There was a time when buying and selling real estate was easy. A buyer looked at a few houses, picked one, the seller signed the contract and we closed in a month or so.
It was a straightforward process and it took something momentous to derail closing. I remember losing two deals early in my career. One was because the subject house burned to the ground, and the other was because Republic Airlines went out of business and my client was suddenly out of a job.
These days closing a transaction is like walking on eggshells. Even the slightest misstep can send a hard-fought deal into certain oblivion.
Inspection issues, appraisals, documentation, and title issues all contribute to making a closed transaction a 50%-50% proposition. In every case if we lose the closing we have to start all over. Sometime we repeat the process many times.
Is it possible that buying and selling real estate has become too complicated? Is the overall process better now for consumers than in days past, or is it so tenuous and invasive that it actually frightens people away from the market?
I’m not saying that “sign here and caveat emptor” was better, just that it was easier.
But come to think about it … I never had any complaints.