A beleaguered couple just wants to close their deal to sell their house, but the transaction is in jeopardy thanks to a raucous sorority that moves in next door.neighbors

That’s the plot of “Neighbors2: Sorority Rising,” the latest in the slapstick ‘Neighbors’ franchise. Seth Rogan and Rose Byrne play homeowners whose ambition to move is undermined by their spectacular ignorance of real estate basics. If you don’t have a Zac Efron waiting to bail you out of self-inflicted problems that threaten to derail your home sale, learn from these five critical mistakes committed by the homeowners.

  1. Know real estate lingo. Too bad the ‘Neighbors’ didn’t take advantage of the USRealty.com glossary of real estate terms. Otherwise, they would have known what ‘escrow’ means (for the record: Usually money held in trust by a third party until a specific transaction has been completed). Escrow creates a buffer zone. While the buyer’s earnest money is held in escrow, the buyers can inspect the house and, potentially, cancel the deal if they find fatal flaws. Without the fatal flaw of the loud sorority, there is no plot for “Neighbors2.”
  2. Sell your current house before you buy your next house. The homeowners put themselves in a pickle when they count on all the dominoes falling their way. When their deal is threatened by the hard-partying sorority, the homeowners realize that they might be stuck with two houses and two mortgages – and financial ruin.
  3. Don’t give any agent carte blanche. The homeowners blithely asked their real estate agent to just take care of all the details. Even if you are paying full commission, you still must personally handle a vast array of decisions and details.
  4. Assume that potential buyers will ferret out any deception. If you’re selling a house, you’ve bought a house. You know how much research you did – why would your buyers do any less? They will know about the latest crime statistics, property tax trends, local school performance ratings and….neighborhood culture.
  5. Be prepared for the home inspection. The homeowners in ‘Neighbors2’ are constantly surprised by routine elements of the transaction. There’s nothing mysterious about selling a house. That’s why USRealty.com has outline the typical timeline. Use our checklists to see the whole process at a glance so you can be smarter than the characters in ‘Neighbors2.’ Which shouldn’t be too hard.