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How Often Do Contingent Offers Fall Through?

How Often Do Contingent Offers Fall Through

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The process of buying a house includes various stages that buyers and sellers must navigate. One of these stages involves contingent in real estate offers, a common yet potentially confusing aspect of real estate transactions. When wondering how often do contingent offers fall through, it’s essential to comprehend what a contingent offer means, the reasons behind an unsuccessful contingent offer, and the timeline involved.

How Long Does a House Stay in Contingent Status?

A question that naturally arises when considering contingent offers is, “How long does a house stay in contingent status?” The length of a home’s contingent status can greatly vary, usually depending on the specific contingencies outlined in the contract.

Contingencies such as inspections or appraisals may take a few weeks, while those dependent on the sale of another property by the buyer could take months. Typically, a contingent offer could last between 30 to 60 days, but there are exceptions where this period could be shorter or longer.

Why Do Buyers Back Out of Buying a Home?

Another aspect to explore when asking how often do contingent offers fall through is understanding why buyers back out of home purchases. A contingent offer can fall through for several reasons:

  1. Inspection Issues: The property might have serious issues revealed during the inspection, leading the buyer to reconsider.
  2. Financing Problems: If the buyer fails to secure a mortgage or other financing, they may have to back out.
  3. Low Appraisal: If the home appraisal comes in lower than the sale price, it might jeopardize the buyer’s financing, causing them to withdraw their offer.
  4. Title Issues: Unresolved legal issues concerning the property’s title could be a deal-breaker for the buyer.
  5. Buyer’s Home Sale Contingency: If the buyer cannot sell their current home within a set timeframe, they may need to back out of the purchase.

What Percentage of Contingent Offers Fall Through?

Determining the exact percentage of contingent offers that fall through can be challenging, as it depends on a multitude of factors such as the housing market’s current state, the details of the contract, and individual buyer and seller circumstances.

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However, according to data from the National Association of Realtors, about 4% of all real estate contracts were terminated before closing in 2020. While this figure includes all reasons for termination, not just unfulfilled contingencies, it provides a sense of the overall likelihood of a real estate deal falling through.

Remember, asking how often do contingent offers fall through is crucial when considering real estate purchases. By understanding the intricacies of contingent offers, you can better navigate your home buying journey, ensuring the process is smoother and more successful.

Why Do Pending Sales Fall Through?

Why Do Pending Sales Fall Through

Just as it’s important to understand how often contingent offers fall through, knowing why pending sales don’t always come to fruition is equally crucial. A pending sale indicates that all contingencies have been satisfied and the closing process is in motion. However, even at this stage, there can still be deal-breaking issues. Let’s delve into some of the common reasons why pending sales fall through.

Financial Difficulties

Financial difficulties are one of the leading causes of pending sales falling through. Despite obtaining pre-approval for a mortgage, a buyer may encounter unexpected financial hardships that prevent them from securing the final loan. For example, a sudden job loss, additional debt, or a negative change in credit score can disrupt the buyer’s financial standing, making the lender reconsider their loan approval.

Home Inspection Trouble

Home inspections can reveal significant issues that were previously unknown. Even at the pending stage, severe problems discovered during a final walkthrough or an additional inspection can cause a sale to fall through. These issues may include structural damage, termite infestation, or undisclosed repairs, which can lead a buyer to renegotiate or even back out of the deal entirely.

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Lower Than Expected Appraisal

If an appraisal take comes back lower than the agreed-upon selling price, it may cause complications. Lenders typically finance a percentage of the appraised value, not the higher contract price. If the buyer cannot cover the difference out of pocket and the seller is unwilling to reduce the price, it could result in a cancelled sale.

Buyer’s Remorse

Buyer’s remorse is a more subjective reason, but it does occur. Buying a house is a significant financial commitment. Sometimes, a buyer might have second thoughts about the purchase, leading to the cancellation of the sale. This is especially common among first-time homebuyers who may feel overwhelmed by the gravity of the situation.

Attorney Selection

Attorneys play a significant role in the home buying and selling process, especially in states where attorney involvement is mandatory. If an attorney uncovers legal issues with the title, property line disputes, or pending liens during the closing process, it can cause a pending sale to fall through.

Knowing these potential pitfalls when asking how often do contingent offers fall through can help you be more proactive in addressing possible issues before they become deal-breakers. By doing so, you’ll be better prepared to navigate the complex world of real estate transactions.

How Long Does a Contingency Contract Last?

A contingency contract in a real estate deal typically lasts between 30 to 60 days, although this timeframe can vary based on the specific terms agreed upon by the buyer and seller. Some contingencies may be fulfilled in a matter of days, while others may take weeks or even months. The length of a contingency contract can be negotiated and should be clearly defined within the contract itself.

At What Stage Do Most House Sales Fall Through?

The majority of failed house sales tend to occur early in the transaction process, often during the negotiation and due diligence stages. This is when inspections are carried out, and buyers often back out due to issues revealed during these inspections or financial problems. However, a sale can fall through at any stage before remote closing, even during the final walk-through if significant issues are discovered.

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Can You Counter a Contingent Offer?

Yes, you can counter a contingent offer. As a seller, if you receive an offer that has contingencies you’re not comfortable with, you can counteroffer with adjusted terms. This could involve asking for a higher price, changing the contingency terms, or removing certain contingencies altogether. Remember that all changes must be agreed upon by both the buyer and seller.

Can a Seller Back Out of a Contingent Offer?

In general, a seller can back out of a contingent offer, but the specifics depend on the terms outlined in the sales contract. Some contracts may include clauses that allow the seller to continue marketing their property and accept a superior offer, effectively nullifying the original offer. However, if the seller backs out without such a clause or a valid legal reason, they could face legal repercussions.

Understanding these aspects of contingent offers and TRID real estate contracts can help answer questions about how often contingent offers fall through. Remember, each real estate transaction is unique and involves numerous variables, so it’s essential to stay informed and flexible throughout the process.


Robbi Cahya Yudha

As an experienced professional in the mortgage loan and property market, Help individuals and families achieve their homeownership dreams.  My mission is to simplify your real estate journey and secure the best possible outcomes in this ever-changing market.