It may be news to some of you but no deal is a deal until that contract is signed by both sides and then delivered to the buyer’s attorney. Translation: an accepted offer is not legally binding and does not warrant an exhale from either side. This is why sellers’ brokers will continue to host open houses beyond the accepted offer as “back-up”, because either side can (and sometimes does) walk away during this critical period.
So, with all this said, a client recently asked us the interesting question: “so what percentage of deals fall apart AFTER the contract is signed?”. “Wait,” you might say, “Didn’t you say it’s a deal post signed contract?” Yes, AND things can still go wrong, with the top 3 reasons being:
- The buyer fails to get a mortgage commitment letter and is no longer able to move forward with the contract via the mortgage contingency clause.
- The co-op board turns down a buyer.
- The buyer changes his/her mind and walks away from the deposit.
If, let’s say, 20% of deals fall apart after the accepted offer, a mere 3-4% fall apart after the contract is signed. If you’re conservative at heart, you may wish to save the bubbly until after you leave the closing table.