What to do when your move destination falls through: Be prepared and choose the right partners

“Whether you’re a first-time homeowner, an empty nester looking to downsize or are relocating for work, purchasing a new home is a

A suburban home in the evening.

“Whether you’re a first-time homeowner, an empty nester looking to downsize or are relocating for work, purchasing a new home is a huge and exciting milestone in life. But even with plenty of research and an experienced realtor, unexpected issues can happen.

On top of the stress of moving houses, one of the worst things that can go wrong when planning to move is having your new home fall through after having already sold your old home. The best way to handle a situation like this is to be well informed — have an understanding of what can go wrong in the first place, what to do if this happens and what tasks you should handle as you’re in-between homes.

What can cause your move destination to fall through?

There are dozens of reasons that can prevent you from moving into a new home. From human error to faulty fixtures or electrical wiring, here are a few common things that can prevent you from closing on a home.

  • Your lender backs out. Life happens and sometimes things like family emergencies or a last-minute shift in employment can alter your credit, which can lead to your loan falling through the day before closing or cause your mortgage holder to back out.
  • The seller backs out. This is considered a breach of contract, and you as the buyer have the right to take the seller to court. However, even if the lawsuit results in your favor, it still delays your anticipated move-in date and can land you back at square one.
  • The seller fails to make repairs. If the seller has not fulfilled repair agreements ahead of a scheduled closing date, it’s ultimately up to the buyer on whether they want to delay the process until those items are resolved. However, if a seller does not make Federal Housing Authority (FHA)-mandated repairs, the buyer must wait until those have been completed before moving forward.
  • Your new home fails inspection. Septic tanks and plumbing, electrical wiring and roofing issues are some of the most common home inspection deal breakers  that will fail a home inspection; and often, those are issues that go unseen during a walkthrough.

Whatever might be preventing you from moving into your new home, it’s important to get a firm handle on logistics if or when you find yourself in-between homes.

Your move destination fell through: Checklist and tips

When you need to move out of your current home with nowhere to go, having a game plan is key to getting through such an unfortunate situation.

Find temporary housing

First and foremost, you need a roof over your head. Staying with a family friend or relative might not be an option, and short-term rental leases can get extremely costly, especially if temporary housing is needed for less than six months. Fortunately, there are several sublet opportunities, affordable short-term lease offers and other alternatives that can be found through a variety of online platforms.

  • Airbnb offers sublet opportunities in cities all over the world and offers stays from anywhere between two and six months.
  • Nestio is a site similar to Airbnb where renters and landlords can enter specifics like duration of lease, pricing, neighborhoods, and amenities, helping to match you with the right temporary home. Alternatively, you also can try similar sites like Trulia, Apartments.com, and Sublet.com.
  • Major cities often have Facebook groups where residents can either post a need for housing or list their space. If you’re hopeful to live in a specific neighborhood, try searching for that neighborhood’s Facebook group.

The beauty of websites like these is the ease of finding a solution at your fingertips. But with any online service, it’s important to be safe and cautious of potential scammers.

Pause, transfer, or cancel utilities and services

From the obvious services like internet, water, and electricity to added home services like security systems, be sure to update your account status based on your situation. Have all of your account numbers on hand and organized.

It’s also a good idea to give yourself plenty of time to contact each provider. Situations vary and there isn’t always an online account management feature available. Be prepared to talk through your needs with customer service to set yourself up for the best long-term outcome. For example, if you’re moving into a temporary home for just a few months, shutting off utilities might not be the best option as starting new services usually requires a deposit and credit check.

Update your mailing address

If you don’t want to change your USPS address multiple times within a few months or you simply don’t want your personal mail being sent to your temporary living situation, consider setting up a P.O. Box.

Call off your movers

At Hilldrup, we recommend at least four to six weeks of notice before your requested moving day, and other moving companies often ask for two or more months’ notice. If your new home falls through days or even a couple weeks before a scheduled move, be sure to let your moving company know as soon as possible. They may be able to offer support for storing any furniture and belongings that might not fit into your temporary home.

Find the right partners

Having a good realtor is key to finding a permanent solution as quickly as possible. Beyond a realtor, it’s a smart idea to use service providers with a strong customer service reputation and flexible services that will allow you to pause or even transfer accounts multiple times without fees or a hassle. For example, SimplySafe offers home security technology and services without a contract, meaning customers can cancel, start or change services without any hidden fees.

Hopefully, having your new home fall through isn’t something you ever have to experience, but unfortunately, it can and does happen, so it’s best to be prepared. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here and always ready to help as best we can! Contact us here. “