In a strong market, with potential buyers waiting in the wings for contracts to fall over and become available again, more than ever, now is the time to make things personal when it comes to asking for something once a contract is signed.
As I sit here writing on a Tuesday (sorry, team!), I have had 2 finance extension requests and 2 settlement extension requests go through my inbox today. Frustrating for buyer and seller alike, but not uncommon in the current environment. What IS uncommon though, is much by way of an explanation for WHY the extension has been requested – and its this lack that sees more deals fall over than anything else.
What do I mean by this? As banks take longer and longer to get applications approved (or even picked up and looked at), even 4 week finance clauses are becoming insufficient in many cases. In order to stay within the requirements of their finance clause, a buyer need to therefore request more time from the seller to get across the line. In a normal market, that would be fine – have your extra week, “she’ll be right”. In a market where properties are seeing multiple offers though? Suddenly a seller has a lot less incentive to wait for you (and your bank) and it takes more than a one line “the buyer requires a further week for their finance” to ensure you aren’t dismissed.
So what should you do? Make it personal – EXPLAIN (goodness!) the situation, whether it’s the bank taking 3 weeks to look at an application, a document which was sent to the wrong address or an existing mortgage to wipe out. A detailed explanation of what’s happening, why an extension is required and what the buyer has done to try and fix the situation will do more to get you across the line with a seller than just about anything. A lot of sellers, particularly those of investment properties, might not be purchasing at the same time, so they aren’t aware of just how hard things are with finance, and might be tempted to think they are being “messed around”. Being upfront with them about the situation gets around that bias.
There are times to hold your cards close to your chest, but sometimes, showing that bit of vulnerability can be to your advantage. Just don’t take it personally if they still say no!