Selling a home can be an emotional and stressful experience. Then, finally, you find a buyer and you feel a huge sense of relief. You’re ready to pack up and move on.
What happens if your contract doesn’t actually make it to closing, however?
It’s easy to feel defeated and emotionally pretty upset, but you can bounce back.
Understand Why It Fell Through
One of the big things you need to do to move forward is get a handle on why your deal fell through. This is important so you can prevent it from happening again.
Contingencies are what protect a buyer from running into often unpleasant surprises.
A few reasons why home sales fall through include:
• A home inspector finds something that would be expensive for the buyer to repair.
• Your home appraises for less than the sale price.
• There’s an open lien on your property uncovered by a title search.
• Your buyer’s financing falls through.
Initially, if you run into one of the situations above, you’ll try to bring the contract back to life, but sometimes you just can’t.
Minimize Your Risk for the Next Time
So, that deal you were counting on can’t be revived, but you can do some things to minimize your risk going forward.
First, get a pre-listing inspection.
If there was an issue with the appraisal, you’ll need to work with your agent to get the price right.
Get title insurance for coverage if issues arise, and you should ask for a pre-approval letter with each offer, so you don’t have to worry about buyer financing falling through.
Also, be careful with buyers the next time around and watch for red flags.
Signs a buyer is going to back out can include not meeting deadlines and returning necessary paperwork, not returning calls, and making a lot of requests for contract changes.
Evaluate Your Marketing and Your Agent
If a deal falls through, it might be through no fault of your agent, but you should still re-think your marketing plan and perhaps make sure your agent really is a good fit before you go back on the market.
Maybe you make a few small updates to your home and re-do your real estate photos to give you a fresh start when you go back on the market.
Also, if you feel let down by your agent and you’ve noticed a pattern of behavior that’s less than supportive in the sale of your home, you might want to find someone else.
Sometimes changing agents and finding someone with a strong reputation of successfully selling homes in your specific area can make a world of difference.
If you bring in a new agent and a fresh set of eyes, you may discover that not only do you need to change up your marketing, but it could be time for a price change. A new agent might also be not just more aggressive in terms of pricing but also strategy. Maybe you need someone who is going to do even more to spread the word.
You also want an agent who going forward, works to have a backup offer. If your agent doesn’t rely too heavily on any one offer, it’s a good way to protect you if something falls through again.
For example, a good agent will often keep holding showings and open houses until a house has been closed on to make sure they’re ready if something goes wrong. If your current agent didn’t do that, it might be time to move on.
Don’t Be Discouraged
It’s really an emotional letdown when you think you’ve sold your home, particularly if it’s been on the market for a while.
If it does fall through, however, don’t let yourself get too discouraged.
Bounce back by evaluating what went wrong and working to make sure those are things that don’t happen again in the future.