“Ivy, I have bad news. My buyers decided to walk.”
“What? Now? You’re kidding me? Why?”
These Boots are Made for Walkin’
Why do buyers walk?
Common reasons include:
- Cold feet – “I’ve never seen buyer’s remorse this late into the process.”
- Negative influencer – “Ivy, I had no idea a distant uncle would be a decision-maker.”
- Low appraisal – “No, they got spooked. They thought the house was worth much more.”
- Inspection report – “Ivy, they want an old house with an inspection report of a new build.”
- Negotiation impasse – “Surprise. They changed their mind again. Now they want ALL the items on the repair addendum addressed and fixed.”
- Information discovery – “Ivy, they talked to a neighbor who said a drug dealer ran a meth lab out of his garage two doors down.”
Add an uncommon reason:
COVID-19 – “They’re scared. She’s sure he is going to get sick and die leaving her with two cats and a mortgage.”
Left at the Altar. Now what?
Timing is everything. If buyers walk before the house is marked pending, the damage is minimal. What is that silly phrase? No harm? No foul?
However, if the house is marked pending, every prospective new buyer will want to know why? Here is the reality. Their question is not born from curiosity but from perceived opportunity. Perhaps the jilted seller might rebound into the arms of a lowballing buyer.
Blindsided but not Blindfolded
Now what? Be angry. Be disappointed. Be ready to resolve any real issues and re-list.
To recover, I like to accentuate three things.
#1: Receive the good news. What? Absolutely. The original offer proves that the price and presentation attracted a buyer – maybe a fickle one – but never-the-less – a buyer!
#2: Drill down. Yes, it was totally the buyer’s fault (so I tell my sellers). However, if there are any legitimate issues discovered in the separation, don’t turn a blind eye and ignore them. Fix it. Fast.
#3: Bounce Back. Snubbed sellers can either feel sorry for themselves or they can invest some DYI time and add even greater value to their home. And after closing, when someone asks, “Remember the first buyer?’’ You can simply reply, “Who…?”