It’s always great news when real estate listings in Windsor sell quickly and for top dollar. For owners, it’s often a huge sigh of relief followed by cheers and high fives. And usually, these home sales go through without too many issues or problems. Unfortunately, there are times when those pending sales go bad. Everyone often wonders what went on because one minute the home is listed as “sale pending,” then next thing you know, it’s back on the active market. Here are some possible reasons:
1. Buyer’s remorse
Sometimes, and often for no reason, buyers will simply change their mind and walk away. They will forgo their deposit and simply refuse to sign the final papers. Buyers may have a sudden change in their financial situation or the job transfer didn’t go through. Maybe they just didn’t like the house after all or the schools or neighbourhood. There are a variety of reasons, but for some buyers, it’s cheaper to lost the deposit than own a home they no longer want or need.
Hiring a professional real estate agent that is well experienced can often prevent buyers from walking away. Always choose a well-respected agent that knows your neighbourhood and can often have solutions for those buyers that are getting cold feet.
2. Home Inspection:
This is usually the most common reason. Home inspections that turn up costly and needed repairs are why many real estate listings go bad. Buyers often panic when faced with the possibility of putting on a new roof or repairing faulty wiring. They will most likely ask the current owners to make repairs, and if they refuse, then buyers may walk away.
Buyers should never ignore a home inspection as uncovering repairs before signing on the dotted line means that they are not responsible. I suggest to sellers that they get a home inspection BEFORE listing their home so that all necessary repairs and issues can be addressed so there are no surprises.
3. Finances fall through:
Even if a buyer has a pre-approval letter from his or her mortgage company, a loan can still be denied. Usually this is because something has changed with a the buyer’s credit history or loan ratio. Maybe there has been a change in salary or more common, a buyer has opened new credit accounts or charged enough to make his credit questionable.
Word of advice to buyers: Do not open any charge accounts, take loans out for new furniture or car or any large purchases until you have closed on a home. Banks do one final credit check just prior to closing, so if there are any changes, a loan can be denied.
4. Contingent on home sale:
A buyer can lose a home if their current home has not sold by a specified time line. There are very few buyers who can afford two mortgages so if after a time period, when the buyer’s current home doesn’t sell, he or she can lose the home in which they made an offer.
The only way to avoid this problem without all the stress is for buyer’s to sell their current home before looking at other properties. The timing can often be tricky, but it’s the easiest for both buyers and sellers. Not only that, if a seller is entertaining multiple offers, there is a very good chance a buyer with a contingent will not be accepted. In today’s improving real estate market, selling your home first with money in hand, is a much better way to find a home and get the seller’s attention when making an offer.
Some real estate agents are superstitious and won’t put any “sale pending” information on a “For Sale” sign until the deal actually closes. Some will still have other potential buyers look through homes in case something happens or the home inspection is over and both parties are satisfied. For other agents, they are eager to let neighbours know that a home is in escrow. It means an agent has done their job especially if the home sold quickly and for top dollar.
What I suggest to my clients who are selling their homes, be cautiously optimistic that an accepted offer will go through but don’t pop open the champagne until the final contracts have been signed and a check is in hand. Make sure that all repairs that were agreed upon, paperwork and other requirements are completed in a timely and professional manner.