How Home Listings Become Homes Back on Market: An Ultimate Guide

Oct 13, 2022 By Susan Kelly


A new listing's worst nightmare is to shift from "for sale" to "pending," only to reappear on the market suddenly. The three words "back on market" are the worst in an agent's vocabulary. Unfortunately, buyers and their agents quickly assume the worst when a property they're interested in goes back on the market. They usually conclude that something major, like a maintenance issue discovered during the house inspection, must have been wrong with the property. Putting a previously sold house back on the market is often regarded with negative connotations, whether or not they are warranted.

The Sky is Gray

Certain purchase agreements for real estate allow purchasers to back out for any reason. Most purchasers who put in an offer on the house have no intention of backing out of the deal once it has been approved, but it does occur. The buyer may have second thoughts after purchasing or have found a better house. Or perhaps life events rendered a home purchase impossible at this time. When purchasing a short sale or bank-owned property, it is not unusual for the buyer to back out of the deal. The short sale procedure might be difficult at times. If the process takes too long, the buyer may abandon the purchase. If the contract allows the buyer to back out for any reason, they can do so regardless of whether the sky is grey, blue, or hot pink, and the house will be placed "back on the market."

The Buyer Submitted Multiple Offers

If you're having trouble deciding on a property to purchase, your buyer's agent may advise you to make multiple bids on homes that meet your criteria simultaneously. The worst possible outcome of such poor behaviour is for the buyer to sign contracts on multiple properties.

The Buyer Is Dishonest

A buyer can try to con a seller in many different ways. One such method involves a person seeming to have money to make a good offer to a seller while, in reality, they have none. If a buyer's criminal history results in a background check, the seller can back out of the deal. The house is, alas, once again available for sale.

The Buyer Cannot Get Financing.

Despite a mortgage lender's pre-approval letter, the buyer may still be denied a loan based on other factors. The loan officer who issues the pre-approval letter may or may not have performed a credit check or asset verification. The inability to secure financing is a major stumbling block for some buyers until just before the closing date. The seller has likely taken their home off the market for at least 30 days by that point.

The Buyer's Agent Made a Mistake in the Purchase Offer

A constant flux of legal documentation characterises the real estate market. A well-versed agent may be too familiar with the form to notice minor changes. A buyer in Sacramento, for instance, found themselves in a situation where they required a few months to sell their current property but still wanted to put a contingent offer on a new one. The agent's written contract gave the purchaser seven days to find a new residence. However, the buyer and the agent missed that mistake. The buyer's representative was taken aback when they learned their client had made such a monumental error after the listing agent requested the contingency removal. It meant that the purchase agreement's conditions could not be met, forcing the parties to return to the negotiating table.

Buyer's Remorse

Prospective purchasers often second-guess their purchases afterwards. They gradually become aware of the additional financial responsibilities that come with homeownership, such as routine maintenance, repairs, and improvements, and they grow alarmed by what they see as an unnatural weight. This dawns on people, unfortunately, at the worst possible times, like right amid escrow.


Back on the market (BOM) is a term commonly used by real estate professionals to describe previously owned properties that have been restored to marketability. No real estate agent or homeowner wants to have a home transition from "pending" to "active" status again. When buyers and sellers reach an agreement on a property, everyone involved (including the agents) hopes the sale goes well. There are numerous causes for a home to reappear on the market. Sometimes re-entering the job market is an option, but other times it's not. Agents and other participants should cooperate as effectively as possible to obtain the desired result.

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