What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Wind Damage
courtesy of
Matthew Holmberg

The vast majority of real estate contracts are successfully navigated to the closing table. But this is never guaranteed.

Within a few days of signing the initial purchase agreement, contract buyers and sellers often ask when I expect to close. I always remind them that there are a lot of bridges to cross from the beginning of a contract to the closing table.

That’s when they pop the question: “What could possibly go wrong?”

My answer is always, “lets not focus on the negative.” There is plenty of work to do without thinking about all the things that might go wrong.

When something does go wrong it is usually out of left field. For example: a mortgage company once went bankrupt the day of closing, several times a buyer lost his job and lost the loan, one house caught on fire, a buyer purchased a whole house full of furniture on credit card, and today a roof peeled off in the latest windstorm. I could go on and on, but, “let’s not focus on the negative.”

The actual fact is more than 90% of transactions that begin are successful. There is a lot to do between “pending” and “closing,” so now that we have allowed our mind flicker on the negative, let’s just focus on getting the job done.