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Residential Real Estate Sellers

What to do if your Buyer walks away before the Closing

By July 20, 2023August 15th, 2023No Comments

The closing of a home is meant to be a momentous occasion for both the seller and the buyer. The last step in a transaction is where the rubber meets the road. Ideally, both buyer and seller want this final stage to go smoothly.

If you’re sensing some friction or hesitation, there are a few things you can do to make sure the closing goes off without a hitch. The buyer coming back to the table is a sign the negotiation is going well. But if the buyer walks away before closing, it’s time to start worrying.

This is why you should never attempt to manage the sale of a home without proper legal representation. Our team of McHenry, Illinois real estate lawyers at Diamond Real Estate Law is experienced in helping both buyers and sellers successfully close deals.

Why Might a Buyer Walk Away

  1. The home inspection discloses defects that the Seller is not able or willing to address such as:
    •       Electrical issues,
    •       Plumbing issues,
    •       Roof Issues,
    •       Radon Issues; and
    •       Mold Issues.
  2. The property does not appraise high enough for the Buyer to get their loan;
  3. The Buyer is not approved for financing;
  4. Title defects such as not having enough money to pay off mortgages or liens, judgements and other liens;
  5. Survey problems like a neighbor’s driveway or fence going onto your property;
  6. The Buyer does not like the homeowner’s association;
  7. The Buyer does not close on the sale of their home;
  8. You, as the seller are not able to completely move out before the closing;
  9. The property is damaged after the contract is signed and before the closing.

You need to find out if your buyer has an exit contingency that covers the reason they want to leave the contract.

Contract contingencies protect both the buyer and seller. Moreover, they are clauses in your contract that give you or the buyer an escape route in the event that unexpected circumstances arise. A contingency can be described as a qualifier or a contract that says, “Yes, I’ll follow through and buy your home unless X happens.”

What Happens if a Buyer Walks

As the seller, you must ensure that you have done everything you’ve agreed to do according to the contract. This will be helpful to you if the buyer does decide to walk away before closing.

Another thing to do is to keep the home as sale-ready as possible, as this ensures a good show for inspections and appraisers.

What To Do If A Buyer Walks

A backup offer can help you be in a better place if a buyer leaves. However, it is important to remember that you can’t cancel your contract. You must also pay the deposit before you can officially resell your home.

A real estate attorney can make this process much easier. A closing attorney can assist with the initial paperwork, ensure that the contract is being held to the highest standards, and allow for pivoting to a backup offer.

Contact Diamond Real Estate Law Today

At Diamond Real Estate Law, nothing is more important to us than making selling your home simple, clear, and collaborative. That’s why we work hard and take the time to understand your unique situation. Contact our McHenry, Illinois office today to get started working together on selling your home.

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