A home can be one of the most significant purchases a person makes in their lifetime. Unfortunately, the stresses and anxieties often caused by this decision can drive some to walk away from the deal entirely.

According to a recent report, approximately 32% of settlement delays come from prospective homebuyers facing last-minute issues.

Reasons buyers might decline right before the closing

These are some factors that may result in a last-minute drop out:

  • Buyers notice last-minute defects: In many cases, buyers often examine the home a week before the closing to make sure the house is in good condition. However, if they find defects they didn’t discover during the initial viewing, they may choose to look elsewhere.
  • They suddenly can’t qualify for a loan: If buyers lose their job or fall into debt, this could make the mortgage lender skeptical. That’s because the lender may weary of how the buyer will be able to keep up with mortgage payments.
  • They decide to go after a different home: Homebuyers may continue browsing the market, even if they’ve already committed to purchasing from the seller.
  • The buyer experiences remorse: As buyers are at the final step of the purchase process, some may get cold feet right before they sign.

Last-minute decisions can create hardship for sellers

Depending on the nature of the home purchase agreement, sellers may be able to receive liquidated damages if a buyer defaults. Sellers who have questions about buyers leaving the closing table at the last minute may want to seek legal counsel. An experienced and knowledgeable real estate law attorney can assist clients in answering their questions and addressing their concerns regarding compensation.