75 Things That Can Go Wrong in a Real Estate Sale

Thursday, December 30, 2021   /   by Client Care Coordinator

75 Things That Can Go Wrong in a Real Estate Sale

When things go wrong.jpeg

75 Things That Can Go Wrong in a Real Estate Sale

When it comes to real estate transaction issues, there is a lot that can happen.  We can’t control all of the people or processes involved in a home purchase or home sale, but you can rest easy.  Our team has years of experience and it’s our job to address anything that pops up head-on and help coordinate solutions so that your experience remains as positive as possible.

The Lender/Closer/Title Company:

  1. Fails to notify lender/agents of unsigned or unreturned documents.
  2. Fails to obtain information from beneficiaries, lien-holders, insurance companies, or lenders in a timely manner.
  3. Let’s principals leave town without getting all necessary signatures.
  4. Loses or incorrectly prepares paperwork.
  5. Does not pass on valuable information quickly enough which delays closing.
  6. Does not get Closing Disclosure to buyer/seller for review within 3 business days of settlement.
  7. Errors on Closing Disclosure which delays closing.
  8. Does not find liens or title problems until the last-minute which requires the seller to go to court.

The Buyer/Borrower:

  1. Omits important financial information on the application.
  2. Submits incorrect information to the lender.
  3. Has recent late payments on the credit report that were not previously disclosed.
  4. Found out about additional debt after the loan application.
  5. Borrower loses a job and no longer qualifies to purchase a home.
  6. Income verification is lower than what was stated on the loan application.
  7. Overtime income not allowed by an underwriter for qualifying.
  8. Applicant makes large purchase on credit before closing.
  9. Illness, injury, divorce or other financial setback during escrow.
  10. Gift donor changes mind.
  11. Cannot locate divorce decree.
  12. Cannot locate petition or discharge of bankruptcy.
  13. Cannot locate tax returns.
  14. Cannot locate bank statements.
  15. Difficulty in obtaining verification of rent.
  16. Interest rate increases and borrower no longer qualifies.
  17. Loan programs changes with higher rates, points, and fees.
  18. Child support not disclosed on application.
  19. Mortgage payment is double the previous housing payment.
  20. Borrower/co-borrower does not have steady two-year employment history.
  21. Borrower switches to job requiring probation period just before closing.
  22. Borrower switches to job from salary to 100% commission income.
  23. Borrower or Seller dies.
  24. Family members or friends do not like the home buyer chooses.
  25. Buyer is too picky about property in price range they can afford.
  26. Buyer forgets to get PREPAID INSURANCE BINDER.
  27. Buyer has spent money needed for down payment/closing costs, comes up short at closing
  28. Buyer does not properly “paper trail” additional money that comes from gifts, loans, etc.
  29. Doesn’t bring cashier’s check made out to “self” to the closing for down payment/bank fees.

The Seller: 

  1. Loses motivation to sell because job transfer does not go through.
  2. Seller reconciles marriage and falls in love with house all over again and decides not to sell.
  3. Cannot find a suitable replacement property and decide to void the contract.
  4. Will not allow appraiser and inspector inside home.
  5. Seller does not get final water/utility readings for closing attorney.
  6. Removes property from the premises the buyer believed was included with the sale of the house.
  7. Is unable to clear up liens against their property- short on cash to close.
  8. Did not own 100% of property as previously disclosed.
  9. Leaves town without giving anyone Power of Attorney.
  10. Delays the projected move-out date.
  11. Did not complete the repairs agreed to in contract.
  12. Seller’s home goes into foreclosure during under contract period and house is sold at auction.
  13. Misrepresents information about home and neighborhood to the buyer.
  14. Does not disclose all hidden or unknown defects and they are subsequently discovered at home inspection.
  15. Builder miscalculates completion date of new home.
  16. Buyer finds the seller has not moved out of property within hours of settlement.
  17. Seller does not appear for closing and won’t sign papers.

Other Realtor(s):

  1. Has poor communication skills and forgets to send all addendum/amendments to the lender and title company.
  2. Delays access to property for inspection and appraisals.
  3. Unfamiliar with their client’s financial position- do they have enough equity to sell, etc.
  4. Inexperienced in this type of property transaction.
  5. Takes unexpected time off during transaction and can’t be reached.
  6. Has huge ego that gets in the way of progress.
  7. Does not do sufficient homework on their clients or the property and the buyers decide the home is not right for them.

The Property:

  1. Board of Health will not approve septic system or well.
  2. Inspection report reveals substantial pest damage and seller is not willing to fix or repair.
  3. Home is destroyed prior to closing.
  4. The home inspection reveals the home not structurally sound and will cost thousands to correct.
  5. Home is uninsurable for homeowners insurance.
  6. Property incorrectly zoned.
  7. Portion of home sits on neighbor’s property.

The Appraiser:

  1. Is not local and misunderstands the market.
  2. Is too busy to complete the appraisal on schedule.
  3. Home was misrepresented as to size and condition and appraised for much less than the sales price.
  4. Unique home and comparable properties for appraisal difficult to find so the appraiser values home under sales price.
  5. Makes important mistakes on appraisal and brings in value too low. Seller demands another appraisal be done by another lender which would delay closing.


  1. Preferred Inspector is not available and the one that completed the walk-through is not experienced in representing accurate condition of property.
  2. Inspection reports alarm buyer and contract is cancelled.

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