Cash Real Estate Purchase OfferWhy would a cash residential real estate purchase offer fall through?  Today home sellers in Silicon Valley understand that “cash is king” but sometimes forget that cash is not the only issue dealt with in escrow. What else could cause a buyer to back out of a home sale?  Here are a few things:

  • Non-permitted work, discovered in escrow (not prior), such as room additions, kitchen remodels, etc.
  • Information shared in disclosures after contract acceptance that worried the buyer(s), such as death on a property, problems with leaks, rodents or other issues
  • Concerns with schools, neighborhood nuisances, air traffic overhead, or any other issue which could not be “fixed” by the buyer
  • Family and friends visiting the property and raising concerns about issues not noticed earlier by the home buyer
  • the discovery in escrow that the home has lead paint, asbestos, or any other hazardous material

In other words, if the buyers have a property condition contingency, anything found during the contingency period could be a reason for backing out of the transaction.

What can a home seller do?

More than anything, Silicon Valley home sellers should inspect and and disclose as much as possible up front. Remember, it’s like Holiday Inn used to advertise: “the best surprise is no surprise”.  Or think of it like people running in elections – before they throw their hat in the ring, they have themselves investigated to see if there’s any dirt. Got dirt? Clean it up.  Fix what’s broken.  Make your home as “clean” and worry free as possible.  Do that and you’ll greatly improve the odds that your home’s buyers will not back out of the contract once they’re in escrow, whether they are “all cash” or financing the purchase with a loan from a lending institution.

For more reading:

Why do sellers care if the offer has a loan or is all cash?





  • Mary Pope-Handy

    Silicon Valley Realtor, selling homes in Los Gatos, Saratoga, San Jose, Silicon Valley, and nearby since 1993. Prolific blogger with a network of sites.

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