Don’t kill your own sale

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Under ContractWith recent changes to the real estate market, a seller never want a transaction to fall through once their property has gone under contract. Don’t make a mistake or a hard-headed decision that diverts you from the path you’re on, which is to make it past the closing table to the sale of your house.

The biggest mistake I see a seller make is agreeing to make a repair brought up by a buyer only to not complete it. If you agree to make a repair, make sure it is completed in a timely manner. The buyer WILL come back to view the property and check to see if the repair has been completed prior to the closing.

Also make sure the job is done correctly, an incomplete or cheap job will a majority of the time cause a problem at the closing table. That could cause you to issue a credit to the buyers for more than what you could get the repair completed for just to get the deal closed.

Along those lines, sellers sometimes believe a damaged item does not need to be repaired if it breaks while you are waiting for the closing. For example, let’s say the washing machine goes out a couple of days before the closing. Remember a buyer will usually come back the morning of closing for a final inspection, and expect to find everything in good working order.

And please don’t make the mistake of not looking at the dates in the contract closely. A majority of real estate sales contracts states “time is of the essence,” which means all dates in the contract are valid and need to be followed accordingly.

Huge problems can arise if the seller doesn’t gear up to move out on time, leading them to rush the day before or rent back there house for a couple of days after the closing. This can cost you thousands of dollars! Make sure you are out and the keys are ready to be delivered a couple of days before the closing date highlighted in the sales contract.

When selling your home, you can never hide from Uncle Sam. An issue I see arise from time to time is an IRS lien. Many times, when a seller owes back taxes to the IRS, they will place a lien against any and all properties owned by you. This cannot be avoided and will be an issue during the closing process. If you know you have an IRS lien and you plan on selling your property, have your attorney speak with the IRS and make the proper arrangements to make sure your closing takes place.

Selling your home is never an easy thing. Make sure you always think with your head and not with your heart or hold grudges during the transaction.

To contact me, call 847-292-4700, email or visit


About Giuseppe Zerillo

Giuseppe Zerillo is the managing broker and owner of Zerillo Realty Inc. He is active on many boards, serving as village trustee of Harwood Heights and corporate secretary for Casa Italia. In 2011, he received the IANU Foundation's 2011 David Award for outstanding promise in the field of real estate, and in 2012 he was honored by the Illinois State Crime Commission for his community outreach. Constantly seeking opportunities to give back, he donates to several charities and raises money for children with disabilities.

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