My two deals currently in escrow almost went crashing out and spewing their wreckage all over the real estate, mortgage and appraisal personnel of the greater metro Phoenix area today. It was a close call, I’m telling you.
The problem started out large; a significant gap in the selling price and the appraised value of the house, and even though I had been convinced at first it would be the ruin of everything I’ve been working toward for the last month, that part was resolved fairly quickly. The discussions became quickly uglier and more bogged down when we got to the little details. Who gets the 10-year old fridge? Who will pay to have the A/C serviced? These were the questions that almost led to the breakdown of all negotiations.
It really highlighted the emotional component of all of this for me. When it comes down to it, home owners are selling the most personal and expensive thing they own. They feel possessive and defensive about their house. They are miserable to leave the height charts of their children on the kitchen wall. They will miss the memory of where the family cat had kittens in the master bedroom closet. They don’t like to hear about the faults the home inspector finds in it. They don’t want to know that the appraiser thinks the home they raised their kids in isn’t worth as much as they think it is. The whole process is an exercise in pouring salt in the wounds that actually leaving a home you’ve had for any length of time has created.
For the buyers, this process is about making sure they get their money’s worth. It’s a huge, scary investment and they are terrified of buying a lemon. Buyers are convinced the sellers must be hiding some huge defect in the house.
It’s a tough, exciting, emotionally draining thing, purchasing or selling a house. At the end of it, usually everyone is quite pleased, but road to Pleasantville is often quite rocky.