A Top Reason Why Buyers Cancel a Home Purchase

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Posted on February 10, 2020 by Laura Lucky

You’re thrilled. You listed your home for sale and you have a buyer. They’ve made a terrific offer, the terms are agreeable to you, and they have been pre-qualified by their lender. Now, you can sit back with relief and wait for the property to close escrow. Congratulations are due! Or are they?

One of the most common reasons we see homes falling out of escrow is the need for expensive repairs. After acceptance of a buyer’s offer, the buyer has 10 days (or whatever the amount of days that have been negotiated in the contract) to perform their due diligence on their potential purchase. They’ll hire a home inspector to evaluate the property and provide them with a report on the overall condition of the home including termite inspections. Many buyers also hire specialists to further evaluate the roof, HVAC system, swimming pool, and the presence of radon gas or mold. The reports will show what systems or elements of the home need to be remedied – whether they’re to be modified, replaced, repaired or removed.

This is where the home sale can go sideways. Here in North Scottsdale, the majority of the properties are 20 to 30 years old. You can imagine that there may be some issues with the major systems of the home, such as the roof or the HVAC system, simply due to age. Many buyers will walk away from a sale, as is their right to do, rather than dealing with a major repair.

What’s the best way to avoid a setback and disappointment such as this when you’re listing your home for sale? Having a pre-listing inspection done. Knowing what issues your home may have can help in making important decisions when you list. We generally recommend having the repairs done yourself before your home even goes on the market.

Sure, you can go ahead and list it for sale without getting an inspection with an expectation to negotiate with the buyer on the repairs, or even assume you’ll need to drop the agreed-upon sales price after the inspection. However, many buyers simply won’t negotiate with you and would rather cancel the purchase instead. This puts you in a precarious situation as your time on the market is longer, and the listing’s history shows a canceled purchase(es). Both occurrences can devalue your home and can result in eventually selling for less than you had expected.

Contact us today to further discuss our recommendations for listing your home at or 602.320.8415.

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  • Matt Lucky
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