11 Reasons Why Buyers Walk Away: Essential Tips for Home Sellers

Imagine spending a lot of time preparing your home for the market. You staged it, and it looks glamorous, but then the buyer decides to cancel. Why did they decide to cancel? Is there something you could have done to learn more about what causes the buyer to walk away? Let's explore the top 11 reasons why buyers walk away from a sale and what you can do to prevent it.


Being Blinded by Love

Buyers can initially be blinded by their love for a property, dazzled by amazing marketing, stunning staging, and overall presentation. However, this initial infatuation can quickly turn to doubt when the home inspection reveals blemishes. To avoid this, ensure your home is in good condition before putting it on the market. Create a robust selling strategy with your listing agent to mitigate as many foreseeable issues as possible in the pre-listing phase. A pre-listing home inspection can help you identify and fix potential issues before buyers see them. Learn more about the importance of home inspections.

Pest Infestation

Nothing scares off buyers faster than signs of pest infestation. Whether it's termites, scorpions, or rodents, buyers will worry about the potential structural damage and health hazards. Have a professional pest inspection done and address any issues upfront. Provide a recent pest control report to reassure buyers. Find out how to prepare for a pest inspection.


Failing to disclose known issues is a sure way to lose buyer trust. Being upfront about your home's issues is crucial, whether it's a leaky roof or a faulty foundation. Non-disclosure may lead to legal problems and a broken sale. Always fill out the seller’s disclosure form honestly and provide buyers with all the necessary information. Understanding real estate disclosures.

Sewer Problems

Sewer problems can be a major turnoff for buyers. If your home is connected to a septic tank or has older sewer lines, have them inspected and serviced before listing. Providing documentation that your sewer system is in good working order can alleviate buyer concerns. Learn about maintaining your septic system.

DIY Home Renovation Mistakes

DIY enthusiasts sometimes take on more than they can handle, leading to shoddy workmanship and half-finished projects. These mistakes can deter buyers who are looking for a move-in-ready home. Hire professionals for major renovations and ensure all work is completed to a high standard. Here are Common DIY home renovation mistakes.

Wishy-Washy Buyers

Not all buyers are fully committed. Some may continue shopping for homes even after making an offer, only to back out later. Ensure your real estate agent thoroughly vets buyers and confirms their commitment before accepting an offer. Open communication between your agent and the buyer’s agent can help gauge the buyer’s seriousness. Check here on how to deal with flaky buyers.

Electrical and Plumbing Issues

Older homes often have outdated electrical and plumbing systems that may not meet modern standards. These issues can become deal-breakers for buyers. Consider having a licensed electrician and plumber inspect and update your systems as needed. Providing documentation of recent upgrades can be a strong selling point. It is important to observe signs of electrical problems in your home.

Water-Related Issues

Water-related issues such as poor drainage, tainted groundwater, or being in a floodplain can make buyers wary. Ensure proper drainage around your home, have your water tested, and disclose any water-related concerns honestly. Addressing these issues upfront can prevent surprises during the buyer’s inspection. With that, you should know how to improve drainage around your home.


Mold is a major red flag for buyers due to its health risks. If you know of mold issues in your home, have them professionally remediated and provide buyers with proof of the remediation. This transparency can reassure buyers and keep the sale on track. Here's how understanding mold and its impact will help you in the process.

Low Appraisal

A low appraisal can derail a sale, especially if the buyer cannot secure financing for the agreed-upon price. Work with your real estate agent to price your home correctly from the start, avoiding overpricing that can lead to appraisal issues. Being realistic about your home’s market value can prevent disappointments down the line. Check here How to avoid appraisal problems.

Difficult and Unreasonable Seller

As a seller, being difficult or unreasonable can push buyers away. Whether it’s refusing to make reasonable repairs or being inflexible in negotiations, such behavior can sour the deal. Approach the sale with a mindset of cooperation and fairness. A positive attitude and willingness to work with buyers can make the process smoother for everyone involved. Tips for negotiating home repairs.

Selling your home can be a complex process with many potential pitfalls. By understanding the common reasons why buyers walk away and addressing them proactively, you can increase your chances of a successful sale. Remember, honesty, transparency, and a cooperative attitude go a long way in building buyer trust and closing the deal.

For more detailed advice on selling your home, consult with a skilled listing agent who will provide personalized guidance and support. 

If you plan on buying or selling a home in the Las Vegas, Nevada area, please contact me.

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