The X-Files of Real Estate
The buyers in this deal had a home to sell before they could purchase my sellers' home. That was going to happen following our 11am closing at Noon. No wait, someone just said it was happening at 4pm. Then the processor from the title company walked in, hearing our conversation, and informed us that the first transaction that needed to close before my listing was considered sold was not closing until 8pm that night. Yes, 8pm on Thanksgiving Eve. If you are an experienced Listing Agent like me, that gives you serious pause. Who is going to verify this signing actually took place at the other, seemingly clueless title company? Everyone will be home getting their turkeys and side dishes prepped for the holiday. And if it didn't happen, same question applies. Who would know?
That's when I had to excuse myself from the room and call my sellers. I explained that the settlement may or may not actually happen that day due to a delay by the buyer in the first transaction's lender. My brain had already jumped to the worst case scenario, which was that our buyer's buyer may not be able to close, leaving them unable to consummate our deal. Yet, there in the parking lot was a moving truck, packed to the gills. The question asked to my sellers was simple, "Do you want to execute a Pre Settlement Occupany Agreement or tell your buyers they can't move in until we have proof of the other closing?" Ah, the glamorous life of a real estate agent.
After serious discussion, which involved empathy for the buyer, my sellers found the best course of action was to execute a Pre-Settlement Occupancy Agreement that allowed the buyers to move in immediately at a rate of $100/day with a non-refundable $3,000 deposit if the settlement didn't occur by the last day of November. My sellers also, realizing verification was an issue during the holiday weekend, waived any rent IF the deal settled by the following Monday. We got all the paperwork done to make sure my sellers were protected and I ended up getting delayed two hours longer than I thought.
So while I sat there in the dental chair, under the cozy blanket and watching The X-Files at 11am on Monday, I still had no confirmation if our deal from the previous Wednesday had closed. It wasn't until my novocaine had worn off, much later in the afternoon, that I was able to tell my sellers that the deal was closed and provide them signed proof.
In this business, we have to always be prepared for the worst case scenarios and help our clients set themselves up for the best possible outcome. And taking someone's word for things being "all good" is not a way to run a business, or protect your client. Had our buyer's home not sold Thanksgiving Eve, or even on Monday, my sellers were protected with the documentation we had to put in place on the fly. Thankfully, we didn't need it.