The majority of home sales close on time. However, there are some home sales that are delayed and cancelled altogether. The issue could be buyer’s financing, title or it could be appraised value. Purchasing a home may seem like an easy process, but if you lack the knowhow and don’t have a professional by your side guiding you, you could be hit by a major delay or disappointment. Outlined below are five most common reasons for a delayed settlement:


Issues with appraisal account for 20% of cases where there is a delay in settlement. Before a lending institution can commit to financing a home, the lending institution must first appraise the home to determine its true value. Appraising a house is a process whereby a professional examines the home to determine its financial worth. If the appraisal determines the home’s value is below the agreed upon selling price, most lenders will not give the loan. This can delay your closing deal or even end up losing it all.

Savvy sellers will ask buyer to remove the appraisal contingency during the negotiation. This will eliminate any surprises even if the appraised value is below asking price. The strong buyer will opt to remove the appraisal contingency and bridge the gap with his own cash.


A title deed issue – which account for 11% of delayed settlements – can be a big hindrance in closing a real estate deal. It’s always advisable for both the buyer and seller to get an attorney or title company to help obtain a clean title. It can be very frustrating for someone who is attempting to sell his/her home to find that the home had title deed issues. A home with title deed issues is virtually unsellable.

Sometime you could end up in a scenario when a similar name may cause an incorrect lean against your property or mechanical lean if you had any dispute with repair work completed on the property by a contractor.

Most title deed issues can be resolved, but can consume a lot of time, causing delays in sealing a deal. To avoid this scenario, most sellers will open the escrow when listing property for sale with title company and request a preliminary title. This will show any abnormal activity on the title report.


Most real estate deals will have contingencies. Some are standard, such as ownership of title, home inspection and obtaining financing. Some are less common, like making repairs to the property, or the sale of the buyer’s current home as a condition to closing. More often, home inspections highlight issues that buyers will ask sellers to fix before closing. 6% of delays are caused by failure to fulfill a contingency.

To avoid delays, the best move would be to limit the number of contingencies that you agree to. If a misunderstanding arises, the best way to deal with it would be to approach the other party and negotiate. For example, if a home inspector finds 8 things wrong with the house, you can decide that only one or two major repairs could be done. Or reducing the price can go a long way and could save your deal.


This is where most delays (32%) are caused. Before a sale can be finalized, the buyer must be approved for financing, but there are several reasons why financing may not be approved. Some things to consider about financing: the lender must approve the property type and property value before financing will be approved; the buyer must meet any pre-qualification conditions, including income verification; and the down payment to meet the debt to equity ratio. In layman terms your combined monthly debt payments should be low for you to qualify.

It is not uncommon for a buyer to find unexpected surprises in their credit report that could potentially derail the financing.

These are just some of the many reasons why obtaining financing may lead to a settlement delay. Very few buyers will remove the financing contingency, if they do it shows the buyer is financially strong and could come up with funding one way or the other without jeopardizing his earnest money deposit.


Environmental issues account for 16% of delayed settlements. Land contamination is often an environmental concern that receives the most attention in real estate transactions. Contamination can arise from the site, the activities carried out on the site, or from off-site sources. Locating the source of the contamination is vital. If it happens that there is a water supply well on or near the property, it could pose a challenge. Mold contamination is also a rising concern. For anyone to avoid deal-closing chaos, this should be the first issue that should be sorted out.

Armed with this knowledge, one can easily carry out a home-buying deal successfully.

Call Shaheen at 925-528-9093. I’ll be happy to share more details. I’m a resident expert REALTOR in Mountain House Ca. You can also email me at:




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