Top 10 Deal Breakers in Real Estate

Top 10 Deal Breakers in Real Estate

Let’s look at the top 10 deal breakers in real estate. In real estate, a deal can die for many reasons. These cases can range from something small, for example, a change in credit score or getting cold feet, to something much bigger, like too many liens against a property. Over the years, the following reasons are the ones that real estate professionals have witnessed being the most problematic when it comes to a transaction going through to closing. Both buyers and sellers should be aware of these potential issues, as well as the solutions to them.

Top 10 Deal Breakers in Real Estate


Remediation is the only true solution to fixing mold. However, there are instances when even remediation cannot keep a buyer interested in a property.

Cigarette Smoke

Cigarette smoke is one of the toughest smells to get rid of in a home. It is necessary for the owners to stop smoking in the house immediately upon listing the home. Cleaning the home from top to bottom, including the walls and HVAC system, is a must. To really eliminate the smell, carpets and soft window treatments should be replaced and anything containing the smell should be discarded.

Aluminum Wiring

Aluminum wiring can put any home at a higher risk for a fire, which is something that no buyer is willing to chance. The only option for sellers when it comes to this type of wiring is to replace it with copper cables.

Foundation Issues

Structural issues raise questions like, “How hard is this to fix?”, “Will this happen again?”, and “How much will this repair cost?”. While it is certain that sellers have no choice but to fix the structural problem, most deals fail because buyers are afraid of what other issues may have been caused by the foundation not holding up.

Unpermitted Structures

Structures, additions or renovations that do not have a permit cannot be appraised as being a part of the house. Sellers run the risk of getting fined by the town and having the building inspector assess the structure, which requires going through the walls to make sure everything is up to code. Sellers should always make sure they obtain the appropriate permits before work is performed on a home.

Collapsing Septic Tank

Sellers have two options when it comes to replacing a septic tank: remove the septic tank (average of $3,000-$7,000) or connect to the public sewer (can be anywhere from $1,500-$15,000). Either way, septic tanks are a big ticket item that can cost a lot of money to replace.

Encroaching Structures

It is almost impossible to move a structure without knocking it down. This is why it is important for buyers to get a survey of the property done before closing so that the issue can be handled prior to them purchasing a home that is encroaching on a property line.

Little to No Equity in the Property/ Buyers with Inadequate Funds

Without money to bring to the table to cover closing costs, a seller cannot sell their home. Without money for a down payment, a buyer cannot purchase a home. It is important that every seller and buyer does his or her financial due diligence before listing or selling a home.

Difficult People

With a home purchase or sale being a significant transaction and event in a person’s life, it is understandable that buyers and sellers can be extra sensitive or easily agitated during the process. A seller wants the highest price possible for their home. A buyer wants to love the house they are moving into and feel like they are getting a great deal. Real estate agents themselves can also potentially cause problems within a transaction if they are not experienced or knowledgeable. With all of this said, it is important to find an agent who knows the market very well. Sellers need to come to terms with the fact that their house is going to be sold at the market value and buyers need to understand what they truly can afford.
Our team has the experience to spot these potential pitfalls and the ability to help our clients resolve problems if they arise. Contact us if you are thinking of buying or selling a home.

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