Real Time Episode Debrief - When The Seller Fails to Close


This article will discuss Right at Home Realty’s newest episode of Real Time. If you are new to the Real Time series, we want to welcome you and let you know how it could help improve your business. This series aims to help agents and consumers understand how to navigate real estate's most commonly faced compliance issues. This video, in particular, focuses on what and why some of the most common reasons are for sellers to fail on closing a deal. 


Reason 1: Inspection Issues


Inspections can cause issues for both parties depending on the report’s results. In some instances, after a review, the buyer may ask for repairs or credit to pay for needed repairs. 


Reason 2: Financing Issues 


It is common for the seller to rely on the sale of their current property before buying a new one, but if the transaction falls through or they can't get the financing they need, the sellers might not be able to close. 


Reason 3: Title Issues 


If the seller didn’t disclose things related to the property’s title at the time of the offer, the buyer may choose not to close the deal. Issues with titles could include: 

  • unpaid taxes or other unpaid liens.
  • Incomplete certificate of occupancy.
  • Written deeds.
  • Legal debt.
  • A building code violation. 


Reason 4: Sellers Remorse 


The fourth reason is when the seller changes their mind and decides not to sell the property. This is more common than you think. Selling a home is a huge financial decision and, for some, one of the most important ones in their lives. 


4 Suggestions That Could Help You or Your Client Avoid This

  1. Have the property inspected before listing it, so the seller can make necessary repairs or disclose any issues to potential buyers. 
  2. Explore alternative financing options, like going with a different lender or applying for bridge financing.
  3. The seller’s lawyer can negotiate with the buyer's lawyers to extend the closing date until the title issues can be resolved. 
  4. Do their research on the area they are interested in moving into, the timeline of the move, and the price range they can afford before listing the property to ensure they really should be taking such a big step. 


Keep in mind that an agreement of purchase and sale is binding. The contract is firm once a valid offer is accepted and conditions are waived. 

If the seller backs out of the sale, the buyer may be able to sue them for damages or ask the court to enforce the deal. So, sellers must enter a listing agreement in good faith and get legal advice if necessary. 

By being proactive and working with experienced professionals, sellers can reduce the risk of a deal falling through. If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact your branch manager. 

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