Weekend showings, closing date change on a new build


Dear David,

I’m a very social person and often host gatherings for friends. I’ve been trying to sell my house for a while and am tired of accommodating showings on Sundays and evenings, when I want to have people over. Shouldn’t buyers be willing to book appointments that don’t infringe on people’s personal lives? – ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

DEAR ENOUGH: I can fully appreciate that maintaining your lifestyle and simultaneously keeping your home in showing condition can feel like a juggling act. The challenges can make your time on the market feel like an eternity, even if it’s only a week – and you mentioned that your home has been on the market for a while. As the homeowner, you remain in charge of who sees your home and when. You can ask your Realtor to limit showing appointments to certain times. I’ve done this for clients in some cases, for example to accommodate shift work or a new baby.

Generally speaking, I don’t recommend imposing sweeping limits on your showing schedule. One of the best ways to expose your home to the market is to make it available when prospective buyers are able to see it. Most of us already struggle to book appointments around work and family commitments. When buyers request evening and weekend showings, they aren’t setting out quash your plans — but these tend to be key times when people are available. If your schedule proves challenging, buyers may end up passing over your home in favour of more accessible properties. Pro Tip: If your home has been sitting on the market for awhile, there are a few things you’ll want to examine. One of them may be the price. By tweaking your strategy and opening up your schedule (even for the short term), you’ll improve your chances of finding a buyer quickly. Once your home is sold, your time and space will be your own once again.

Dear David,

We recently sold our home and are in the process of building a new one. Our builder changed the closing date, so our new house won’t be ready by the time our current one changes hands. In the interim, we’ll have no place to live. We have tried obvious options for short term rentals, but no luck. Any advice? – DISPLACED

DEAR DISPLACED: In the case of new construction, builders do have the ability to extend their closing dates a number of times, as long as they give buyers the prescribed notice. I suggest you start by speaking to your Realtor. There may be a chance you could get your buyer to extend the closing on your current home, in order to accommodate the shifted closing on your new build. If your buyers have some degree of flexibility (for example, if they are first time buyers or currently renting), they may be able to help out. Perhaps they would be willing to consider a change in plans if offered an incentive.

The next step is to review your offer to purchase and see if your builder has any additional opportunities to move out their closing date. If they do, it might be time to look for a rental. Pro Tip: While landlords typically look for a minimum year-long rental term, it may be possible to negotiate a shorter term at a higher monthly rate (let’s call it an “inconvenience cost”). Keep in mind that with the low, approximate two percent vacancy rate in Waterloo Region, landlords tend to be in the driver’s seat. #AskDavid