While bringing buyer and seller together is a challenge, keeping things together is even more difficult.

Today, we will discuss why real estate transactions fail to close and what can be done to avoid these problems.



While all buyers get pre-approved prior to submitting an offer, things can still go wrong. Buyers lose their jobs, incur extra debt, or have unforeseen challenges when getting loan approval.

For example, we had a buyer who got paid salary and a bonus and used his total income to qualify for a loan. The underwriter would not allow the bonus to be included as it was not guaranteed and inconsistent from year to year. Therefore, the buyer could no longer qualify. 

The best way to avoid financing problems is to first hire a great loan officer, and then make sure nothing is left to chance. Communicate to your loan officer up front about everything to make sure you don’t run into last minute problems.


Regardless of what price buyer and seller agree to, the lender has final say. If their appraisal comes in below the purchase price, you could have a problem.

While a low appraisal doesn’t always kill a transaction, it does require either re-negotiation on price or willingness of the buyer to bring in the difference between purchase price and appraised value.

We always recommend our clients try to work something out with the other party. However, there are cases where the gap is just too big to overcome.


One of the biggest reasons that a transaction dies is due to the general home inspection. It’s not necessarily what’s on the report that quashes the deal, but how a buyer reacts to the information.

For example, while mold is fairly common, especially in attics, some buyers run for the hills at the mere mention of the word. 

The reality is that mold can be found in a large percentage of homes here in Cleveland and is easily treated. If a buyer is thoroughly informed up front what to expect during the inspection,  perhaps their expectations can be better managed. This entails thorough communication and education from their agent, which leads us to the next item.


Lack of communication between client and their real estate agent can create huge problems.  There are issues that arise during every step of the transaction that , if not prepared, can cause a buyer or seller to react irrationally.

Nobody likes surprises, so a good communicator will prepare their client for potential problems and be able to effectively navigate them through the many obstacles they will surely encounter.

A real estate transaction is very complicated and it doesn’t take much for things to fall apart. Being aware of the main pitfalls and hiring a great agent will help keep things together and get you to the closing table.