Beyond the day-to-day challenges that slow a deal down, frequently larger, unforeseeable events can stop a deal dead in its tracks. Indeed, an unpredictable stock slide, natural disasters, political tiffs and international conflicts can all put buyers and sellers on edge.
More than 60 agents on a recent Inman Coast to Coast thread shared how these kind of events have impacted them, from short-term stock market dips that caused all-cash deals to fall apart, to more devastating financial upheavals such as the Great Recession, which snatched clients’ real estate dreams as banks shuttered and loans fell through.
“Just a few days before closing, the buyer’s business lost its line of credit,” broker Leslie Ebersole shared on Facebook. “The buyer’s lender pulled the loan approval. I never did get the listing sold. I tell [newer agents] about having $27 million in listings in July of 2009 and not a single one under contract.”
Beyond financial crises, domestic and international conflicts have brought deals to a halt as fears about safety kept buyers and sellers on the sideline. Many commenters recounted how the September 11 attacks fueled fears about living in high rises, and how buyers walked away from deposits as closings stopped in the days and weeks after the attack.
And more recently, issues regarding the United States’ immigration policies have given some foreign buyers pause. “[I’ve had a deal fail] several times,” said Brandon Doyle. “Most notably, a buyer who decided not to buy because of the threat of deportation. He’s a doctor here on a H-1B Visa.”
Unfortunately, there are always plenty of things for buyers to be spooked about — a deepening tariff war with China that could send the prices for items sky high, concerns that historically low-interest rates could soon be coming to an end, and that another, albeit less dramatic, housing crash is looming.
And that fear is reflected in the latest pending-home and existing-home sales data. Although pending-home sales have risen 1.6 percent year-over-year, existing-home sales faltered by 2.2 percent during the same time period, meaning that buyers are starting, but not sealing the deal. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says continued inventory shortages play a factor in the decline, but that “a lack of confidence” has a role to play.
By: Inman, Marian McPherson
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