HOME SALE “HORROR STORIES” Any real estate transaction can go awry. Out of ignorance, mischief, or larceny, issues can arise to complicate selling the home or cost the sellermoney. Having a real estate professional involved in the transactionwill provide knowledge, somewhere to turn, and action. Preclosing Error: Buyers Moving in Too Soon An agent-represented homeowner was selling a house owned in a small town in Washington State. She accepted a buyer’s offer, moved, and was awaiting transaction’s closing. The seller found out that the buyers were moving in before the date of closing. Seller called her agent, who contacted the buyers’ agent and noted that the buyers should not have had the keys and definitely should not be moving into the house. (There are several legal, insurance-related, and ownership reasons for this). The buyers told their agent that they thought it was all right to move in before closing. While the buyers did not get tomove in early, they did transfer the utilities to their name well before closing. The agents worked together to explain that the buyers could not turn on the utilities in their name until escrow closed. “I don’t think they ever really understood why, but they did comply,” the seller’s agent said. Fraudulent Buyers A real estate agent was working for sellers whose house had sat unsold for several months. They were thrilled to get a cash offer for the $400,000 house from a couple. The buyers offered a proof-of-funds letter from a brokerage firm. The buyers’ extended family turned out for the home inspection. It was like a holiday open house. Later, the brokerage informed the agent that the proof-of-funds letter had a forged signature. The would-be buyers vanished, but the agent reported their extended family verbally abused her, the sellers, and the buyers’ agent.
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