The Top 9 Reasons Buyers Back Out of a Sale

These are the top nine things that make buyers back out of a sale.

The recent uptick in canceled contracts reveals that buyers with cold feet have begun to actively look for valid ways to terminate their contracts. Also, some buyers currently in a contract are developing a severe case of buyer's remorse. Here are some of the top deal breakers buyers run into: 

1. Appraisal anomalies. These are not an exact science, the value given is just from the lender. Problems do arise. 

2. Foundation flaws. Like our feet, if everything in the foundation is good, everything above is secure. Some minor cracks can be okay—I was told if a nickel can fit into a crack, it needs to be addressed. 

3. Roofing revelations. A leaky roof that does not adequately divert water away from the house can be an issue.

"These issues can be avoided upfront by properly disclosing things."

4. Moldy manifestations. There is confusion about mildew vs. mold. Mildew is easily treated, but mold can be an issue. 

5. Pest predicaments. They can do extensive damage. 

6. Structural shortcomings. Neglect, abuse, or even a structural modification that is not up to code can be an issue. 

7. Water worries. Water can come from leaking roofs, clogged gutters or drains, unsealed windows and doors, and more. 

8. Permit problems. Cellar upgrades that were done without requisite building permits can create issues. 

9. Disclosure dilemmas. Failure to disclose anything can result in a canceled contract. 

Many, if not all, of these issues can be avoided upfront by properly disclosing things. A pre-listing home inspection can identify problem areas before listing, which allows a seller to make repairs and disclose items before they become a reason for a buyer to back out of a sale.

We would love to be your real estate resource through all of this and are ready to help you get your home ready for the real estate market. Give us a call at (717) 695-3177 or send an email to We hope to hear from you soon!