I saw this question posted in an online forum the other day and just had to chime in:
“I have a set closing date but the seller is saying they need more time. Can I enforce the closing date?”
Before I answer that question I want to set the mood with a little bit of music. Set your way-back machine to the year 1983, pull out that cassette tape player gathering dust in the garage, and cue up Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
Do you remember the end where Vincent Price just goes to town with that extended, maniacle laugh?
Okay, I want that madman’s laugh going through your brain while I answer this question.
Be so very careful what you wish for.
The only way you could essentially force a seller to the closing table is by threatening to walk away from the deal. And if you pressed the sellers hard enough you just might succeed.
But you see, there is a terrible reality these days in real estate where many loan packages just don’t show up on time.
It’s not your fault, it’s probably not even your loan officer or mortgage broker’s fault. It’s just that the department that is doing your loan processing is three time zones away, the employees there are making $8 an hour, and quite honestly they could care less if your loan closed on time. After all, they have the money, don’t they? You’re not buying the home without it, are you?
So a really wonderful way to eat crow is to force the sellers to close on a certain date and then have your loan package delayed. And since YOU failed to close on time, they just might ask for another week in the house in order to give YOU an extension. They might not even need the week…they just want to see you sit and watch it rot in the sun while you could be hanging drapes.
If the seller has delayed again and again, and you’ve given them extensions again and again I might give a different answer.
But my point here is this: a home sale is a cooperative venture between a buyer and a seller. Inevitably one side is going to need something from the other side. So be diplomatic. It’s not about being right.
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