Real Estate Hurdles Leading to Contract Cancellations


With the economy showing signs of recovery in many parts of the country, one would think that Real Estate deals would be smooth sailing.  Unfortunately that isn’t the case.  In a new national survey Almost one-third of real estate agents reported experiencing  deals falling through. 

According to the survey by the National Association of Realtors, the reported cancellation rate doesn’t mean that one of every three transactions are falling through, rather more than triple the number of agents are facing  deal-jeopardizing problems in 2011.

 Some of the issues reported:

  • Appraisals below contract price.   Appraisers hired by the mortgage company may have a different opinion of the value of the property, sometimes significantly below the price agreed in the contract.  Foreclosures being used as ‘comparables’ to value non-distressed properties are part of the problem here.  Inexperienced appraisers who are unfamiliar with local trends also contribute to this trend.
  • Stringent underwriting and documentation requirements.  Restrictive underwriting rules at the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can derail signed contracts or delay them for months.
  • Poor service by lender staff.  Agents report “lack of customer service” and “generally bad attitudes” as contributing factors to delays and some contract failures.  However, agents also need to be on the lookout when loan processing deadlines start to lag or communication breaks down, and facilitate the progress of getting it moving again.

The key to closing on a home is to make sure you choose the right agent, lender and other team members who will help you understand the rules and requirements before hand, and stay on top of the professionals involved in your transaction.

Based on Los Angeles Times article.

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