Pending home sales jumped during Q4 2011

In a positive sign for the state of the housing industry, more people were buying homes during the last quarter of 2011, a new report confirms.

According the National Association of Realtors, the pending sales index, which take into account home contract signings, rose 10.4 percent to 93.3 in October, a considerable rise from the 84.5 it stood at the month before.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR, said such jumps in pending home sales are an encouraging indicator but cautioned that contracts do not always lead to closings.

"Many potential home buyers inadvertently hurt their credit scores and chances of getting a mortgage through easily averted actions, such as canceling an old credit line while taking on a new one," said Yun. "Such actions could unwittingly prevent buyers from obtaining a mortgage if their credit score is close to the margins of qualifying, or they might get a loan but with less favorable terms."

Inaccurate or unfair marks left on credit reports can also impact consumers' credit scores. If spotted, potential homebuyers should have them corrected by credit repair professionals before they move forward with the closing process.