It is never a happy time when a transaction falls apart at the finish line, but in roughly 5% of real estate deals that is exactly what happens. In the overwhelming majority of those late inning failed sales it was neither fault of the seller or buyer. The bulk of issues comes up with loans. There are a lot of moving parts in the loan and sometimes things can pop up as the loan works its way through multiple stages of the underwriting process.
I hate it when this happens whether I am the listing agent or the buyer's agent. It just sucks. A few tips to minimize the pain in these scenarios.
- Buyers should not give up their current housing until the deal is done unless they have safe and reliable alternative living arrangements.
- Both parties should allow enough time for potential delays and setbacks.
- Sellers should also recognize the inherent risk of a sale fail. Although 5% is slim it is basically 1 in 20 so it isn't as rare as one might think.
- A lender pre-approval even from the best lending institutions does not guarantee success as things can and do happen. Buyers can lose their job, become sick, death in the family, car wrecks, a crazy collections pops up on final title... all kinds of hidden and unforeseen issues are lurking in the ether.