When The Sale Won’t Close

People think it doesn’t happen, but it does. Every one in a while a home sale will not close. It is rare, but this does happen – even in the greater Walnut Creek area. So, why does it happen? Well, there are a few reasons.

First, missing documents are the most common reason in this uncommon scenario. The way the documents look, the numbers on them, the information on them, if the bank will accept them… there are many reasons why missing documents or information missing on a document can delay or even cancel a home sale closing.

Second, lack of a walk through or walk through problems. If you do the final walk-through and find that some items are missing or damaged, it must be brought up at the closing. If this fails to happen, the sale can be cancelled and that’s that.

Title and tax problems can be present challenges, too.  Last-minute title problems usually come into play if there is a death or a health issue with the owner. I have seen long-lost relatives turns up to insert themselves into the real estate transaction or contest the sale of the home. I have also seen  where the title company discovers the real estate taxes haven’t been paid or there is a tax lien against the property. Sometimes even a contractor may have filed a mechanic’s lien. Title problems will cause delays, if not cancel a home closing.

Finally, the lender thinks it is risky.  Lends can change their minds and so can the representative behind the lender. It is not impossible for the lender to make a last-minute request for documentation at the closing, such as a copy of the canceled deposit check, copies of the latest Equifax credit rating, maybe even a year of your electric bill payments. And yes, a lender can hold of the closing of a home – if not cancel it- for this reason.

Buying a home is exciting but it can be stressful.  There are going to be times when a home will not close. It is Ok if this happens, it simply means there is more work to do in your home buying journey – it doesn’t mean you will never be able to buy a home.