Believe it or not, negotiating the purchase price of a home and opening escrow is often the easy part of the transaction; it’s the challenges that arise during the escrow process that cause the wheels to come off! I remember one escrow several years back where I literally thought the whole deal was going to fall apart over a little poop. The escrow started off o.k., the buyers offer came in under asking price but wrote a very compelling letter to the seller about how badly they wanted the house and they were offering the very max they were qualified for. However, they understood they were buying the home ‘As-Is’ and wouldn’t nitpick repairs (famous last words). So sure enough, we get through inspections and there is a rather lengthy Repair Request. As often happens the ‘As-Is’ part of the initial negotiations had been completely forgotten by the buyers! To add insult, one of the items on the lengthy list was to remove ALL dog poop from the back yard!

The sellers were pretty reasonable people and they agreed to make several of the repairs requested, EXCEPT they were understandably (or unreasonably depending on your take on poop!) rubbed wrong by the poop removal request and rejected that item. So, the buyers didn’t balk at the rejected repairs that actually cost money, but were understandably (or unreasonably, again depending on your take on poop!) disappointed that the sellers dug their heels in on that item. The sellers perspective on this was: We may or may not remove our dog’s feces, but we certainly aren’t agreeing to remove ALL dog poop as a condition of closing escrow. Sigh. Ultimately, the buyers agreed to the sellers repair response. Repairs were made as agreed and we were just about to close.

In my experience, unless a seller is paying someone to pack AND move them, moves never go smoothly. It is always harder than you think and takes longer than you think, and this move was no exception. The sellers were tired, and stressed, and made it out just under the deadline. The buyer’s went for their final walk-through, and what do you know, not ALL of the dog feces had been removed. The buyers put an exception on the walk-through. How do you put an exception to something that has twice been addressed? Initially, there is an “As-Is” sale clause in the contract, then again poop removal was denied by the seller and accepted by the buyer in the repair request response. Here we are ready to record the sale of this home and we are once again arguing about crap!

So, what does this Realtor do? She goes home and grabs the pooper scooper and a plastic bag and gets to work. I mean really, how much breath and hot air are all of the parties going to waste discussing poop? One stinky hour later, the job is done and NEVER mentioned to the sellers (let’s hope that if they are reading this, enough time has passed that they will laugh!) The buyers move forward and we close the sale.

The moral of the story? Your Realtor should be a problem solver and take care of all the crap that gets in the way of closing. Sometimes shielding you from even knowing there was a problem at all. When you select your Realtor, ask around, read reviews, and go with who you feel good about. Unless you just enjoy drama, find a problem solver …not a poop stirrer! 😊