House Selling 101

8 Home Seller Nightmares and How to Avoid Them

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Every house sale has bumps in the road. Some are unavoidable, while others can be prevented or resolved by the right means and with the right resources. Here are 8 possible issues that can quickly turn selling your house into a nightmare, and what you can do to prevent them.

1. Structural Issues

Structure damage to the foundation or underlying structure of the house, mold, termites, flood or fire damage, all deter buyers from making an offer. The bones of your house should not be compromised.

Have an inspector come through, then resolve all issues before listing the property.

2. Lender Drops the Ball

Though rare, it is not impossible for a buyer to get a bad lender. Lenders are responsible for paperwork, necessary filing and approval of the loan. If they misplace documents or miswrite information, your house sale can drag on and cost you more money.

Since the buyer chooses their lender, there’s not much you can do. But your realtor can nudge things along and keep an open channel of communication between you, the buyer, and their lender.

3. Buyer was Pre-Qualified, but Not Pre-Approved

It happens more often than you think: a buyer gets pre-qualified for a loan, but not pre-approved. The reason is pre-approval requires a more rigorous screening process, and a bad credit score or outstanding debt is often met with rejection.

To avoid this situation, require your buyers to submit a letter of approval from the lender when they put in an offer.

4. Faulty Appraisal

The lender requires an appraisal of your property to confirm it’s worth the loan amount. If you live in a hot market, and properties in your area are selling for more than the asking price, your house may not appraise well. A bad appraisal can result in the buyer not getting their loan.

To combat this, your realtor should gather property appreciation values in the area to argue the appraised value, or negotiate adjustments to the purchase agreement.

5. Repairs are Not Made in a Timely Manner

When a home inspection finds issues, buyers ask for repairs. You hope repairs will be fast, easy, and affordable, but sometimes you get a bad crew, or they uncover additional problems. Either way, the longer repairs take, the more money you lose, and the buyer may find a more attractive deal elsewhere.

Again, the best thing you can do is get your property inspected before listing. You can then calculate costs and project a timeframe for repairs, and screen professionals to make repairs.

6. Bad Realtor

Your real estate agent can make or break a deal. A good agent should do everything in their power to find buyers, gather offers, and expedite the sale process. They should also care about getting you a great offer, since they take a 3% to 6% commission fee.

Do your research. Screen realtors carefully and check online reviews. Ask friends or family if they recommend a realtor. Look for someone who is knowledgeable and experienced, but also likable and tech-savvy.

7. Property Sits on Market, But No Attention

You can do all the right things, but the longer your house sits on the market, the less attractive it becomes. Buyers think a house that sits too long must have something wrong with it.

You can offer financial incentives and/or price it below the market value to spark new interest.

8. Bad Neighbors and Other Put-Offs

You cannot help where you live or who lives next door to you. Bad neighbors run off buyers with their eyesore lawns and loud, nosy personalities.

But maybe it’s not your neighbors. Maybe your property sits near an airport or busy highway or is in a bad part of town. If it’s outdated, cluttered, or in desperate need of maintenance – these are all issues that make a house unsellable.

Some things you cannot fix. The best you can hope for is to sell to a desperate buyer or a real estate investor.

Sell Nightmares to an Investor, aka The Dream Sale

Real estate investors will buy properties, with cash, in any location in any condition. The house can be damaged, rundown, or a hoarding space – they will buy it “as-is.” Investors also void traditional sale warranties and inspections, and pay all closing costs and additional sale fees.

You can walk away from your problem property in less than 30 days, forgo home seller nightmares, and use the cash proceeds for a down payment on your new dream home.

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