Laugh now, but plan to avoid these all-too-common issues when you sell

Laugh now, but plan to avoid these all-too-common issues when you sell

88 Things To Go Wrong in Real Estate

by Hal Feldman (

MiamiHal is here to make sure you don't run into any of the snags listed here. This list is meant to be somewhat humorous, somewhat serious, and though not all encompassing, invariably every real estate transaction hits one or more of the bumps listed here or something similar. It's no wonder that most For Sale By Owner homes eventually turn to help from a Realtor®.

While items listed here may be picky for some, they are very real and fearful to others. Please take a few moments to review the list:

Bad Things done by or to the Buyer/Borrower
1. Does not tell the truth on the loan application.
2. Submits incorrect information to the Lender.
3. Has recent late payments on credit report.
4. Found out about additional debt after loan application.
5. Loses their job.
6. Co-borrower loses their job.
7. Income verification lower than what was stated on loan application.
8. Overtime income not allowed by underwriter for qualifying.
9. Applicant makes large purchase on credit before closing.
10. Illness, injury, divorce, or other financial setbacks during escrow.
11. Lacks motivation.
12. Gift donor changes mind.
13. Cannot locate divorce decree.
14. Cannot locate petition or discharge of bankruptcy.
15. Cannot locate tax returns.
16. Cannot locate bank statements.
17. Difficulty in obtaining verification of rent.
18. Interest rate increases and borrower no longer qualifies.
19. Loan program changes with higher rates, points, and/or fees.
20. Child support not disclosed on application.
21. Is a foreign national.
22. Bankruptcy within last two years.
23. Mortgage payment is double the previous housing payment.
24. Does not have steady two-year employment history.
25. Brings in handwritten pay stubs.
26. Switches to job with a probation period.
27. Switches from a job with salary to 100% commission income.
28. Death.
29. Family members or friends do not like the home choice.
30. Too picky about property in affordable price range.
31. Feels the house is misrepresented.
32. Veterans DD214 form not available.
33. Short of money at closing.
34. No proper paper trail of additional money from gifts, loans, etc.
35. Forgets to bring cashier's check to title company for closing costs and down payment.

Bad Things done by or to the Seller
36. Loses motivation to sell.
37. Cannot find a suitable replacement property.
38. Will not allow appraiser inside home.
39. Will not allow inspectors inside home in a timely manner.
40. Removes property from premises buyer believed was included.
41. Cannot clear up liens.
42. Did not own 100% of property as previously disclosed.
43. Encounters problems getting partners' signatures.
44. Leaves town without giving anyone Power of Attorney.
45. Delays projected move-out date.
46. Did not complete repairs agreed to in contract.
47. Home goes into foreclosure during escrow.
48. Misrepresents information about home and neighborhood.
49. Does not disclose all hidden or unknown defects which are subsequently discovered.
50. Builder miscalculates completion date of new home.
51. Builder has too many cost overruns.
52. Final inspection of home does not pass.
53. No appearance for closing and will not sign papers.

Bad Things done by or to the Realtor(s)
54. No client control over or respect from buyers or sellers.
55. Delays access to property for inspection and/or appraisals. 
56. Unfamiliar with client's financial position.
57. Does not get completed paperwork to Lender on time.
58. Inexperienced in this type of property transaction.
59. Takes unexpected time off during transaction and can't be reached.
60. Misleads other parties to the transaction.
61. Does not do sufficient homework on clients or property.

62. County will not approve septic system or well.
63. Termite report reveals substantial damage that seller not willing to fix or repair.
64. Misrepresentation of home size and condition.
65. Home destroyed prior to closing.
66. Home not structurally sound.
67. Home uninsurable for homeowner's insurance.
68. Property incorrectly zoned.
69. Portion of home, fence or shed sits on neighbor's property.
70. Unique home and comparable properties for appraisal difficult to find.

Escrow/Title Company
71. Fails to notify lenders/agents of unsigned or unreturned documents. 
72. Fails to obtain information from beneficiaries, lien holders, insurance companies, or Lenders in a timely manner.
73. Allows principles to leave town without getting all necessary signatures.
74. Loses or incorrectly prepares paperwork.
75. Does not pass on valuable information quickly enough.
76. Does not coordinate well.
77. Does not bend the rules on small problems.
78. Finds liens or other title problems at the last minute.

79. Is not local and misunderstands the market.
80. Too busy to complete appraisal on schedule.
81. No comparable sales available.
82. Not on Lender's approved list.
83. Makes important mistakes on appraisal.
84. Lender requires second or review appraisal.

85. Pest inspector not available when needed.
86. Pest inspector too picky about condition of property.
87. Home inspector not available when needed.
88. Inspection reports alarm buyer and sale is cancelled.