Purchase Implosion: Pre-approval letters worth the ink?

Nearly everyone has had a personal experience of a deal falling through via the other side of the transaction not performing. It is hard to swallow when you have no control over the other party or their financing efforts. Especially bad, the call to your client who is in boxes and ready to move within hours. It takes guts to make the call and is character building.

The dreaded phone call: “….hate to bring you bad news, but our transaction has fallen through, and ….”

Chew on this scenario:

A transaction is stopped in its tracks just hours before it is slated to close. Seller has already signed closing paperwork and escrow is waiting for lender documents to have borrower sign and then proceed to close the transaction as scheduled. Escrow is then notified that the deal is apparently dead. Why? Escrow is informed by the agents that buyer’s financing fell through. Buyer’s financing addendum gives the borrower x amount of days to obtain financing, which was written to expire the day of closing. As is tradition, the selling agent provided a pre-approval letter (not pre-qualification) at the time of the offer.

In a sentence in paragraph #2 of the Financing Addendum Contingency (NWMLS Form 22A) it states:

“A letter from the lender generated or dated at or prior to mutual acceptance shall not constitute a letter of loan commitment which complies with this paragraph.”

1) Should the listing agent and seller fight for the earnest money?
2) What do you find would be some of the transaction management pitfalls that could have been avoided?
3) Is the buyer fully in compliance or did they fall short of a duty to act in a timely manner. Time is of the essence.