Probably the most often renegotiated item on a purchase agreement is the closing date. When that happens it usually disrupts the lives of buyers and sellers in significant ways, but most of the time it is out of their control. For example, in a recent case, the seller was relying on the closing date to get rid of the house payment. In addition he had negotiated that specific closing date because he was unable to renew his insurance because the home had been vacant for some time. In order to work out a compromise with the insurance company it would cost him dearly and he would have to make another expensive mortgage payment on a house he was not living in. So you can imagine his dismay when the buyer produced the request for a closing extension. The reason for the delay was that the home was built with logs and the appraiser was unable to find similar comparables. When the underwriters noticed that fact they put the skids on and sent the appraiser back to see if he could find more appropriate comparables. The seller was even more distraught when he realized that even if he granted an extension, there was still no solid commitment yet from the lender that they would close the loan.
Even though it was not the fault of buyer or seller, they were both suffering because of this unexpected delay in the closing. This is not an isolated incident! This scenario happens more often than not when there is a lender involved.
There are so many reasons why a closing can be delayed that it would be impossible to list all of those scenarios. Buyers and sellers should understand that the closing date can never really be set in stone! The closing date may need to be moved several times before it sticks. Getting mad at each other or crabbing out rarely makes the situation better! Killing the deal because a buyer’s lender didn’t make the closing date is silly, especially when starting over to find a different buyer would take a much longer period of time. I have seen closings delayed for many months past the target date. In these cases, patience is a virtue, but if you understand that this is likely to happen, you may not be so frustrated! That’s easy for me to say, since it’s not my moving van waiting in front of the house.