How to Prevent Home Sale Issues Before Listing For Sale

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Executive Realty 91362

Fixing Home Sale Issues

Preventing home sale issuesWhen selling a home there are numerous issues that can crop up during your Real Estate transaction. In order to ensure your home sale to go smoothly is to make sure you tackle some of these issues before they even rear their ugly head! A well informed seller is one that will more than likely increase their chances of sitting at a closing table in a quicker time frame with a lot less stress.

There is nothing that can make the process of selling a home more painful than having your home on the market, getting an acceptable offer and then weeks later have the sale fall apart for any number of reasons. If you are well armed and know some of the most common home selling issues there is a greater chance that will never have to even think of having your transaction derailed.

There are many home seller's that like to "play things by ear" and just hope they find a buyer will that temperament just to say "don't you worry about a thing Mr. Seller we love your home no matter what". These are the kind of seller's who learn fast that finding that kind of home buyer is like an Eskimo looking for ice.

A quick review of some of the most common home sale issues include home inspection items whether it is general disrepair, code violation issues, radon, mold, well water or pest issues. Some seller's never even take into consideration that any of these things could even possibly exist in their home. It is human nature to get comfortable with our surroundings and unless there is water pouring into the house or the heat won't come on many take their home for granted.

Another common issues that can cause a home sale to fall apart is the seller who has gone out and put a fabulous addition onto their home or maybe even one of those top of the line home theater systems in their basement. These sound like some really good improvements don't they? They sure are but not at the expense of getting a permit to have them!

I can't even begin to tell you how many home seller's try to save themselves a few bucks by not getting a permit for things they should. For some owners they are trying to avoid the local tax collector coming to their home and ultimately increasing what they pay in yearly taxes.

What many home seller's however do not realize is that there is a strong possibility this will come back to bite them when they least expect it. Not too long ago I had a seller client in Franklin Mass who thought he knew more about selling Real Estate than I do. If you are a Realtor reading this, I am sure an eye brow is raised right now because we all have experienced the seller who can't be reasoned with. He unfortunately did not get a permit for something he should have. Fortunately for him it did not end up killing the sale but certainly could have!

Some of the other more common stumbling blocks to a home sale include the buyer's financing. Of course you want to do your home work and make sure the buyer is financially qualified to buy your home. In some markets another hot topic has become appraisal issues.

When Real Estate markets change rapidly it is harder for appraisers to accurately come up with a Real Estate value. This is because often times home sales lag what is going on in the market creating a disparity in what a home seller receives as an offer on their home and what an appraiser can use to justify the accepted price.

The bottom line is to make sure you do your home work before you put your biggest asset up for sale. A well prepared seller is more than likely going to be a happy one!


About the author: The above Real Estate information on Preventing home sale issues was provided by BillRE/MAX Executive Realty Hopkinton Mass Real Estate Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at or by phone at 508-435-5356. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 26+ Years.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!

For Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate and home sales see Maximum Real Estate Exposure

I service the following towns in Metrowest MA: Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Upton, Southborough, Westborough, Ashland, Holliston, Mendon, Hopedale, Medway, Franklin, Grafton, Northboro, Shrewsbury, Bellingham, Northbridge, Uxbridge, Sutton, Millbury, Worcester, Millville, Douglas, Natick and Wayland MA.

Building lasting relationships by helping people move in and out of Metrowest Massachusetts for the last 26 years.


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Bill Gassett is a thirty-two year veteran to the real estate industry. He enjoys providing helpful information to buyers, sellers and fellow real estate agents to make sound decisions. His work has been featured on RIS Media, National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Placester, RESAAS, Credit Sesame and others.


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  1. Hannah Williams 10/15/2013 06:29 AM
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Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Thanks for your comments guys. It obviously makes sense from a sellers point of view not to create your own problems.

Jennifer - I bet the sellers were probably shocked that they had to rip out the work they had already done?

Oct 15, 2013 09:35 PM #14
Bill and MaryAnn Wagner
Wagner Real Estate Group - Ocean City, NJ
Jersey Shore and South Jersey Real Estate
Excellent post Bill. We find in a lot of cases that sellers were truly not aware of permitting issues. Where we have issues with this is when they hire a contractor to do the work and the contractor advise the seller and obtain the necessary permits. We encourage our sellers to obtain all their inspections and certifications in advance. It just makes everything much less stressful.
Oct 15, 2013 09:50 PM #15
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Thanks Bill and Maryann. You aren't kidding when you talk about the added stress to a transaction when right in the middle of it you have to go and get permits for work you may have done years ago. It just adds another layer of complexity to the transaction.

Oct 15, 2013 10:03 PM #16
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Bill, the longer a seller has lived in the home, the more important it is for them to get a pre-listing inspection so they have time to work on issues. When a buyer comes in, they can see an item that needs to be fixed, but they reason it might take $1,000 to remedy when the seller can get it done by a professional for maybe $200.  Values escalate with the size of the issue

Oct 15, 2013 10:11 PM #17
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Bill, you bring up some valid points sellers should know prior to selling their home. Educating the seller is a must.

Oct 15, 2013 11:01 PM #18
Jared Garfield
Rich Life Real Estate Team - Buford, GA
Invest With The Best For The Highest Returns!



You make some good points here, and preventative maintenance on issues that can arise is always the best practice, setting up your seller for issues that may arise and having them do everything in their power to make sure that they are resolved before the arise is sound advice!

Oct 15, 2013 11:32 PM #19
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Getting ready to sell is like preparing to buy. Preparation whether you were a boy or girl scout or not is key. Be prepared. We lead, navigate, set expectations on the list, market, sell (repeat). Well put Mr Bill Mr Bill !

Oct 16, 2013 12:45 AM #20
Kerry Lucasse
eXp Realty - Urban Nest Real Estate Group - Atlanta, GA
Your Urban Nest Atlanta Real Estate Consultant

Excellent post, Bill!  I sell a lot of older homes and some of the issues that pop up are scary -- including (the lack of) permits for work completed two owners ago.  Sellers who are prepared before the sign goes in the front yard makes such a big difference.

Oct 16, 2013 01:08 AM #21
Jay & Michelle Lieberman
Keller Williams World Class - Agoura Hills, CA
Creating Calm in the Buying and Selling Chaos

What a great post.  Tons to think about and keep in mind.  Thanks for that.

Oct 16, 2013 03:51 AM #22
Mike Rankin
ClearPath Mortgage Solutions, Inc. NMLS #1394615 - Albany, NY
Mortgage Consultant

Great post Bill! Thanks for sharing the info. 

Oct 16, 2013 10:15 AM #23
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Thanks guys I appreciate all the comments on my article!

Oct 16, 2013 10:35 AM #24
Kevin Vitali
EXIT Realty- Massachusetts Short Sales & Residential Sales - Tewksbury, MA
Helping Massachusetts Home Buyers and Home Sellers

Nothing beats a pre-sale home inspection.  No surprises for the seller!!  Issues can be fixed prior to listing if need be.  What sellers and buyers seem to forget as anxious and emotional as they are so is the other party.  Emotions can be hair trigger in a real estate transaction.

Oct 20, 2013 05:16 AM #25
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Kevin I certainly agree that a pre-sale home inspection is a good move for a seller!

Oct 20, 2013 06:36 AM #26
Kelly Young
The Platinum Group Realtors - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Real Estate ~ 719-226-0126

Bill, we have run into lack of permits (or a permit not closed) on a remodel of some sort and yes it does create problems.  Another one right there with it is not getting a survey or ILC done prior to making a change to your property to make sure that where you are changing is on something you actually own vs. a neighbor owning it.

Oct 25, 2013 10:33 AM #27
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Kelly what really is amazing is how many buyers agents never ask when you can clearly see a major project was done in the house. We also have the survey issues from time to time as well.

Oct 25, 2013 10:07 PM #28
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Bill, there is also the fact that a Seller can control who does any repairs that might come in up a pre-listing inspection, and save hundreds of dollars if not more.

Nov 08, 2013 10:17 AM #29
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Nice selection of words Bill that discusses preventive measures on home sales issues that one may encounter before listing for sale. This is of great help to home owners planning to do such action. Thank you for sharing.

Dec 26, 2013 12:46 PM #30
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Thanks Katerina I am glad you enjoyed the article!

Dec 26, 2013 08:44 PM #31
Waynette Hoover Araj
Keller Williams Realty - Asheboro, NC
Connecting your Dreams with the Right Real Estate
Hello Bill, this is a great post. Very informative. You made the whole thing very easy to understand. Keep it up and stay the best!
Jan 29, 2014 10:13 AM #32
Barbara Gregus
CARES Consumer Advantage Real Estate Services - Sandia Park, NM
Sandia Park Paa-ko Homes
Thank you for sharing How to Prevent Home Sale Issues Before Listing For Sale, all the best!
Feb 20, 2014 08:42 PM #33
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