Home Buying in Chicago>Question Details

David, Home Buyer in Chicago Heights, IL

Would a house seller in this market agree to this?

Asked by David, Chicago Heights, IL Wed Oct 15, 2008

My wife and I want to close on a house in mid to late January. However we are hoping to buy this one particular house in the neighborhood we like. It has been on the market for a long time and the present owners still live there. We recently saw that they not only reduced their asking price again, but also made a seperate online listing offering the house as a rental. Needless to say, my wife and I are concerned that the house will be unavailable in January. Is it appropriate/acceptable to write an offer up that specifies that the closing date will not be until late January? We currently do not have a realtor but we are meeting with a mortgage counseler tomorrow to discuss our mortgage options.

Help the community by answering this question:


Your concern is a valid one. I have seen many homes on the market cancel their listing because the seller had no option but to lease the property. If this is the home you want, the seller may still be willing to sell it to you once it's leased, but possession will be subject to tenants rights and the new lease. You may then own the place, but have to wait until you can get possession back to move.

You can certainly write an offer negotiating the closing date out further.

It may not fit the seller's timeframe, but they may be willing to agree to the offer hedging that they may not get another acceptable offer for an earlier closing date. Sometimes the certainty of a contract that isn't ideal is better than the uncertainty of remaining on the market.

It is likely the seller will request that you complete due diligence in a more immediate timeframe, however. For example, they will probably not want attorney approval and inspection contingencies to drag out for that period and request that these contingencies be satisfied within a week or two of contract execution. They will also likely want you to begin the mortgage application process and secure a commitment letter. The bank you are working with will likely want to hold on the appraisal until closer to the closing, so you may have a commitment letter from the lender subject to a satisfactory appraisal which will take place closer to the closing date.

If you are waiting because of a lease, you may find the seller may negotiate an earlier closing if they can cover part of your losses on an existing lease. If the seller has to "carry" the home until your January, it may be less expensive for them to payoff your lease liability to get you to close sooner.

Best of luck. I definitely recommend securing the help of an agent to navigate these negotiation. I help clients with issues similar to this regularly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 15, 2008

Whatever your circumstances are always dictates the terms to an offer. I would give the seller the offer. Let your agent put together an offer which explains your situation, This could be what the sellers are looking for. Good Luck!

Audrey "Ellen" Elliott
Keller Williams Realty - Pearland, Texas
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 5, 2008

I tell all my buyers that the intial offer you make on a place should be your 'best case scenario'. You never know what circumstances the sellers have. They may actually prefer a longer closing than a quick one. Especially around the end of the year, some sellers like to be in their homes for the holidays one last time. They may prefer to have a quicker closing but you'll never know until you make the intial offer. Another thing to consider is how long your mortgage broker can offer to lock your interest rate. Some can only lock for a short period of time in which case a longer close could cost you more if you have to extend the lock. Good luck!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 5, 2008

Another possible option for avoiding PMI would be a seller carryback - provided the chosen lender doesn't prohibit this option. It's always a good idea to use a buyers agent to represent you during the purchase negotiations. They can help you with these things including sellers paying closing costs, personal property such as fridge, washer/dryer etc. Please let me know if you would like a referral.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 4, 2008
Good to hear you may have found another house is in the neighbrohood David. At this point closing 60 days out is not unreasonable. The majority of closings are 45 days from tome aof aaceptance so to ask 60 may not be that far fetched. good luck with your offer, i hope things work out for you.
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 4, 2008
Hey Wayne, thanks for asking. When I made my original post I did not have a realtor and was just about to go to the bank. In the week or so it took us to take care of the mortgage prequal and find a realtor, the house was taken off the market. bad timing! I think they probably found a renter.\

We are now looking at a different house in the same neighborhood. Hopefully we'll be able to get an offer together soon, but the terms would be the same with us not wanting to close until January. If it comes down to it though we may have to close earlier to get the deal done. We'll see.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 4, 2008
How have things panned out?

Did you make an offer?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 4, 2008
Glad I could help.

Best of luck, feel free to contact me for further assistance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 16, 2008
I am curious what your Realtor says about your situation. Do you need a Realtor?

If you want the house, I would suggest that you make an offer, set the closing for whatever date in January you want. An alternative would be to buy the home and if the current owners want to stay in it after closing they can do a "lease back" for a month or two.

If you do not have a Realtor and need one, I 'd be happy to refer you to a top Realtor in your area that can help you, or contact one of the helpful agents that responded to your post.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 15, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
Yes, Wayne, we do have a lease that expires at the end of February. I didn't even think about asking the seller to payoff the lease liability, that is a good idea!

We also want to save up some more money for the down payment, though. Right now we've got about 18%, and we want to save up the couple thousand dollars that it will take to get us over 20% over the next month or two (we really really want to avoid PMI). However with your advice I think we may instead ask our mortgage counselor about getting a piggyback loan for that 2% which we can pay off after moving in.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 15, 2008
The world is your oyster if you are mortgage preapproved by someone we've all heard of! Now, you won't be able to lock in before 60 days prior to close, so the seller will want an update on the mortgage preapproval as time goes by. First, hire a professional Realtor to negotiate this for you. Be ready for an arduous process, these deals take time. Your realtor might also suggest to their agent that they do a short term rental. Or, the sellers can just relax knowing they have a contract for January. I recenty did a similar deal, contract was written in August, closing in November. Remember,today EVERYTHING is negotiable. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 15, 2008
Why are you waiting until Jan?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 15, 2008
Hello David

Every seller is different and their reasons for selling vary. What is the property address?

Best bet is to present an offer and the worst they could say is yes
Web Reference: http://www.kalerealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 15, 2008
Yes, you can have your realtor write a contingency into the contract. Talk to your mortgage lender and your realtor so that you can make a wise, informed decision.
Web Reference: http://www.MariaSellsKC.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 15, 2008
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