Real Estate Questions! Getting To The Bottom Of It All!
Buyers and Sellers Want To Know!
The Real Estate market is crazy busy! Over the last several months, we have been inundated with questions from buyers and sellers, so this is a great time to answer them! A hot market brings out many interesting scenarios, some that come from frustrated buyers who have a hard time getting a contract accepted.
Question: I am selling my home and have lived there for 30 years. I have made improvements to my home over the years including a pool and new fence. I have my original survey and gave it to my listing agent and signed an affidavit that I had put a pool in. Now, the buyer says they have to have a new survey and want me to pay for it. Why can’t we just use the survey I gave them? Curious Seller
Answer: Dear Curious Buyer:
Primarily, surveys are no longer valid when an item like a pool, concrete deck, accessory building with slab foundation is added to any real estate, or when a fence is moved. It changes what the title company is going to insure and on which the mortgage company is going to issue a loan. The survey does not reflect the current state of the property and will require a new survey. This is a negotiable item and sometimes can be worked out between the seller and the buyer. Quite often, the seller is able to go back to the survey company and get an updated survey as a discounted price, and the result is savings for everyone.
Question: I am a buyer and I lost my financing, how can I get my earnest money back from the title company? I was ready to close and had gone through all the steps, but at the last minute, my lender declined my loan and the seller is not willing to give me time to find another! Sad Buyer
Answer: Dear Sad Buyer:
That is, indeed, a sad situation! First, when your contract was accepted, it probably had, what we call, a Third Party Finance Addendum, setting out the terms and conditions for your loan. In that document, there is a provision for you to get financing, but if you cannot, limits the days for you to seek alternative financing. This allows the seller to have an “out” if you cannot qualify and let him find a new buyer. Further, if this time has expired, the earnest money becomes non-refundable. Many times, in extenuating circumstances, the seller may agree to extend your closing date to allow you to find a different mortgage company, or if he feels badly for you, he may sign a release of earnest money and allow you to have a refund. That is pretty rare, in that the seller has had his house off of the market for the entire time of the transaction and is main goal has always been to sell his real estate.
Jackie Black is owner of Jackie Black & Associates, LLC and Texas Best Properties and is a licensed Texas Real Estate Broker. Black writes a monthly Real Estate News for The Texas Blaze Newspaper and is principal broker for the Villas at Barber Creek and Waterchase at Creek Run.