Seller financing sours the deal

Home Sale Hindsight

Q: I was looking to buy a cheap second home. The only terms the seller would accept were cash and conventional. I offered $10,000 down, with $500 per month for five years. The asking price was $34,000 and the home had been on the market for more than 1,800 days. My offer was turned down. Why?

A: My mental x-ray machine — you know, the one that allows me to read people’s minds — is in the shop, so I can’t answer the question of why the seller turned your offer down 100 percent definitively. But I can sure take a stab at it. Here goes!

Apparently, the property’s MLS listing specified that the seller would take only cash or conventionally financed offers. This is an increasingly common thing to see, as sellers seek to avoid some of the common transactional glitches associated with nonconventional mortgage financing (e.g., FHA and VA loans) that cause deals to fall apart.