Can cosmetic issues in a house delay the closing?

On Behalf of | May 10, 2024 | Real Estate Closings

Several factors can affect a residential real estate closing in Georgia. One such factor is the presence of cosmetic issues.

These issues, though seemingly minor, can potentially cause delays, leading to frustration for both buyers and sellers.

Cosmetic issues

Cosmetic issues refer to surface-level imperfections that do not affect a property’s structural integrity but may impact its aesthetic appeal. Examples include chipped paint, outdated fixtures, worn carpets and minor scratches or dents on walls or floors. While these issues may not seem significant at first glance, they can influence a buyer’s perception of the property and may affect its market value.

Impact on closing process

The Georgia housing market is pretty strong, with home prices up about 7.4% from 2023. However, cosmetic issues can cause closing delays for several reasons. Firstly, if the buyer discovers these issues during the final walkthrough, they may request repairs or concessions from the seller before proceeding with the closing. This negotiation can take time. It may require additional inspections or assessments to determine the extent of the issues and the cost of addressing them.

Secondly, if the lender’s appraiser notes significant cosmetic issues during the appraisal process, the lender may require repairs before approving the loan. This can further delay the closing.

Mitigating delays

Sellers can take proactive measures to mitigate potential delays caused by cosmetic issues. Investing in minor repairs or cosmetic upgrades can improve the overall appeal of the property and reduce the likelihood of negotiations or repair requests during the closing process.

Sellers should also check that the property is properly maintained and present it in its best possible condition. This can minimize the likelihood of buyers identifying cosmetic issues during the final walkthrough and requesting last-minute concessions or repairs.

By addressing these issues, sellers can help expedite the closing process and ensure a smooth transaction.