Putting a (Too) Good Face on Things? 

It’s a fact of (real estate) life: sales fall through.

Buyers change their minds.

Inspection issues come up.

Buyers can’t get financing** (the honest explanation at least 80% of the time).

When any of those (or other) unhappy events occur, listing agents have the demoralizing task of switching the home’s MLS status from “TNAS” or “A, i” back to simply “Active” ” no suffixes.

Best Defense = Good Offense

To deflect the usual Buyer (and Buyer’s agent) questions, many listing agents will seek to proactively address the issue by offering an explanation in the MLS “Agent Remarks” field.

Most common: “Back on Market. Buyer’s financing fell through.”

Occasionally, you’ll even see a more candid “Buyer Walked” admission.

Somehow, however, the explanations are always benign (surprise, surprise).

Put it this way:

I’ve yet to see the listing agent proclaim, “Back on Market! Wet Basement!,” or “Back on Market: Leaky Roof!” (Note: even if the Seller doesn’t want to “fess to a newly discovered home defect, Minnesota Realtors have an independent duty to disclose such info).

2nd Bite at the Apple

Truthfully, many times deals fall through for reasons that have nothing to do with the home’s condition (see above).

In which case, the house can be a genuine opportunity for the next Buyer, if for no other reason than the stigma of a broken deal can translate into a discounted price (or at least, a more motivated Seller, especially if the deal came undone just before closing).

Still, prudent Buyers will want to carefully inspect the home and scrutinize the Seller’s Disclosure, and decide for themselves . . .

P.S.: When does the “presumption of innocence” no longer apply?

When a home comes back on the market a second time.

**Guess who knows for sure?

The Buyer’s lender.

But, you ain’t going to find out from them, for about a million reasons ” starting with confidentiality.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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