Monday, January 29, 2018 / by Sean Zanganeh
Having your home sale fall through can be extremely disappointing. After months of preparing, accepting an offer and having your house under contract, it can be crushing to see the deal crumble in escrow. And a recent report from Trulia reveals that home sales fell through at double the rate in 2016 than they did in 2015. So what should you do if your home sale falls through?
Understand why the deal fell through
First of all, it’s important to understand why your deal might have fallen through. One of the most common reasons a deal doesn’t close is because of contingencies. These can include expensive repairs, a low appraisal or even and open lien on your home. Another common reason a home sale falls through is because the buyer cannot secure their financing. In some cases, these deals can be salvaged if the buyer is willing to negotiate. In others, though, you may have no choice but to relist.
Make needed repairs
If your home inspection revealed an issue that became a deal-breaker, you’ll need to invest in repairs. If not, you will need to disclose to the next buyers upfront what the issue is. You may also want to consider lowering your asking price to account for the repairs the new owner will need to make.
Adjust your listing price
If your home appraised for less than the asking price, you’ll need to have a discussion with your agent about adjusting that price. Buyers can only secure financing for the value of the property. If you don’t feel comfortable lowering the price, it might be smart to take your home off the market and wait for prices to recover. You can also try hiring a second appraiser to see if they appraise the home for a higher value.
Look for pre-approved buyers
While there’s always a chance a buyer’s loan could fall through, you’ll have greater success if you work with a buyer who has been preapproved for a loan. They’ve already been screened and are more likely to secure financing without any issues. Even better – look for buyers who are willing to make an all-cash deal. However, be aware that buyers willing to pay cash will often expect a better selling price than what you would agree to with other buyers who would need financing.
If contract contingencies caused your home sale to fall through, limit the contingencies on the next offer. One of the easiest pitfalls to avoid is having your sale contingent on the buyer’s sale of their current home. With this contingency, if their home sale falls through, so does yours. Look for buyers who aren’t relying on the sale of their current home to finance the purchase of their next home.
Be more attuned to a buyer’s behavior
Did your buyer get cold feet? It happens, especially because buying a home is a very emotional process. Be wary of buyers who seem particularly anxious or who don’t seem confident with the purchase. If you have the choice, choose a buyer who is confident, positive and ready to move forward.
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