You’ve spent hours researching homes online and viewing properties, and you’ve finally found the perfect home, or you’ve spent thousands of dollars fixing up your house to get it ready to sell and held multiple open houses. Finally, an offer has been made and accepted. Time to celebrate, right? Not so fast. Several things can and do go wrong between the time the offer is accepted and closing.
Why Do Pending Home Sales Go Bad?
- Mortgage loan falls through – While you may have been pre-approved for a loan, any change in your status, such as job loss or an increase in debt-to-income ratio, could keep you from getting the loan.
- Liens/title issues – There may be liens on the property like unpaid property taxes. There also may be another party on the deed, such as an ex-spouse or heir who isn’t willing to sign off on the title transfer.
- Buyer’s remorse/inexperienced buyer – Some new home buyers get cold feet and use contingencies in the contract to back out. Also, home buyers with a short credit history have a harder time getting a mortgage.
- Home inspections – A smart buyer will require a home inspection prior to closing, and many times major issues with the home, such as mold, foundational issues, roof damage or malfunctioning HVAC system can arise and cause the buyer to back out.
- Low appraisals – Appraisals are necessary to make sure the home value is consistent with its sale price. If the home appraised lower than expected, the buyer may not be able to get a mortgage. If the buyer cannot come up with the difference in cash, they may likely use the financing contingency to back out of the contract.
- Contingent offers/buyer can’t sell their current home – If a home sale contingency is in place and the buyer’s home does not sell within a certain time, then they can back out of a contract, leaving the seller in a lurch.
Tips to Get You to Closing
- While you’re waiting for your loan to close, don’t do things such as finance a car or furniture, or make any other major purchases that could change your debt-to-income ratio.
- If you are a first-time home buyer, consider using the services of an experienced real estate agent who can advise and counsel you through the home-buying process.
- Provide a fact sheet to the appraiser with details such as square footage, any improvements you’ve made, comparable home values in your neighborhood and any attractive features of your neighborhood.
- Consider getting a pre-inspection and fixing any problems before you put your home on the market.
- It’s okay to say no to home sale contingencies. You could also accept the offer with a “kick out” clause that allows you to continue to market your home and accept offers from other buyers.
At Ratified Title Group, we perform a title search after your contract is ratified. This shows us the ownership history and any title issues. We review this report and then deal with any issues that arise prior to closing. We also provide closing prep. If you have questions, reach out to us at 571-234-5589 or by email at [email protected] We can’t wait to hear from you!