Ayelet Gilad

Alpharetta Living, Real Estate and Community

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The Real Estate Transaction: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Spring is officially here, which means houses will start popping up on the market like flowers! Just in time for that, I wanted to share this great info with you and what can possibly go wrong. As I said many times, buying  a house is a very emotional and stressful process. Reduce some of this stress by choosing a great agent to be your partner in the process. I’m always here to help so start today by contacting me!

So remember – “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” While Edward Murphy was referring to the use of new measurement devices, his rule can be aptly applied to the real estate transaction without a hiccup.

From the very first step – getting preapproved for a mortgage – to choosing a real estate agent to the close of escrow, the process is full of pitfalls.

If you’re considering the purchase or sale of a home, it’s a good idea to know what could go wrong during the process. While some problems are hard to anticipate, others happen with enough frequency that they offer lessons, allowing you to become informed and, hopefully, help you to avoid some of the biggest problems.

Choosing a Real Estate Agent

Your real estate agent is the driver of the transaction. As such, he or she will steer the transaction around common roadblocks and avoid certain pitfalls. That is, if you choose the right agent.

What happens if you don’t? Several things:

  • Your house may not be priced properly.
  • Your house may sit on the market longer than it should.
  • If you’re buying, you may end up paying more than you should.
  • A complicated transaction, such as a short sale, may have details that are allowed to fall through the cracks.


Avoid these potential problems by hiring an experienced real estate agent. When selling your home, your first concern is getting the most money for the home. An agent familiar with the area is much better able to determine market value than one from outside the area.

An agent with proven marketing capabilities will get your house in front of more buyers than an agent who hasn’t a clue about marketing. If you own a specialized home, such as a luxury home or beachfront property, or you are performing a short sale, you need an agent experienced in these types of sales.

When purchasing a home, you need a savvy negotiator in your corner – an agent who can go to bat for you and get you the best possible price on the home.

Give me a call today for your free consultation at @ 404-245-7172 


The offer to purchase is a document full of potential pitfalls. Some of these include:

  • Price.
  • Insufficient earnest money.
  • Inappropriate closing date.
  • Requests for personal property.
  • The buyer isn’t preapproved for a mortgage.
  • Requests for repairs or allowances.


Of course, there are many, many more, but these are some of the most common. These problems are typically addressed via a counteroffer. This document says to the other party, “I accept the offer as long as the following conditions are met.” This is the nuts and bolts of negotiating, and it’s fraught with perils.

If you’ve done a good job of carefully selecting your real estate agent, this is the time to rely on him or her for advice. The decisions are ultimately yours to make, but expert advice should be considered.

Home Inspection

The home inspection presents another opportunity for a deal to fall apart. Home repairs can be costly. Some can make you want to walk away from the deal. If you decide to remain engaged in the process, you’ll need your old friend the counteroffer to request repairs or a reduction in the price of the home to allow for the cost of repairs.


When markets change rapidly, appraisals become more challenging. When home prices began to stabilize after the latest recession, for instance, appraisers had nothing to base home values on but the depressed recession prices. Foreclosures particularly drag down values, and many homes aren’t appraising for as much as homeowners and their agents expect them to.

If you’re the seller or buyer of a home that doesn’t appraise for the purchase price, your options include:

  • Reducing the price.
  • Raising the amount of the down payment.
  • Challenging the appraisal.
  • Walking away from the deal.



Lots of things can go wrong at closing. Some of the most common events are:

  • The lender pulls a soft credit report and finds that the buyer has made some large purchases, changing his income-to-debt ratio to the point where he no longer qualifies for the mortgage.
  • Your paperwork is delayed by the lender and your attorney pushes the closing to another day.
  • The funds don’t arrive.
  • One of the parties is unhappy with the information on the HUD-1.


Not every real estate transaction has problems. In fact, most sail along smoothly. While it’s hard to hold your excitement in check, the best time to let it loose is when your agent hands you the keys to your new home.


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Make Sure Your Home Is Safe – Test for Radon

Radon is a cancer-causing gas, and is the second leading cause of lunch cancer in the US. As most gases – you can’t see, smell or taste it, but it may be a problem in your home! Some studies have shown that children are more sensitive to radon, possibly due to their higher respiration rate and rapidly dividing cells.

Radon comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home traps radon inside, where it can build up. Any home may have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.

Many people assume that they should only test for radon when they buy a house but this is wrong! You should periodically check for radon at your house and I’d encourage you to follow the EPA guidelines. You can even do it your self using radon testing kits that you can find at Lowes, Home Depot or even get for free.

If radon was detected in your house, you can fix it by installing radon mitigation system. There is a wealth of information on how to fix the problem on the EPA consumer’s guide to radon reduction.

Don’t want to do it yourself? Give me a buzz and I’ll happily refer you to a reliable and trustworthy inspection company that can test and fix radon problems.

For more information abou radon from the health risks to fixing high radon levels, please visit the EPA Radon website.

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Most Common Things That Can Go Wrong When You Buy a House – no. 2 – The Termite Inspection

Termite inspection is a must have when you buy a house in the Atlanta metro area.

Negative results in a termite inspection are good news! As it means that no termite activity was detected.

When the termite inspection shows wood infesting termites, meaning there were or there are now termites in the house – the biggest issue is that you don’t know the extent of the damage beneath the walls! Clearly, this can be a major issue.

What can you do if termites activity is detected?  An inspector can try and assess the damage and you may give the seller the option to take care of the problem. However, if there is no way to estimate the damage, or in case of a short sale/ foreclosure the risk will be on you. In this case, you may choose to terminate the contract and start house hunting again!

Therefore, I recommend to any home owner to have a termite bond with a reputable pest control service that will inspect your property for termite activity or a regular basis and will treat against termites.

Still have questions? Contact me today and see how I can help!

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Most Common Things That Can Go Wrong When You Buy a House – no. 1 – The Inspection

The general  inspection is part of the normal transaction process and its purpose is to reveal what lies beneath the walls.

You should hire a highly experiences, certified and independent inspector that can do a thorough inspection of the house and find all the relevant items.

Inspections reports are usually a long list of items that can a bit intimidating if you are not a builder. You might feel a bit overwhelmed when you see an inspection report for the first time, but it’s  important  to keep in mind is that you should distinguish between major vs. minor issues, and what might be only aesthetic issue vs. what can be significantly hazardous.

You should plan to be present at the end of the inspection, as it can be very beneficial for you to meet with the inspector at the end of the inspection and go over the report with him/ her. It’s also a great opportunity to get a first-hand impression of what he generally thinks about the house condition and nonetheless, it’s your chance to ask questions.

Additionally, I go over the report with you and if necessary, I will ask for additional feedback from one of my recommended vendors.  Every case is different, some houses may only require a bit of TLC and some might require a consultation from a structural engineer, but in general, once we identify any major issues there are a few options to address items that need attention:

1. Negotiate repairs with the owner.

2. Re-negotiate the house price  or closing costs.

3. In severe cases – terminate the contract.

As with many other things in life,  different circumstances have different outcomes and I’ve experienced some unique situations, but remember that I will be there to advise and guide you!

Are you looking to buy a house?  Contact me today to schedule a consultation.