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Nothing is more frustrating to a potential home buyer or seller than for a home sale to fall through. All the work a seller goes through to get a home ready to sell, all the time a buyer spends just trying to find the right home, then all the hoops both must jump through to seal the deal add up to major disappointment when one party has to back out.
We asked Dave’s Facebook followers for advice that might help other home buyers or sellers avoid a home-purchase crash and burn. Here’s what they had to say about some of the most common pitfalls.
Major Money Issues
A large number of our Facebook fans warned both buyers and sellers about mortgage approval problems.
“Get pre-approved for your mortgage before [you consider making] an offer,” Kevin P. said.
“Don’t just get pre-qualified,” Glenn M. from Gregory, MI, added. “Make sure you get a pre-approval where you turn everything in and an underwriter reviews it before you contact a real estate agent.”
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That’s great advice! Pre-qualification means a lender has made a low-level evaluation of your finances and has given you an estimate of the mortgage you may qualify for. When you’re pre-approved, the lender verifies all your financial information and gives you an exact dollar figure they are willing to lend you to purchase a home.
As a buyer, getting pre-approved keeps you from wasting time shopping for and making offers on homes you can’t afford.
As a seller, working with buyers who are already pre-approved for a mortgage or are buying with cash can prevent deals from falling through due to lack of financing.
Still Not a Perfect Solution
Even with pre-approval, however, the deal can end up going nowhere.
Jeff P.’s home sale was scheduled to close just a few days before he posted this on Dave’s Facebook page: “We were supposed to close last Friday, only to find out that the [lender] did one last credit check on the buyer, and he failed it.”
Many times, a lender must cancel a buyer’s pre-approval status because they take out credit cards or buy new furniture or appliances on credit after they were pre-approved. Clearly, Dave’s fans know better than to buy anything on credit, but other folks may not be aware that this could not only kill your new home purchase, it will steal your financial security for years to come.
Problems on the Home Front
Sometimes, problems with home itself cause the deal to come to a screeching halt. Many fans posted the wise advice to always get a home inspection.
“We walked away from a house that had major issues,” Carl P., who lives in Minnetonka, MN, said in his post. “The $500 inspection fee is nothing compared to the $20,000–30,000 we would have spent to fix the house.”
However, keep in mind that the results of a home inspection don’t have to be a deal breaker. Some issues are minor enough to overlook while others can be resolved by negotiating the price. When both sides work together, many home purchases can be salvaged.
It’s Not All Bad
If you’re part of a home sale that goes bad, try to count your blessings.
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“Sometimes it just isn’t the right deal,” Alissa A. said. “We had two deals fall through and ended up finding a house that was more suited to our needs at a cheaper price. Just keep saving and don’t give up. Sometimes the best deal is just around the corner.”
Sellers are also wise to use feedback from failed showings to improve their chances with future potential buyers.
“Don’t despair if an offer falls through,” Nick H. from Norwalk, CT, explained. “We felt trapped when the first two offers fell through, and we felt the constant vigilance for a clean, show-ready house was too much. The next two showings got comments from the real estate agent about clutter. We stepped up [our efforts] and soon got two competing offers, and we closed successfully.”
Get Help Putting Out Fires
Many folks recommended working with a trusted, experienced real estate agent to help keep your home purchase or sale on track.
“Make sure you have a real estate agent who knows what they are doing,” Tony C. from Hoover, AL, advised.
Mary C. A. had this advice for buyers: “Make sure your real estate agent works for you and not necessarily the seller.”
Mary’s right. Buyers should work with a buyer’s agent who will represent them throughout the purchase of their new home. A buyer who works exclusively with a seller’s agent will be at a disadvantage since the agent technically works for the seller.
Working with a real estate agent isn’t a guarantee that your home sale or purchase will make it to closing. But when issues come up, you’ll have an experienced representative who will work hard to keep the deal alive on terms that will benefit you as much as possible.
If you’re looking an agent who knows what they’re doing and will be on your side from start to finish, we can help you find an agent Dave recommends in your area today!