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Columns : Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

The Closing
By James Sarles
Jun 14, 2010 - 11:47:45 AM

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Famous writer/broadcaster Dan Cook coined the phrase “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings. He was talking about the 1977-78 National Basketball Playoffs but he could have been  talking about closing a real estate deal in the Bahamas because as many of you know “ it ain’t over till its over”! Take it from me, after being in the business for many years I have seen many strange things happen at the end of a deal that have caused deals to fall part.  So my advice to you as a buyer or seller is to work closely with your lawyer and real estate agent to make sure that EVERYTHING is in order for the “closing”  

“Closing” is the final stage of the Real Estate process and occurs when the lawyers exchange money and the buyer and seller sign the Conveyance to close or conclude the deal.   The buyer and seller are not always at a closing table in the Bahamas, but the closing occurs at the very end of the deal when  the buyer and seller have to sign the final documents to transfer ownership of the property from one party to the next.  

Sometimes the closing is filled with tension and pressure as each side tries to work out important details of the transaction at the last minute.

How can you help make your closing a relaxed and happy one? First, try to get the details worked out ahead of time with your realtor.

There may be a few unresolved issues, such as repairs that were not completed, a disappearing dining room chandelier or an occupancy agreement.

Closing doesn’t need to become adversarial, and a minor upset should not threaten the inspection or getting the final details done. If you anticipate a problem no matter how minor it may seem, MAKE SURE THAT you communicate the situation to your realtor in advance, so that it can be handled before it goes to settlement.

Some buyers and sellers arrive to the closing feeling terrific about the transactions- they like each other, they like their new home, their realtor, and even the lender. Others feel stressed out and concerned.

Weather you are the buyer or the seller, you will play an important part in determining which of these scenarios characterizes your settlement.

The professionals who are involved in real estate transactions work hard to make things go as smoothly as possible, but quality of the transaction often depends not so much on what happens, but how you react to what happens.  If you communicate confidence in the professionals who are helping you, the atmosphere will remain positive even if there are complications.

Real estate transactions are inherently complex. One of a Realtor’s most important responsibilities is to complete the sale even if there are obstacles to overcome.

Both buyers and seller should be aware of the deadlines in their purchase agreement.

You could lose your right to ask a seller to pay for needed repairs if you miss the deadline. There may be a limit on the time the seller has to respond to the buyer’s request to complete repairs that are not required by the contract.

Failure to apply for your mortgage on time may place your deposit at risk if the loan is denied. In many cases the agreement can be declared null and void by the seller if financing is not approved within the time frame set forth in the contract.

A delayed closing can cost the seller money, and they may ask the buyer to reimburse these expenses.

Remember that closing dates are not set in stone. Lenders appraisers, attorneys, government approval and anyone else who is involved in the transactions can cause a delay in the closing.

If you keep this in mind while you are making your arrangements you can minimize the possible cost and inconveniences due to a delay.

As the closing approaches a good realtor will stay on top of the situation and keep in touch with everyone involved in the transaction to prevent any unnecessary delays.

If there are any problems speak to your realtor and let him try to work out the problems before they turn into deal breakers because no matter how close a deal may be “It ain’t over till …  

Speaking of closing I want to make everyone aware that the government presented the new 2010/2011 Budget and has raised the government stamp tax on every real estate transaction by 2%. I understand that  any deed stamped after June 30, 2010 will be subject to the new stamp tax rates as follows:  

Up to $20,000 4% 
$20,001 to $50,000 6% 
$50,001 to $100,000 8% 
$100,001 to $250,000 10% 
$250,001 plus 12%

The government stamp tax is customarily shared equally between the buyer and seller but this is NOT mandated by law so make sure that you know who is paying for government stamp tax.  

Until next week.

Contact James at Coldwell Banker - James Sarles Realty  james@sarlesrealty.com

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Let's Talk Real Estate - James Sarles
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