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Unfortunately, buying a home isn’t just about surfing online listings and looking at pretty houses. One of your REALTOR’s most important jobs is to help you navigate the speed bumps that will inevitably happen on the path to homeownership. 

The good news: Not every home purchase has ugly speed bumps and if you’ve hired an experienced REALTOR, they’ll be able to help you navigate through anything – trust me, we’ve seen it all. Getting you through the hard stuff is one of the most important reasons to hire a top-rated agent who is focused on you. 

Trigger Warning: If you’re already anxious about buying a home, you may want to stop reading right now. 

In every home purchase, there are at least 8 parties involved, which means there are at least 8 parties who can mess things up (and help fix them). There’s:

  • The seller, the seller’s agent/brokerage, the seller’s lawyer and the seller’s bank
  • The buyer, the buyer’s agent/brokerage, the buyer’s lawyer and buyer’s bank.
  • Sometimes, there are tenants or condo boards involved too. 

And of course, there’s the house or condo itself, which is almost a character in this story too. 

Below, I’ve outlined some of the speedbumps we encounter – but don’t worry, the ugly ones don’t happen often, and they all don’t happen to the same person. And there’s a solution for everything. 

The Easier Speedbumps

  • Information is missing or incorrect on the MLS listings that you’re relying on to make a purchase
  • The agent representing the Seller is not experienced or knowledgeable about the home they are selling and unable to answer important questions
  • You can’t get an appointment to see a home you’re interested in 
  • The agent representing the Seller doesn’t pick up their phone or respond to messages
  • You can’t get your deposit to the Seller within the required 24-hour timeframe
  • The sellers leave garbage or furniture in the home (this actually happened to me)

Uglier Speedbumps

  • There are open building permits on the home you bought
  • Your house doesn’t appraise for the price you paid (we wrote a blog about that here)
  • There’s a problem with how the home is legally registered 
  • The sellers are still packing and haven’t moved out on closing day
  • You forget to buy home insurance and the bank refuses to advance your mortgage on closing day
  • There’s a special assessment on the condo or increase in condo fees that you didn’t know about
  • The Sellers took the doorknobs or appliances that were included in your agreement to purchase (yep, we’ve got a blog about that too
  • The tenants refuse to move out of the house you are moving into
  • You have last-minute issues getting financing 
  • The appliances or furnace don’t work when you take possession
  • You find out something about the house AFTER you bought it that the Seller should have disclosed (we wrote about that too)

Our best advice?

  • Hire an experienced agent who is an expert at problem-solving and can anticipate and resolve issues with minimal stress to you. Experienced agents who sell a lot of homes won’t be learning while you’re making the biggest financial transaction of your life – they’ve seen it all before. 
  • Hire a great lawyer – this is NOT where you want to save money  (Related: Your Lawyer and You)
  • Do your homework, ask questions and perform proper due diligence. You’re about to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars – surely a home purchase deserves more of your time than buying a pair of shoes.

Note: If you’re reading this blog because one of these things has happened to you and you need help, please note that we can’t give advice to buyers who are not our clients. Please contact your own REALTOR or lawyer for advice about your specific situation.

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