IT'S NOT SOUP UNTIL IT RECORDS!
Many years ago, when I was a very young escrow secretary, a seasoned escrow manager said this to me over some challenge on a closing. I do not remember the specific transaction but I have never forgotten the lesson. Things come up in transactions ALL the time.
Over the years, I have used the line many times in escrow training classes and to assist our current agent's and clients understanding of the closing process. Transactions can take a sideways step/leap for a multitude of reasons. That blip at the end can be very unsettling and not necessarily a matter of fault - just a matter of timing. Short Sales already have the reputation of running long and difficult. This is more about the "other stuff" that can come up.
. Last minute or unknown liens/judgments against the seller. They made have been paid in the past, but no formal release was ever recorded. Usually a DELAY
. Title/Vesting issues for the seller, such as bankruptcy and or the death of a spouse can cause delays due to the requirement of necessary court documents. DELAY OR DERAIL.
. Buyer's not shopping homeowner's insurance early on in the transaction. Insurance companies run a claim history on the house and some items may not have been known to the seller (think REO on that one). Select your insurance agent early. DELAY
. Source of funds and last minute movement of money. Buyer's having the guidance of a good loan officer will be well versed in knowing that not only do you have sufficient funds BUT where it comes from is equally important. DELAY OR DERAIL
. Something new on the buyer's credit report just at the moment of close. Buyer's shopping for big ticket items just before close. DELAY OR DERAIL.
Buyers and Seller's, should ALWAYS have fall back positions - should they need it. I believe as agents, we have an obligation to help clients understand these issues. A strong knowlegable agent can prepare their client well, so that can navigate those last minute blips. Remember, it's not soup until it records!