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How to Stop a Pending Sale from Falling Through

You’ve finally agreed to the real estate offer and the earnest money has been deposited. So, what could possibly go wrong now? Ahh… The infamous question. Yet, unfortunately, many real estate deals have fallen through after mutual acceptance. So what could possibly happen after the buyer and seller have agreed to the real estate contract? How can you stop a pending sale from falling through? Here are several reasons why a pending sale could fall through and how to avoid it.


Most buyers will need financing in order to afford a home and if anything should go wrong, the deal could be terminated. Buyers should get preapproved for a mortgage. A lender will determine how much the borrower can spend each month on a mortgage payment and then will give the buyer a maximum price. If for some reason the financing falls through after they’ve been approved, the deal could be terminated. It’s important not to make any major financial moves during this time. Don’t take out any more credit, keep paying your bills on time, and don’t lose your job. Any major financial changes could affect your interest rate and could prevent the deal from going through at all.

More: 3 Things You Should Do Before Applying for a Mortgage

Home inspection.

After mutual acceptance buyers typically schedule a home inspection. This inspection report will tell the buyer what they need to know moving forward. If for any reason the buyer is unsatisfied with the inspection or cannot come to a mutual agreement with the seller on repairs, the deal can be terminated right then and there. Sellers can, however, agreed to fix certain items, credit the buyer money at closing, or lower the price of the property to cover any repairs after the buyer has moved in. There are ways to negotiate issues, but if both buyer and seller cannot come to an agreement, chances are the deal will be terminated and the earnest money would return to the buyer.


If the transaction is still moving forward, the lender will issue an appraisal of the property. Lenders will not loan money on a property that is just not worth it. They need to make sure that the property is valued for what the buyer wants to pay. If the appraisal comes back within the right price range, all is well. If not, the seller can either lower the price or the buyer will need to make up the difference in cash.

Related: What Happens in a Home Closing?

Unclean title.

If the title company finds conflicting claims to the ownership of the property or there are liens on the home, the seller will need to work to settle the issues prior to closing. A lender will usually decline the mortgage if title issues cannot be settled or the buyer can simply terminate the transaction. Seller should make sure that they have a legal right to sell the property and that there are no additional liens on the property before listing it.

More: 10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Buying an Older Home

Unforeseen circumstances.

The prior four reasons are the most common for a deal to fall through but there are a lot of situations, such as the pandemic we have going on right now. Buyers and sellers may back out for a variety of reasons and these should be negotiated between the parties. Seasoned real estate agents are well versed and experienced in negotiating and keeping deals going through proper communication. But every single deal is different. There are many parties working to complete the transaction and if something should go awry, it helps to have agents that no how to handle unique circumstances.

Related: 4 Scams to Know About During COVID-19

As a Mesa Arizona real estate agent for decades, I have seen just about everything you could possibly imagine in a real estate transaction and negotiated through all of it. If you’re looking to buy or sell real estate in the Mesa area contact me at any time.