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Deadly Deal Busters

You work hard to get the purchase contract signed, but you can’t relax even then. Deal busters are lurking. Be ready.

1. Property appraisal is too low.


If buyers don’t have enough cash to make up the difference in the loan amount and the purchase price, work with the sellers to see if they’ll take back a second mortgage. Make sure the existence of seller financing is disclosed and won’t affect the buyers’ ability to qualify for the first mortgage.

2. Repairs required in the contract haven’t been completed.


Head off the problem by including a clause in the purchase contract that the seller will deduct an agreed-upon estimate of repairs rather than getting the work done.

3. Sellers say they can’t make the move-out date.


If the buyers have the flexibility to stay put, suggest that the sellers agree to pay rent for the period they’ll remain in the house.

4. Buyers can’t qualify for a large enough mortgage to buy the home.


Insist that all buyers be prequalified before showing them homes.

5. The buyer purchases a new car two weeks before closing.


Explain to your buyer clients that big-ticket purchases before the loan is finalized can jeopardize their credit score and endanger the mortgage approval.

6. The inspector finds mold in the home’s crawl space.


Many buyers want to run at the first sign of mold, but most types of mold are benign for everyone except people with severe mold allergies, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Urge the buyers to get a mold specialist to assess the type of mold, its extent, and the cost of any remediation before backing out of the deal.

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