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Monday, August 15, 2022
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Ok… You will have to pay attention to follow this but let’s begin. The Miller family has their home on the market and is planning to downsize. They have a beautiful home in a great location so finding a buyer should not be a problem. The Goldbergs also have their home on the market, though at a lower price point than the Millers and they are looking to downsize as well. While both these families are committed to selling their houses, each of them needs to find a new place to live before they finalize the sales of their respective homes.

A young family with a handful of kids is looking to find a larger home and I bring them into the Goldberg’s house. It’s perfect for them and they immediately ask me to get a contract from my car and we begin writing up their offer. All looks good except for one item… their offer is contingent on the sale of their own home.

I realize that the Millers are actually the perfect family to purchase my young buyers’ home; it fits all the downsizing criteria that they are looking for. (We tried having the Goldbergs buy it but it was not the right location for them.) I bring Mr. and Mrs. Miller to the young family’s home and they say it works for them.... But they don’t want to make an offer, you guessed it, until they have a solid offer on their own home.

An agent in my office is planning to show the Miller house in the next few days and the stakes are getting higher. If we can sell the Miller’s house they will buy the young family’s house who will then buy the Goldberg’s house.

And sure enough the stakes continue to rise—the people who come out to see the Miller’s home really like it and they too have a smaller home in the exact area that would work for the Goldbergs. If their house works for them then we have tied up all our loose ends.

I’ve had two deals contingent on each other before and even a few with three… But never four that were so interdependent.

That’s four inspections that need to “pass;” four attorney reviews that need to conclude without a fight; four possible environmental inspections that must come back “clean;” and four mortgages to be successfully obtained, meaning four bank appraisals to substantiate the prices.... What are the odds?

I looked for MLS stats on what percentage of houses that have signed contracts actually go all the way to closing, but the data was not readily available. Anecdotally speaking I don’t think it could be higher than 75%. Three out of every four accepted contracts will probably close, but one of them just won’t make it…

Will this young family find out that registration is closed for the school of their choice? Will Mrs. Miller find out that her mother has decided to leave Brooklyn and move in with her daughter as they have such a large home with a bedroom on the first floor? Stay tuned…


Nechama Polak is the broker of record and owner of V and N Group, located at 1401 Palisade Avenue in Teaneck, 201 692 3700. Feel free to email [email protected] 201 826 8809.

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