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Real Estate Corner: Remove risk in loan process of home buying

What happens if prospective buyers of my house do not qualify for a mortgage to purchase it?

This happens at various stages of the loan application, and sometimes at the very end.

Can a seller or the borrower ever be assured they will get the money to purchase?


Can the risk be considerably eliminated?

Yes, it can.

First of all, the buyer should be carefully screened for eligibility to borrow at the very onset of their house hunt. The buyer agent has the responsibility to ask preliminary questions, and prepare the buyers for what to expect before they meet with a lender’s loan officer.

Prior to even stepping a foot into a home marketed for sale, buyers should be as financially qualified as possible, before the actual application for their loan occurs.

It is important the buyers receive a pre-approval letter from at least one lending institution. Caution is advised not to ask for multiple letters because multiple credit checks affect the loan eligibility.

After consulting with a loan officer and with a letter in their pocket, they can be taken by their Realtor to a home.

By the way, you should ensure your Realtor is asking the buyer’s agent if the buyer is “preapproved.” These preapprovals are a measurement of what price range a buyer can afford.

At the time of the offer, read the loan commitment dates closely. They include: when the escrow check is to be delivered, when loan application has to be made, when home inspections must be conducted and signed off, when any contingencies must be met, when will the lender provide loan commitment, (the buyer’s approval to obtain the loan they have applied for) and, of course, the final closing date.

Put those dates in or on your calendar. Your listing agent will be following the process very closely and keeping in very close communication with you.

There is not a lot of the process your Realtor can control. But by keeping track of the process, it can be seen if there is any thing holding up the loan process, and what can be done about it.

By hiring a knowledgeable and experienced Realtor, the seller can be prevented from getting involved with a buyer who can’t get a loan.

A home purchaser should ask when interviewing a potential real estate agent, “What steps do you take to ensure that you bring us a qualified buyer? and how do you follow up the loan process?”

Sellers should also educate themselves about the deposit clause, and what it actually means. In some instances just because a buyer is refused a loan, that deposit does not automatically return to the would-be buyer. Neither side of a transaction is guaranteed to receive the deposit money.

Not getting the loan is a disappointing occasion, and it is very expensive both to the buyer and the seller. Bank fees are still paid by the buyer whether the loan is granted or not.

Do not learn the hard way.

What’s the answer to “what happens if my buyer can’t get a loan to purchase?” You could lose the sale, you could lose some time, and you could lose some money. Do your best to prevent this disappointment by using these tips.


Marypat Bilodeau is a member of the Greater Manchester/ Nashua Board of Realtors. This information has been provided by the Greater Manchester/Nashua Board of Realtors in conjunction with the New Hampshire Union Leader’s Advertising Department. Readers with questions about the content, or who wish to pose a question for a column, can contact the realty board at 166 S. River Road, Bedford, N.H. 03110 or email:


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