Why Do Home Sales Fall Through in San Jose?

Why Do Home Sales Fall Through? 5 Common Reasons Why The Seller or Buyer Walk Away

Selling a home can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience, especially in a competitive real estate market like San Jose. However, sometimes, despite all the efforts and negotiations, home sales fall through, leaving both the buyer and seller disappointed and back at square one. In this article, we will explore the common reasons why home sales fall through in San Jose and provide insights on how to prevent them. Whether you’re a seller or a buyer, understanding these deal-breakers can help you navigate the real estate process more effectively.

Inspection Issues

One of the most common reasons for a home sale to fall through in San Jose is the discovery of significant issues during the inspection process. Inspections can reveal hidden flaws that may affect the value and livability of the property. Structural issues, wet basements, leaky roofs, high radon levels, or mold are just a few examples of deal-breakers for buyers.

When serious defects are found, buyers may panic and seek further negotiation on the price or request credits or repairs from the seller. If the buyer included a home inspection contingency in their offer, they have the option to renegotiate the price or even walk away from the deal altogether.

To prevent inspection issues from derailing a home sale, sellers in San Jose should consider conducting a pre-listing inspection. Hiring a professional home inspector before putting the property on the market allows sellers to address any potential issues and make necessary repairs in advance. This proactive approach can help sellers navigate negotiations more smoothly and avoid surprises during buyer inspections.

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Home Sale Contingencies

Another reason why home sales can fall through in San Jose is the presence of home sale contingencies. These contingencies arise when a buyer needs to sell their current home before they can proceed with the purchase of a new one. While understandable, these contingencies can introduce uncertainties and delays into the transaction.

Buyers who include a home sale contingency in their offer typically have a set number of days to sell their current home. If their home doesn’t sell within the specified timeframe, it can cause the entire transaction to fall apart. Sellers may then need to search for another buyer or move forward with a backup offer, starting the process anew.

To reduce the risk of a home sale falling through due to contingencies, sellers in San Jose can prioritize offers from buyers who don’t require the sale of their current home to proceed. By selecting buyers who are financially capable of handling the purchase without contingencies, sellers can minimize the potential for delays and uncertainties in the transaction.

Financing Challenges

Financing issues are another common cause of home sales falling through in San Jose. Despite being pre-approved initially, buyers may encounter obstacles during the mortgage process that lead to the withdrawal of financing. Changes in financial circumstances, such as taking on new loans, losing a job, or large purchases, can impact a buyer’s debt-to-income ratio and jeopardize their loan eligibility.

To mitigate the risk of financing challenges, sellers should prioritize offers from buyers who have already obtained mortgage pre-approval. Buyers with pre-approval are less likely to face financing issues, as their eligibility has already been assessed by the lender. Additionally, sellers can work with their listing agent to request pre-approval from potential buyers and ensure they are serious and qualified before entering into a contract.

Appraisal Discrepancies

In a seller’s market like San Jose, where housing inventory is limited and prices can be inflated due to bidding wars, appraisal discrepancies can lead to home sales falling through. When a buyer applies for a mortgage, the lender requires an appraisal of the property to determine its value. If the appraisal comes in lower than the agreed-upon purchase price, it can create a significant hurdle for the buyer.

Banks typically lend based on the appraised value of the home, meaning the buyer may need to come up with additional funds to cover the difference between the appraised value and the purchase price. Not all buyers have the financial flexibility to bridge this gap, leading to potential renegotiations or even the cancellation of the sale.

To minimize the risk of appraisal discrepancies, sellers in San Jose should work with their real estate agent to set a fair and accurate asking price based on comparable home sales in the area. Pricing the home appropriately from the start can help avoid appraisal issues down the line and ensure a smoother transaction.

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Buyer’s Remorse

Buyer’s remorse, also known as “cold feet,” can cause a home sale to fall through at the last minute. It occurs when a buyer experiences doubts or regrets about the purchase and seeks ways to back out of the deal. While sellers have legal protection through earnest deposits, the emotional and logistical impact of a failed sale can be significant.

To minimize the risk of buyer’s remorse, sellers can work with their agent to ensure that the contract is clear and transparent, leaving no room for undisclosed points that a buyer could exploit. Additionally, favoring offers with fewer contingencies and choosing buyers who demonstrate confidence and commitment in their offer can help reduce the chances of a sale falling through due to cold feet.

For buyers experiencing buyer’s remorse, seeking guidance from an experienced real estate agent can provide reassurance and clarity throughout the home buying process. Agents can offer counseling and address any concerns or misconceptions that may contribute to cold feet.

Other Factors Outside Seller’s Control

While sellers can take proactive steps to prevent home sales from falling through, it’s essential to acknowledge that some factors are beyond their control. External factors, such as changes in the economy, interest rates, or unforeseen events, can impact the buyer’s ability or willingness to proceed with the purchase.

Although sellers can’t control these external factors, staying informed and working closely with their agent can help them navigate any challenges that arise. By maintaining open communication and being adaptable, sellers can increase their chances of successfully closing a sale even in uncertain circumstances.


In conclusion, home sales can fall through for various reasons in San Jose, impacting both buyers and sellers. By understanding the common deal-breakers, sellers can take proactive measures to prevent issues such as inspection problems, home sale contingencies, financing challenges, appraisal discrepancies, and buyer’s remorse. While some factors are beyond the seller’s control, staying informed and working closely with a knowledgeable real estate agent can increase the likelihood of a successful sale. By addressing potential hurdles early on and fostering clear and transparent communication, sellers in San Jose can navigate the real estate process with confidence and minimize the risk of a sale falling through.

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About the Author
Seb Frey helps long-time Bay Area homeowners make their next move easily the next one yet. If you're looking for a minimum of hassle, maximum net cash on sale, and certain results, contact Seb today.