Sunday, October 21, 2007

How to screw up closing on your house

The fun part of all the house purchasing/selling negotiations are the terms involved. And the emotional elements of the "closing" are the best time to throw in something nuts.

Bear in mind, any "seller" tips were most applicable about 3 years ago. If you attempt them in 2007, you're just an idiot:
  • Ignore the request/s of the other party - If you do this, then you're sure to send things south. Why fix a silly bathroom fan when you can kill a $600k deal?
  • Don't sign forms - This is a high art. By not signing required forms, you can totally kill the deal. This interacts with several other factors (see "secret" and "ignore"), and really PO's the other party involved. You keep them in the dark, which makes them unclear as to what is going on. Psychological warfare, nice one.
  • Keep your demands secret till the last minute - By doing so, you can spring the requests on the other party thereby giving them minimal time to respond. This has a dual effect, you can both complicate the closing AND require some sort of crazy response with minimal time to react.
  • Make outrageous claims - Just request totally nuts stuff, such as that they add an extra room to the house, or that the closing price suddenly be $30k higher. Added bonus is that both agents will flip out!
  • Have your agent go nuts - This is super fun, have one of the agents start making outrageous requests. It could involve any of the above (timing, elements, etc), or just something totally our of the blue ("We want clowns and balloon animals, and we want them NOW!"). This is especially great when one agent intimidates the other.
  • Make the money disappear - Why pay when defaulting to start off is so much more rewarding.
  • Change your mind - You have no real recourse at this point to call of the sale (from a buyer or seller perspective), but why not? Just say it's not "working" for you, and let the sparks fly.
  • Disappear - Take it ALL to the extreme. No response, change the terms? That's baby stuff. Just don't respond to anything, take a week off from work so no one can find you, and just let the real estate agents flip out. THIS is high entertainment.
Or you can do the exact opposite, listen to your agent, to your lender (when applicable) and your closing attorney. That is IF you want to get the deal done...

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