The devil is in the detail in home sales

In the current market, most home sellers are still focused on getting any offer to purchase that is reasonably close to their asking price, but they should not lose sight of the fact that there are usually also many non-price terms to be successfully negotiated before a deal can be concluded.

So says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, who notes: “Factors such as the deposit, valuation, financing, inspections (and who’s going to pay for them), fixtures and fittings and the occupation date are important considerations that must not be overlooked.

“The occupation date, for instance, can quickly become a sore point unless resolved from the start. Should the seller wish to occupy the residence for a certain amount of time after the transfer has gone through, this has to be taken into consideration. Similarly, if the buyer wants to take occupation before transfer, then the amount of occupational rent has to be agreed and written into the purchase contract.”

Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he points out that bank valuations and electrical compliance inspections also cost money. “The question is, who foots the bill? The buyer applying for a home loan usually pays for the bank valuation, but what if it is a cash deal? The seller may also want to think about getting an electrical inspection done before starting to market the property.”

Fixtures and fittings can also become a cause for acrimony, Everitt says, and it needs to be clearly set out in the sale agreement which fittings the seller will remove or leave behind.

“The reality is that buyers as well as sellers want to squeeze as much they can out of a deal – and that when nerves become frayed in negotiations, even minor issues can become dealbreakers.

“This highlights the importance of having an experienced estate agent involved as a third party negotiator who will deal with all the issues in a calm, unbiased fashion, ensure that both parties understand all the terms of the sale agreement, and bring the sale to a successful conclusion.”

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