I always tell my seller clients that the deal isn't done until checks pass at the closing table.
Everyone has the expectation that it will happen, but there are a surprising number of "sales" that go bust between signed contracts and the passing of the deed.
Even though buyers typically have a 10 percent non-refundable deposit on their purchase of real property, they can walk away from the deal and leave the seller with a mostly empty bag and a stale listing to start the process all over.
"Buyer did not perform" is the typical phrase that sellers' agents use when a deal goes bust at or before the closing.
What can happen and why?
Buyers' remorse is a typical explanation of what happened to the buyer, but here are some things to look out for as you go from signed contract to closing.
First, the contingencies in the contract need to be resolved or expire. Unless it's a cash deal (rare), obtaining financing and/or selling the buyer's property often needs to be resolved. Once these contingencies expire, the seller is still not home free (no pun intended).
Buyers typically order an inspection report and inspectors are paid to find issues that should be resolved with the construction, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, just to name a few components.
Underground oil tanks and their necessary removal, soil testing, soil remediation and soil re-testing can upset the process dramatically.
Getting recommended follow-up specialist inspections for termites, water quality, drainage issues, mold, mildew and asbestos can strike fear into the buyers that causes them to back away from the deal or seek to renegotiate it.
Sellers are almost always not willing to budge from the contract terms and the negotiated price.
Houston, we have a problem. This is where skillful negotiation and explanation by realtors on both sides of the transaction can save the deal.
It's also one of the ways that savvy realtors earn their fee.
A good realtor follows the transaction every step of the way and doesn't let it get derailed.
I've even seen realtors who help a buyer get through hurdles in selling their property even though there's no commission in it for them.
If the buyer's deal goes bust, so does yours.
Perhaps the worst problem that can derail a sale is economic uncertainty.
Fear of an impending job loss, loss of major clients for self-employed buyers and the general state of the economy can cast a very real, negative backdrop on the deal.
Right now, our presidential and congressional elections can have a strong influence on how people view the economy and prospects for real estate appreciation or depreciation.
After all, losing 10 percent on the deal and buying it later for 30 percent less is not a bad thing for buyers.
of synthetic grass
Can synthetic grass really be ecologically friendly? When you mention the word synthetic, ecologically friendly isn't the first thing that comes to mind.
Many of today's products are not only 100 percent recyclable, but even are made up of recycled materials such as plastic water and soft drink bottles in manufacturing the turf and organic materials, such as soy beans, for the backing material.
The increased soy production improves air quality by consuming carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The green nature of these products comes mostly from the water savings, the lack of gasoline usage and leaks and the elimination of emissions from mowers, trimmers and aerators.
Of course, the fertilizers, weed and insect control products and other chemicals needed by lawns are totally bypassed, eliminating toxic elements that leach into our water supply, rivers and, ultimately, Long Island Sound.
A small 750-square-foot lawn can save approximately 22,000 gallons of water each year. If you're paying for public water, you can calculate what that will cost each year.
In fact, the use of synthetic grass can earn LEED point credits by reducing overall irrigation demand (ID) on a property.
A reduction of 65 percent is awarded one ID point by the U.S. Green Building Council. Seventy percent earns two points; 75 percent 3 points; and 80 percent or more, 4 points.
If you're interested in considering an alternative to natural grass, especially for heavily shaded areas under trees, awnings and decks where grass can't grow, visit www.ProGreen.com to learn more about a sensible alternative to becoming a slave or financier to your lawn.
The Little Friends Child Care and Preschool in Greenwich just installed ProGreen synthetic turf in their outdoor playground area. Director Verna Esposito was looking for a clean and safe alternative that would also would not require water that could spill down into the parking deck below.
The children love their new grass play area and could hardly wait to run onto it.
"Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence."
Ken Edwards is the principal broker for Edwards & Associates and has lived in town since 1974. All opinions expressed in this column are entirely his own and not those of this publisher. Comments, questions and suggestions may be sent to K_W_Edwards@Yahoo.com or by phone or text at 203- 918-4444. Questions of general interest will be addressed in this column, while others will receive individual responses.