Let Halloween Week Begin..With Two Closings!

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

Let Halloween Week Begin..With Two Closings

Not every deal is smooth from beginning to end.  And the more moving parts, the more complicated any hiccup becomes.

This morning, I was at the closing table with sellers, who were using funds from their sale to purchase their next home.  Unfortunately, despite all the best efforts on my part to get the other side of the home sale side to do a walk through inspection the day before closing, it was decided by the buyers and their agent that they would do it before their scheduled 11am closing.  That meant my sellers would be away from the closing table if any issue arose.

After several positive texts were exchanged with the buyer's agent, suddenly, almost as soon as my clients were on the highway en route to the next home, the agent texted in a panic.  The buyers, who undisclosed biggest aversion was living next to a cemetery had just discovered a small grouping of old burial plots in the adjacent parcel that was wooded and undeveloped.  Hmmm.  I had never seen them.  And the sellers had never brought them up, not that they had to.  It just never crossed their minds it would be a big deal to anyone. 

Virginia is a buyer beware state.  If a buyer has an aversion to something, it is up to the buyers or their agent to investigate.  I know this because earlier this year I represented buyers who were very concerned about what was happening on the lots behind a home they were interested in.  I used my connnections to investigate those lots.  The buyers went in knowing 100% that at some point in time, those lots were going to be developed by Brookfield Homes, who already owned some of them and had put in for a state route number into the future neighborhood.  We even knew the building from the existing farm the developer had contracted to save and make a landmark in the community.

Unfortunately, these buyers didn't know about these burial plots and were losing their minds.  I guess they had visions of ghosts and whatever else.  Meanwhile, my sellers had lived in the home for nearly fifteen years and LOVED every minute of it.  They had installed a hot tub and gazebo to enjoy their backyard, which apparently sided to what was now a major problem for the buyers.  Why hadn't the buyers looked into what was next door before?  Why hadn't they had voiced a specific question, "Is there a cemetery next door?"  All they asked was who owned the land.  When they did, I looked into it and discovered it was the HOA.  Perhaps calling the HOA would have been their next stop.  Or reading the HOA documents.  Why didn't they?  Not mine to say.  

What is mine to say is that when I looked at the contract and saw the buyers had no outs, and there was no way to void based on just finding these headstones next door, my sellers were given the name of an attorney who they engaged and told to stop moving into their next home for the time being.  If the buyers didn't consummate the sale of their existing home, the deal for my clients' next home was off.   Tens of thousands of dollars would be wasted in movers alone.  The buyers were informed of this and we spent the next few hours in agony...waiting.  Were they signing?  Did they walk?  

We knew they wanted to walk because they had their agent beg for a release to be signed.    My clients were not inclined at any point to do that.  The earnest money my clients would pull down in the default was not coming close to covering what it would cost to undo this mess.  It was showtime.  Perform or be sued.  My client's attorney contacted the title company to inform him of his engagement with my sellers about the time we got word that the buyers had signed.

My clients were able to breathe a sigh of relief and move to their next home, whose seller also breathed a sigh of relief.  I'm not sure the buyers had any clue the potential lawsuits were piled two property sellers deep.

Are the buyers going to be happy in their new home?  If they give it a chance, I bet they will be.  It is a lovely home on a very private lot.  As I said, I never ever saw anything but trees.  And that old, inactive grouping of burial plots prevents anyone from building next to them...ever.  That's a very good thing.  

My clients had quite the scare to start  this Halloween week with their buyer threatening not to close on settlement day, but it all worked out in their favor.  That's my job.  If you want a good outcome when the stuff hits the fan, or as good an outcome as you can manage, you need a fantastic agent.  Past clients and industry insiders (some of whom ar past clients themselves) highly recommend me.  There's a reason.  Don't chance it.  Give me a call when it is time to buy or sell.




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Gwen Banta
Sotheby's International Realty - Los Angeles, CA

This is fascinating - who would have "thunk" it? I'm glad the buyers were not "spooked" out of buying. Congratulations on the sale!

Oct 28, 2019 05:57 PM #1
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

There's nothing spooky about two closing, Chris Ann.  Actually, it sounds a little more like Christmas!

Oct 28, 2019 06:20 PM #2
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good evening Chris Ann Cleland - that is really some story and appropriate for Halloween.

Oct 28, 2019 08:04 PM #3
Bob Ratliff
Robert Ratliff Realty - San Antonio, TX
"Sold with Bob"

Spooky Scary nail biting experience no real estate agent or seller want to deal with day of closing. Glad it all worked out for you and seller.

Oct 29, 2019 02:51 AM #4
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Chris Ann. Two closing a week, without the hassles you experienced, would be a nice year round goal! Enjoy your day!

Oct 29, 2019 04:27 AM #5
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

All of your clients are in good hands when they have the common sense to deal with you, Chris Ann Cleland and congratulations on your closings....

Oct 29, 2019 04:46 AM #6
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Congratulations on two closings - your clients certainly knew how to avoid a scary month when they chose you to guide them through the ins and outs of a real estate transaction! 

Oct 29, 2019 06:15 AM #7
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Chris Ann - real estate can certainly provide some frightening moments at times...   Congratulations on the two closings.  Onto a seance or an Ouija game.   

Oct 29, 2019 06:20 AM #8
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Ha, I realize I missed a call from you couple days ago, was this what it was about? 

Gotta make sure every rock is turned over. I hope the buyers will be OK and find 'friendly spirits' among their new neighbors.

Give me quiet non-physical entities over wackos in the flesh any day! LOL 

Oct 29, 2019 07:12 AM #9
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

We sold a house (twice) that backs up to a cemetery. I told prospective buyers ( and their agents) the neighbors in back are very, very quiet. You'll love them.  It didn't stop it from selling, but I know some people are very sensitive to this issue. Hope they will focus on the positive. Nice Halloween transaction, right? :) 

Oct 29, 2019 08:18 AM #10
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Chris Ann Cleland

Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
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