This is very common concern that buyers have today, but there is nothing for you to worry about if you have a fully executed agreement (all parties have signed it and have a copy in their possession), as Offers to Purchase are legally binding contracts in MA. The reason this occurs (these days anyway) is because the mortgage industry has been quit shaky since the lending requirements were changed back on August 4th. Back in sept, I had a closing lined up for one of my sellers. Offer was executed, home inspection had been done, P&S was completed and the appraisal and mortgage commitment and all of the title work had been completed. Less than 24 hours before the closing was scheduled for, I recâ€™d a call informing me that the buyers mortgage company had gone out of business and the buyer no longer had financing. We gave the buyer a grace period to find alternative financing, but they could not secure any, because they were a sub-prime borrower. Luckily, I had continued to market the listing during this time and had a back-up offer on the table, so the sellers were able to continue on without skipping a beat. We did follow the MLS rules and regulations as Scott mentioned. Just be sure you follow all of your deadlines through, because if the seller does have a back-up buyer he/she may not grant you any extensions, especially if the other offer is higher and/or has more desirable terms.
Another thing to watch out for that I have been experiencing, is that the lenders are now targeting â€œdeclining marketsâ€ and requiring additional deposits. I worked with a buyer who had 100% financing. During the period of the contract, the lender announced that the community he was buying in was declining and now required a 5% deposit. This would hurt most buyers and prohibit them from going forward, but my buyer had the money in a savings account, so we were able to go forward. Sellers are aware of this change now, and this is another reason why they may continue to market their listing. I hope this helps you and best of luck!!