 40 years yet in the end I’m going to be judged on 208 seconds.” Real Estate Sales is a LOT like that! EVERYTHING is colored by the last few days leading into the closing.

How Hard Could it Be?

Buying or selling a house could be straightforward IF… the seller is honest, the house is in tip-top shape, seller continues to maintain the house, the buyer is honest, the buyer behaves at work, the buyer stops buying other things,  the buyer has plenty of money, the buyer chooses a lender who is able to get things done early, the inspector is not an alarmist, reasonable people are involved and they work through the inspection issues, the appraiser actually knows the market where the house is located, the neighbors do not accost the buyer with accusations, the closing attorney has a good staff, the HOA cooperates in a timely manner and mother nature holds off on the surprises. If there are agents involved, they also need to help move the sale forward smoothly rather than introducing drama by suggesting ill will and ulterior motives on the part of the other side.

But real estate sales are rarely free from all of those. Agents joke that real estate sales would be easy if it just weren’t for the people. What they mean is that people come with agendas, motives and selfishness. That mixture can bring drama and it is the drama that takes all the fun out of buying and selling homes. Delivering great service is tough enough. Delivering great service with competing agendas, personal drama and raging emotions can be downright complicated. At times it can feel like rocket surgery.

It is not Life or Death

In the end, it is still just buying or selling house. It is not real surgery on a living person. It is not life or death. No one ever died because a closing did not happen – at least not directly – that I know of. A house is not going to burn down because a deadline is missed or a text is misinterpreted. But houses can burn down – the night before the closing. Movers can drop huge wardrobes off a second story catwalk resulting in a furniture explosion. Washing machine hoses can burst.

Still, we are dealing with stuff – stuff that is most likely insured. Yes, dreams are wrapped up in that stuff and the loss of a dream is stressful. This is when we find out who people really are. Character is not made during a crisis – it is just revealed.

There is No Referee

There is no referee in the game of real estate sales. Selling a property is the equivalent of two countries negotiating a trade agreement. Yes, there are brokers involved above the agents but brokers are biased. There are laws and contracts in place but in the end, there is no ultimate authority watching over the process. No one to rule on an issue. No one who can call a penalty or eject a player. The parties involved just have to work it out. The parties have to work everything out. That means they even have to work out how they are NOT going to proceed if the contract is to be terminated.

Twenty one years down the road, I think what surprises people the most (agents included) is that contract language is not always black and white. The best route is communicate well and work together to address any bumps in the road.

Smooth Landings

As with any profession, witnessing the desired and typical outcome can seem routine. That does not mean it was easy. That means that the professionals involved have practiced enough to be able to achieve the desired outcome even if the unexpected arises.

I believe most people want things to go smoothly once a house goes under contract. Most of the time, everyone on both sides does their part and things fall into place like they are supposed to. As an experienced Realtor, I can tell you that I never relax until a couple of days after a closing. Passing deadlines and milestones is more of a relief than a celebration. There are so many moving parts to a transaction! We know that we can get everything right up to the week of closing and if there is some last-minute drama, we will still be judged. Its human nature. The only way to win is to nail the landing.



Home Loan Applications Started after Oct 3, 2015 will be a Whole New Ballgame

Home Loan ApplicationsIf you OR someone you know is going to buy a house in the next few months, a big door is closing on Oct 3rd… Home loan applications started after that time will be a whole new ballgame!

Unpredictable is about the best way to describe what will happen for loans initiated on or after October 3, 2015.  No one really knows how things will go! Many project that it will take at least 60 days to close a loan once the new disclosure rules are in force – versus a norm of 21 to 30 days today.  October and November closings for real estate transactions will likely be an adventure as all parties involved adjust to these new regulatory changes.  Honestly… times like these are when we will find out who the real professionals are! “Adversity doesn’t build character it reveals it.” Vince Lombardi

What are the New Rules?

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Here is a link to the changes coming from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act).

What is likely to change?

Increased document security, longer disclosure timeframes and new closing forms. Closing Attorneys have been bracing for this for months. Just imagine attorneys hiring attorneys to advise them on how the new rules could possibly affect them. Offices have had to be reconfigured to prevent the accidental viewing of sensitive documents. The universal standard HUD-1 Closing Form is being be replaced. The lenders will not be able to deliver money as fast due to increased disclosure requirements and notices.

The CFPB is a relatively new regulatory entity with broad enforcement ability and the penalties can be stiff.  This adds up to unknowns and risk. You can rest assured, no one is going to go very far out on a limb to help you borrow money until the dust settles.

What can you do?

Home Loan Applications

Buckle up! Make loan application before October 2nd if you plan to buy a house in the next few months. That way you will be “grandfathered” in under the current system.

Where do you start?

If you haven’t already, call your Realtor for a recommendation to a great lender. We have a great starting lineup of lenders who have proven to be the best in the industry. Talk to the lender about your plans and get them to coach you through the process.


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