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Your Home Purchase Deal Fell Through –What to Do Next?

Sometimes factors beyond your control can result in a real estate deal falling apart. For a variety of reasons, you could wind up in a scenario with no home and your down payment held in escrow—so here are some steps you need to take once you realize your Columbus home purchase is not going to be a solid deal.

Depending on your individual contract, the money that you have put forth thus far may be returned in a partial amount or in full. A home inspection, an appraisal and the buyer's ability to get financing are examples of common contingencies that are not refunded, as they are fees that were paid to industry professionals for their time and expertise, they are not contingent on the contract going through. They are fees paid for services provided. However, it depends on the individual contract.

Condo association fees are an area where a contract can be dissolved and money returned to involved parties. Let’s say that a buyer who wanted to purchase a condominium as a rental property made closing the deal contingent on his approval of the homeowners’ association documents. When he discovered, within the allowable time, the association prohibited rentals, the deal was canceled and his deposit was returned. However, the fees paid to obtain documents must be paid by one of the parties involved, and this is generally clarified in the contract or will be disputed at the time of issue.

Contingencies should not be relied on as a method for having a change of heart on a property. Buyers sometimes harbor the misconception that a real estate purchase contract can be entered into lightly and then easily exited due to the contingencies—this is simply not the case and is an extremely poor practice to embark on as a buyer. Contingencies have very specific procedural code and to think that you can pull one up as an excuse not to go through with a sale is wrong.

Many homeowners in Columbus are living in a rental property pending a closing deal on a new home. When this is the case, you want to wait as long as you can to give notice to your landlord that you intend to vacate the property—you want to make sure that the deal closes, even if it means paying an extra month’s rent or forfeiting a deposit.

Either way, if you are someone at the center of a real estate deal that collapses, do not get discouraged. Take your time, find the next properties that appeal to you and follow your gut on what your next move should be. If you have a few months to relax before jumping back into the MLS, then take some time off. If you want a new home immediately, put your nose to the grindstone and get back on the phone with your realtor.

Best of luck on your home search!