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Keep The Buyer or Seller From Hell Away From a Home Closing

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Buying or selling property is hard enough without the other party complicating the deal, and some simple tips can help people avoid headaches when closing on a home. NY1's Real Estate reporter Jill Urban filed the following report.

Real estate transactions are complicated enough, but then there are stories of buyers or sellers from hell who manage to make the process harder than it needs to be.

"Perhaps it’s the financial crisis, unemployment, political uncertainty, but the lack of cooperation between buyer and seller is at an all-time high," says Ron Gitter, a founder of

To help avoid a contentious situation, some experts are sharing with NY1 how to spot some red flags early on and what can be done to protect oneself from trouble once the deal is in motion.

For example, broker and blogger Malcolm Carter of Rutenberg Realty says the first big red flag is a buyer or seller who stalls

"If you do spot that red flag, you have two choices. One is to pull out then and the other is to question just how serious the other side is. It may be there are emotional issues, even geographical issues, but pay attention to that," says Carter.

If both parties are serious about moving forward, a critical time to protect oneself is before the offer is accepted and when the terms of the contract are being worked out.

Sellers should not accept an offer and let other potential buyers go until they are certain that buyer has the financial wherewithal to close.

"They need to get a financial statement along with the offer before accepting it and, in the best of all worlds, get some supporting documents," says Carter.

This is especially important with an all-cash offer or one with no contingencies. While this may seem like a home run at first, a buyer who cannot make it to the closing table will only bring headaches.

"In a contract without contingencies, the seller can end up with a deposit, but the seller can also end up with two or three months with a property off the market. And who knows, the market may change, prices may come down," says Carter.

If one party has too many contingencies, that could leave the other party vulnerable too.

Inclusions are often another hot spot for debate, so make sure both parties are clear on what stays and what goes.

No matter the issue, the best means of protection is with the wording of the contract. So the next NY1 Real Estate report offers some legal advice on how to minimize risk and make to the closing table unscathed. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP