You expected everything to go off as planned, but the home buyer missed the closing date! Now what? Learn how to handle a missed real estate closing.


Your new home is waiting, but the home buyer just missed the closing date. As the home seller, what does this mean for you? Does this impact the successful completion of the sale?

๐Ÿ—“๏ธ What is a closing date?

The person buying your home makes a request for a specific date that is scheduled for the closing date when a purchase agreement is created. The date for closing is usually 30-45 days from the date the seller accepts the buyer’s offer on the property.

โฐ Can we close early?

If you’re lucky, and the buyer knows ahead of time that something is going to interfere, they can make a request to move the closing date forward. If you feel the circumstances are valid and the date works for your timeline, you can accept an earlier closing date.

For the new date to be valid, both the buyer and the seller need to agree in writing that the transaction can be closed before the previous closing date.

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๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ Why does a buyer miss closing day?

Don’t be surprised to find that the buyer misses the closing date even if you have everything ready and right on schedule. If this happens, everyone involved in the transaction must be notified of the change in closing dates in writing.

There are contingencies that must be met before the closing day. Usual contingencies include home inspections and mortgage loan details.

Problems at the last minute with loan details can cause delays. If a home inspection uncovers a serious issue that needs attention, the buyer may miss the set closing date.

๐Ÿ“… What happens when a buyer is delayed?

While the delay is frustrating, your goal as a seller is to keep the sale from falling from the table. If the sale does fall through, you are faced with the time-consuming task of starting from the beginning. It’s best to allow for extensions if they make sense for your situation.

Talk with your real estate agent. Discuss the options available to you when the closing date is missed. You may feel angry or frustrated, but try to remain objective and move forward.
real estate closing day delayed

๐Ÿ“ฒ Contact The Wilson Group

We can help!
We strive to make our clientโ€™s real estate transaction an overall great experience. Our business model is deeply founded in the fact that it is all about the experience! Give us a call at ๐Ÿ“ฒ 804-396-4625.

๐Ÿ“‘ What is a time is of the essence clause?

Some contracts have a time of essence clause that sets a definitive date for closing completion. If the date is delayed for any reason, the buyer and the seller can choose to end the deal.

Keep in mind that there are so many things that can cause a delay in meeting the closing deadline that it may not be recommended to place this clause in the contract. Discuss it with us!

When could this happen?

We’ll look at a scenario that involved a required home inspection. Let’s say that the inspection report notes a major problem and the buyer makes a request that it’s fixed. You feel that it makes sense to do accommodate the buyer and follow through with the repairs.

You make sure the repairs are completed in a timely manner, but a certificate of occupancy is needed for everything to move forward. The certificate doesnโ€™t arrive in time for the closing date! Unfortunately, the buyer walks away from the sale.

When the deal ends, there are no repercussions for the buyer even if you did everything within your power to make things right. The deal falls through due to that one clause in the contract.

๐Ÿ“ What is a fixed closing date?

The fixed closing date is different from the essence closing date we mentioned previously because it is determined by the state. This type of closing date allows for a reasonable delay, which can offer the buyer some breathing room.

Reasonable is not a concrete term here. What one person considers reasonable may be far from reasonable to another. Typically, the buyer is given 30 days to close on the property.

๐Ÿค” End the deal or extend the closing date?

While you may be tempted to end the deal out of frustration, doing so could cost you money and cause a serious delay in the sale of your home. If the current deal is ended, you must re-list the home and start over from the beginning.

Ending a sale deal with a buyer can cause a delay with the house you are purchasing. This delay can place you in a situation that mirrors the one you are dealing with as a seller and cause your home-buying deal to collapse.

Tips for Saving the Deal

  • Listen to the buyer with an open mind.
  • B gracious with an extension, if it makes sense.
  • Remember your goals and be patient.

You can protect yourself against making several extensions by using aย time of essence clauseย in the new terms. If the buyer misses the closing date again, they will be liable, and you can cancel the deal.

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๐Ÿ’ฐ How much is a Per Diem Penalty?

The per diem penalty is noted in the contract or calculated using a formula. Itโ€™s a percentage of the sellerโ€™s monthly housing expenses. It’s meant to cover mortgage costs, property taxes, and insurance costs when the closing date is rescheduled.

The contract could allow the seller to ask for an amount equal to the interest earned on the sale proceeds. We can help you determine which option is best. Your goal is to reach the closing table without causing the buyer to walk away from the table or causing a financial loss.

โœจ Conclusion โ€“ Home Buyer Missed the Closing Date

If the buyer has a good reason for delaying the closing date, you may want to work with them to keep the deal alive. We can help you understand the terms of the contract, discuss extension options, and get you to closing day in a timely manner. Call The Wilson Group at 804-396-4625.

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Home Buyer Missed the Closing Date. Now What?
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Home Buyer Missed the Closing Date. Now What?
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You expected everything to go off as planned, but the home buyer missed the closing date! Now what? Learn how to handle a missed real estate closing.
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The Wilson Group
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