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7 things that could go wrong when selling a property

Selling a property is not an easy process. and agents or sellers must have contingency plans if things go wrong.



Countless websites display detailed real estate articles. Yet, most gloss over unexpected circumstances that pop up in home selling. Between the selling process, the seller’s personal life, the buyer’s personal life, and the agent’s professional life, it’s almost certain things won’t go smoothly.

Home inspection

A common reason a buyer declines a home is the home inspection. Recommended by agents to buyers, home inspections give buyers a truthful, real-time condition of the home. Repair problematic issues before buyers uncover it. Serious issues like foundation repair or mold require professional contractors to repair the issue. The best home inspector isn’t the cheapest or most expensive. These inspectors, however, are the most experienced.

Financial concerns

Unexpected financial issues force sellers to do nothing, and buyers won’t accept it. Examples are a lack of funds to repair the house or a lack of funds to clear outstanding debt. Sellers must borrow funds from trusted and legal sources such as family, friends, and loan lenders to resolve home repair and/or title issues. Buyers will not wait until your finances clear up, and no buyer will accept paying your outstanding bills just to own your home.

Title issues

Homeownership deeds cannot transfer from the seller’s hands to the buyer’s hands if there are issues with title history. The home’s title history checks the seller’s homeownership history. Agents expect a clean title history from sellers to legally sell a home. An unclean title is troublesome. In advance, sellers should check and resolve title issues before listing. Examples of title issues include outstanding debt, property tax issues, income tax issues, legal issues, unresolved liens, home equity debt, encroachments, and court judgments.

Change of heart

In some cases, the seller’s personal life bleeds into home selling. It divides concentration to the point where the seller takes the home off the market. Divorce, health concerns, job loss, and death in the family are examples. Other issues include relocation failures and not finding a replacement home in time. This change of heart is mostly temporary but not always.

Uncontrolled emotions

Besides a change of heart, emotions impede sellers. Common pressures sellers face are deadlines and perfection. The rush to sell the home forces sellers to take less than the asking price just to get rid of it. Perfection in selling is competing with neighboring homes for the best home appearance and/or price. Perfection also means selecting the perfect buyer to live in the house. Control your emotions before it controls you and ruins the sale.

selling a property

The seller’s lack of funds to pay debts or repairs can be financial concerns that buyers will not shoulder.  (Source)


Buyer issues

Buyers have more freedom to bail out of a sale than sellers, and they take full advantage of it. Buyers with mortgages must adhere to lenders’ demands before theirs. In some cases, the buyer declines the offer for reasons including family issues, a disappointing home inspection, unreasonable seller demands, title issues, rejected mortgage applications, and/or home destruction.

Home destruction

A rarity in home selling is a natural disaster destroying a home before or during closing. This is heartbreaking to both parties. While the buyer must find a new home, the seller reluctantly removes the debris and sells the land. It’s rare for traditional buyers to purchase land and build a home from the ground up, yet investors might. Still, home destruction deflates happiness, forcing you to sell the property to a different demographic.

The real estate process isn’t smooth sailing. If it did, more homes will sell with fewer interruptions. Savvy agents and sellers must adapt to changes quickly so these selling mistakes won’t turn problematic.


DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.


Tonya Jones Reynolds is a freelance writer specializing in real estate, marketing, and money articles for Born2Invest. Some past and present companies she writes for include Blogmutt, YouQueen, Blasting News, Reflect & Refresh, Inman News,, and Textbroker. With 7+ years of experience as a freelance writer, she joined Born2Invest as a contributor to help readers make good decisions about their financial and professional lives.