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April 1, 2012 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON — What's behind the unusually high rate of contract cancellations and settlement delays in the real estate market? With signs of recovery emerging in many parts of the country, shouldn't deals be zipping along with minimal complications? Apparently not. Nearly one-third of realty agents in a new national survey reported experiencing contract cancellations — purchases crumbling before closing — in February. That's up dramatically from a similar poll 12 months earlier, when just 9% of agents reported cancellations.
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