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Why Sales Fall Through in the Hawaiian Real Estate Market

Why Sales Fall Through in the Hawaiian Real Estate Market



The Hawaiian real estate market is known for its unique challenges and considerations. While many transactions proceed smoothly, there are instances where sales fail to close escrow. Understanding the reasons behind these failures is crucial for both buyers and sellers in order to navigate the process successfully. In this article, we will explore the various factors that contribute to unsuccessful sales in Hawaii, from issues with lenders and appraisals to title problems and changing seller preferences. By gaining insight into these potential pitfalls, buyers and sellers can better prepare themselves for a successful real estate transaction in the Aloha State.

Lender Issues: The Importance of Choosing Wisely

One of the primary reasons that sales fall through in Hawaii is due to issues with lenders. It is essential to select a reliable and reputable lender who understands the unique nuances of the Hawaiian real estate market. Unlike online lenders, local mortgage brokers with physical offices in Hawaii are better equipped to provide personalized service and handle the intricacies of local transactions. They also have a vested interest in maintaining a good reputation within the community.

In the past, a prequalification letter was sufficient for obtaining a loan in Hawaii. However, in today’s market, a preapproval is essential. The lender should thoroughly review the buyer’s credit and job information, leaving only the appraisal as the final step before loan approval. By ensuring that the lender is diligent in their review process, buyers can avoid delays and increase the likelihood of a successful sale.

Appraisal Problems: Navigating the Valuation Process

Appraisal issues can also cause sales to fall through in Hawaii. While the primary concern is often the property’s value, a low appraisal does not necessarily mean the end of a transaction. Astute agents should review the appraisal for errors and inaccuracies. Property attributes or improperly selected comparable properties may be the root of the problem. Even appraisers who are considered geographically qualified can make mistakes.

In cases where repairs are noted in the appraisal report, the lender will only approve the loan once these repairs are completed. However, not all sellers are willing to undertake the necessary repairs, especially if they are related to health and safety concerns. It is important to note that if repairs are not completed, similar issues may arise in a future transaction. Therefore, both buyers and sellers should carefully consider the implications of appraisal-related repairs.

Title Issues: Avoiding Last-Minute Surprises

Title problems can significantly impact the success of a real estate sale in Hawaii. It is crucial for sellers to review the title report prior to listing the property to identify any potential issues. Known title problems waste valuable listing time and can lead to delays or even the cancellation of a sale.

Buyers should also conduct their due diligence by thoroughly reviewing the title report and consulting with a knowledgeable real estate agent or attorney. This step is essential for identifying any potential title issues that may affect the property’s marketability or their ability to obtain financing. By addressing title issues proactively, buyers can mitigate the risk of a failed transaction.

Changing Seller Preferences: When Plans Shift

Another common reason for sales falling through in Hawaii is when sellers change their minds about selling. While real estate contracts typically require specific performance, which means the seller must sell once a sales agreement is solid, additional buyer requests can introduce new contingencies that may complicate the application of this provision.

Navigating a sale in Hawaii requires staying on top of events and potential eventualities. An experienced agent who personally knows the parties involved can help keep the transaction moving forward from a wish to reality. However, it is important to recognize that seller preferences can change, and both buyers and sellers should be prepared for the possibility of a shift in plans.


Navigating the real estate market in Hawaii presents unique challenges that can contribute to sales falling through. Lender issues, appraisal problems, title complications, and changing seller preferences are just a few of the factors that can derail a transaction. By selecting a reputable lender, conducting thorough due diligence, and working with experienced professionals, buyers and sellers can increase their chances of a successful sale. Understanding these potential pitfalls allows individuals to navigate the Hawaiian real estate market with confidence and ensure a smooth transaction process.

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