Why Pending Home Sales Fall Through: Insider Tips from Jacob Realty

By in Home Buying with 0 Comments

Welcome to Jacob Realty, your trusted partner in the Texas real estate market. With our experience and expertise, we understand the challenges that can arise when it comes to pending home sales. Let’s explore the top reasons why home sales fall through and provide you with insider tips on how to navigate these obstacles successfully. Whether you’re in the Alamo, Gulf Coast, South Texas, Central, or Capital Region, our tips apply to all areas of the Lone Star State!
Jacob Realty Coverage Map


Brenham | College Station
Bryan | Killeen | Temple


Corpus Christi | Rockport | Beeville |
Live Oak | Jim Wells

Understanding the Pending Home Sale Process

Before we delve into the reasons why pending home sales fall through, let’s first gain a clear understanding of the process itself. A pending sale refers to the period between when a seller accepts a buyer’s offer and the closing of the sale. During this time, both parties work towards meeting the necessary requirements and contingencies outlined in the purchase agreement.

It’s important to note contingencies are conditions that must be fulfilled for the contract to proceed. Contingencies in pending sales include the below items.

Home Inspection Contingency

This allows the buyer to hire a professional inspector to assess the property’s condition. If significant issues are discovered, the buyer can negotiate repairs or even back out of the deal.

Financing Contingency

A buyer may include this contingency to ensure they secure the necessary financing for the purchase. If the buyer fails to obtain financing within the specified timeframe, they can withdraw from the contract.

Appraisal Contingency

The lender will typically require an appraisal to ensure the property’s value aligns with the sale price. If the appraisal comes in lower than expected, the buyer may have the option to renegotiate the price or terminate the contract.

Home Sale Contingency

In some cases, a buyer may need to sell their current home before completing the purchase. This contingency allows the buyer to back out if they fail to sell within a specified timeframe.
Now that we have a solid foundation of the pending home sale process, let’s explore the common reasons why these sales can fall through.

1. Financing Challenges

One of the most significant reasons why pending home sales may fail is due to financing issues. While a buyer may be pre-approved for a mortgage, it’s important to remember that pre-approval is not a guarantee of financing. Changes in a buyer’s financial situation, such as a job loss or increased debt, can result in a loan denial. Additionally, fluctuations in interest rates can impact a buyer’s ability to secure the loan they initially qualified for. To mitigate the risk of financing challenges, it’s crucial for buyers to maintain stable financial circumstances throughout the home buying process. Sellers can also minimize the risk by carefully evaluating the financial strength of potential buyers and considering offers from those with more secure financing options.

2. Home Inspection Surprises

Home inspections are a standard part of the home buying process and can uncover hidden issues that may affect the sale. Inspections may reveal structural damage, mold, or other costly repairs that the seller was unaware of. If the inspection reveals significant issues, the buyer may request repairs or credits to cover the necessary fixes. If the seller refuses, the buyer may choose to terminate the contract.
To avoid surprises during the inspection process, sellers can consider conducting a pre-inspection before listing their home. This allows them to address any issues proactively, ensuring a smoother transaction and potentially avoiding costly renegotiations.

3. Appraisal Shortfalls

Appraisals play a crucial role in determining the fair market value of a home. If the appraised value comes in lower than the agreed-upon sale price, it can create a significant hurdle in the pending sale process. Lenders typically rely on appraisals to determine the loan amount they’re willing to provide. If the appraisal falls short, the buyer may need to bridge the gap with additional funds or renegotiate the sale price.
Sellers can help mitigate the risk of appraisal shortfalls by pricing their homes appropriately from the start. Conducting a comparative market analysis and working closely with a knowledgeable real estate agent can ensure the home is priced within a reasonable range.

4. Title Issues

Title issues can derail a pending home sale if not addressed promptly. A title search is conducted to ensure that the property’s title is clear of any liens, encumbrances, or ownership disputes. If the search reveals unexpected title issues, such as outstanding liens or unresolved legal claims, it can delay or even cancel the sale.
Sellers can proactively address potential title issues by obtaining a preliminary title report before listing their home. This report will highlight any potential concerns that need to be resolved before the sale. Working with a reputable title company and seeking legal counsel if necessary can help navigate any title issues that arise.

5. Buyer's Failure to Sell Their Current Home

When a buyer needs to sell their current home before completing the purchase, a home sale contingency is often included in the contract. However, this contingency introduces an element of uncertainty. If the buyer fails to sell their home within the agreed-upon timeframe, it can lead to the termination of the pending sale.
To mitigate the risk associated with home sale contingencies, sellers can carefully evaluate the buyer’s timeline and the current housing market conditions. Working closely with a knowledgeable real estate agent can help determine the feasibility of the buyer’s ability to sell their home within the specified timeframe.

6. Cold Feet and Changing Circumstances

Lastly, pending home sales can fall through due to unpredictable factors such as cold feet or changing circumstances. Buyers or sellers may experience a change of heart, decide to pursue other opportunities, or face unexpected personal or financial challenges. While these factors may be beyond anyone’s control, they can still disrupt the sale process.

To minimize the risk of cold feet or changing circumstances, open and honest communication between buyers and sellers is essential. Real estate agents can play a crucial role in facilitating these conversations and managing expectations throughout the transaction.

Making Sure the Sale Goes Forward

While there are various reasons why pending home sales may fall through, there are steps both buyers and sellers can take to increase the likelihood of a closing.

  • Open Communication: Maintain open lines of communication between all parties involved in the transaction. Promptly address any concerns or issues that arise, and work together towards finding mutually agreeable solutions.
  • Thorough Preparation: Buyers should ensure they have their financing in order and complete all necessary paperwork accurately and promptly. Sellers should prepare their home for inspections and address any known issues proactively.
  • Qualified Professionals: Work with experienced real estate agents, lenders, and attorneys who have in-depth knowledge of the local market and can guide you through the transaction process.
  • Flexibility: Be open to negotiations and willing to compromise when necessary. Flexibility on both sides can help overcome obstacles and keep the transaction on track.
  • Contingency Planning: Have a backup plan in case the sale falls through. This can include identifying alternative properties or considering alternative financing options.

Every real estate transaction is unique, and unforeseen challenges can arise. By being proactive, communicative, and adaptable, you can navigate these challenges and increase your chances of a successful closing.

What to Do if a Home Sale Falls Through

In the unfortunate event that a pending home sale does fall through, it’s essential to regroup and take appropriate steps to move forward. 

Assess the Reasons

Understand why the sale fell through and evaluate whether there are any areas that can be improved or addressed in future transactions.

Reevaluate Pricing

If the sale fell through due to appraisal issues or pricing disagreements, consider adjusting the price to better align with market conditions.

Re Engage with the Market

Relist the property promptly and work with your real estate agent to attract new potential buyers.

Learn from the Experience

Use the knowledge gained from the failed sale to make informed decisions moving forward. Take note of any lessons learned and apply them to future real estate transactions.

At Jacob Realty, we understand that pending home sales can be challenging. That’s why our team of experienced real estate professionals is here to guide you through every step of the process. We pride ourselves on our personalized approach, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving successful outcomes for our clients. Trust us to make your Texas real estate dreams a reality. Contact us today to get started on your home buying or selling journey!

Get in touch


5003 John Stockbauer Dr Ste G
Victoria, TX 77904

Contact Us

Victoria Office : 361-208-6880
Brenham Office: 979-421-4433

Email: [email protected]

Our Hours

MON-FRI 08:00 – 5:00

SAT-SUN: By appointment only

Share This

Leave a Reply