According to the National Association of Realtors, 1 in 16 home deals fall through.
Here are reasons why it happens, and how you can learn to prevent it from happening.
Reason 1 : A change in credit score
Credit scores can fluctuate between loan approval and closing. Just one missed bill payment could lower your score and increase your mortgage payment, or even make you ineligible for the mortgage.
To prevent it : Buyers near closing should be aware of dinging their credit, which can happen when you open new credit lines, run up balances, or take out a loan on a new car. Closing a card can also hurt by diminishing your debt-to-credit ratio. So make sure to carry on with business very much as usual.
Reason 2 : Getting spooked by the inspection
Anything can happen when you go through an inspection. For example, there could be an issue walking through the home and have it happen right in front of you! While the sellers offer to pay for it, the buyers have already gotten spooked by the issue.
To prevent it : While this situation suggests that the sellers were hiding an issue from the buyers, usually if you find a deficiency in the home, the home inspection report becomes a negotiation tool for the buyer. So if a surprise pops up during the home inspection, don’t run until you’ve brought the issue up with the sellers. They could have a logical explanation – and you could get a concession.
Reason 3 : Not getting pre-approved for a home loan
There are usually buyers that will just guess how much house they can afford and put in an offer without even talking to a lender. Finding out a buyer can’t swing a house after all is heartbreaking for both the buyer and seller.
To prevent it : If you’re an active buyer, get pre-approved for a mortgage before even beginning your search.
Reason 4 : Running out of money
A mortgage is the only one part of the funds you’ll need to buy a home. Saving for your down payment and closing costs is not enough. You’ll need to have a cushion for unexpected repairs and other expenses that come up.
To prevent it : Talk to your lender or Realtor about the financial reserves you’ll need to get into a house before making an offer.
Reason 5 : Small problems blown out of proportion
Even relatively small flaws in a home can bring negotiations to a grinding halt if buyers or sellers get emotional or take things personally. For example, deals can fall through because there was something wrong with title and the seller didn’t want to fix it. There could also be small misunderstandings like what’s included in the house that can completely ruin a deal.
To prevent it : While it’s fine to bring up problems, try to do your best to stay calm and avoid being accusatory during communications with the sellers to avoid offense. And even if the sellers don’t grant all of your requests, try to keep the big picture in mind : Does that chipped molding really matter that much?
Reason 6 : Cold feet
Buyers see the home in its best condition and are on an excitement high. Then, over the next two weeks the home just becomes a memory. Buyers are hit with the details of closing and moving costs. As that’s sinking in, they’re handed the home inspection report, listing every little defect in the house. That’s the moment most deals fall through.
To prevent it : Go into house hunting knowing there’s a honeymoon period, followed by a whole lot of stress, paperwork and check writing that will drain your savings. But in the end, you will find it’s all worth it. Realtors soothes nerves by telling the buyers of the emotional low that follows the high at time of contract.