This past week, I had a closing that really went quite smoothly, but with other clients, it could have been a total disaster. There are many good reasons buyers and sellers should not interact substantially until sitting across from each other at the closing table. Here's reason #58:
The sellers will be renting back for a month, so on the day of closing, we wanted to complete a benchmark walk-through to determine that the agreed to repairs had been completed and the home was essentially in the same condition as when we went under contract. The sellers are in the property while we do the walk-through and, we are nearly finished with everything looking great. Then we go into the master bath to see if they caulked to eliminate a leak that occurs when you put the shower faucet at a particular angle. They haven't because they were not able to duplicate the leak encouraging angle of the faucet.
We see it's still leaking. I called out to the listing agent who then brings the seller in tow. There are now six people in a bathroom that comfortably accommodates a max of three, all looking at the water leaking onto the floor. Then the seller says, "Gee, I wonder if that's why we had water leak down through the living room ceiling a couple of years ago and cost us $2,000 to fix?" Thud. That's the last thing you need to hear 35 minutes from closing.
Fortunately, I had easygoing buyers who accepted the seller's explanation of the leak and the repair. Another set of buyers might have dug in their heels and said "no closing until that ceiling is thoroughly inspected". We did have the inspector come back out a few days later and determined the prior leak and damage had been properly repaired.
Have you had situations come up where the buyers and sellers started getting more involved with each other and, it then caused problems?