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— by Hana LaRock

Not-So-Common Reasons Why People Walk Away From the Closing Table

That May Be Avoidable

If the perfect client exists, they’re few and far between. And, as much as it’s great to have a client that’s smooth-sailing from start to finish, the reality is that there are usually always bumps in the road on the journey to buying a house. What’s even worse is when a client seems so certain and comfortable with the process, that things seem to implode when they get to the buying table.

There are many reasons why buyers back out of a deal, like losing a job right before, being transferred by their job to another city, a divorce, their needs changing, etc. But, what are some of the less common ones? And, is there a way to see the signs and prevent it from happening to you?

1) Buyer’s Remorse

Buying a house is a big decision, and one of the largest financial commitments and emotional commitments a person will make in their lifetime. And, no matter how long a person has been saving up for this moment, they suddenly feel guilty for what they are about to do, and will feel much better if they don’t do it all. They feel that the purchase they made/are about to make is irresponsible, too extravagant, or  and they are already regretting it.

2) The Home Isn’t Right for Them

We’ve all had those clients who know the home they want the moment they see the listing online, and we have those other clients who could look at fifty homes and still not know what it is that they want. And, by the time this type of client gets to the closing table, they are still on the fence about it. Or, in some rare cases, the client who thought they were so certain about finding their dream home, finally realizes that they should have looked at other options before making the commitment to one. 

3) The Process Seems Way Too Fast

These days, if the process of buying a home happens fast, then it’s usually a miracle of sorts. But, some people prefer the process takes time because it helps them to be certain of their decision every step of the way. However, no matter how long it seems to take, one reason a client may walk away at the closing table is because the process just seems too fast. They feel they are making an impulsive decision and they would feel a huge weight lifted off their shoulders if they were to just leave now. 

4) They Think They’re Overpaying

The housing market has been going through rapid changes in the last few months. And, even though for the most part, things seem stable – even great, as more and more people are moving out of cities into the suburbs – these rapid changes can lead a person to think they’re not getting the best deal in the end. Perhaps they’ve been involved in a bidding war and they’ve always been told not to do that when buying a house. So, now they feel they are overpaying and it’s better to wait until things settle down. 

5) There’s Too Much Work to Do

Some people choose to buy older homes because they want to save money, and the price difference between choosing a home that needs a bit of work and one that is turnkey ready is 100% worth it. But, then the buyer is about to sign on the dotted line, and they suddenly think about the work that needs to go into the home. Even if it’s not a lot, they’re work has gotten too busy, money will be tight after closing on the home, and the client and their spouse can even agree over what to eat for dinner. Just the mental load that will have to go into getting the home where it needs to be is too much to even think about for the time being. And, even if it doesn’t seem like a huge deal, the uncertainty is leaving the client uneasy enough to hold off for something more in line with what they need now.

How to Prevent a Buyer Walking Away

At the end of the day, the choice is there’s. And, if they are feeling like they want to walk away, they probably will. No one wants to make such a big commitment if they are feeling nauseous about it (though nausea may be normal and you can let your clients know this ahead of time!). While it’s normal to have second thoughts, most people recognize that’s part of the process, whereas others are more certain they are making the wrong decision than the right one. 

In order to prevent this from happening as best as you can:

  • Create expectations for your buyers from the very beginning. They should be clear about all steps of the process.
  • Show homes that are only within their budget. 
  • Be open and communicative. Your clients will likely have many questions along the way, so be ready to answer those questions for them. Not only that, be proactive – if you think they may ask about something, then beat them to it.
  • Have good rapport with the listing agent. This will prevent any miscommunication or lag down the road (though, this won’t always be in your control).
  • Prepare your buyers as much as possible for inspection.
  • Be an advocate for your buyers and demonstrate to them that you have their best interest at heart.
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