Why do house sales fall through?

7th July 2022
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The process of selling a home can be time-consuming, challenging and frustrating. Despite going through all the steps and paperwork, you may fall at the final hurdle. But what causes sales to fall through and what can you do to prevent this from happening? Let’s take a look at the facts.

How often do house sales fall through?

It's a common misconception that houses sell quickly and easily. While it may be true that there are thousands of house sales in the UK every month, they don't all go through without a hitch. In fact, most fall through at some point along the way.

There is no headline figure for the frequency of fall-throughs, as the rate changes month by month. However, in recent years, there have been times when half of all property sales have fallen through after the sale has been agreed, whereas at other times, the figure is more like 20 to 30%.

Why might a house sale fail to go through?

The housing industry is a complex one, and the process of buying and selling a home can be complicated. While it is possible to purchase a house without any problems, there are many things that can happen during the negotiation and sale process that could cause a deal to fall through.

The reasons for these failures can vary widely. A house sale can fall through for a variety of reasons, but the most common are:

#1. The buyer and seller can't come to a price agreement.

#2. Buyers may have trouble finding financing for their purchase or they might have other financial obligations such as student loans or credit card debt which prevent them from qualifying for a mortgage loan at all. If this happens then they will likely back out of the deal altogether since they cannot afford the home anymore without these additional funds available through conventional means (such as credit cards).

#3. Another common reason why deals fall through involves contingencies—these are clauses within contracts which stipulate what must happen before any payments are made

#4. If a buyer changes their mind after the passage of time, there's little that can be done. Circumstances can change too—for example, if someone loses their job or a relationship ends.

#5. Another common reason for a sale falling through is when the seller discovers that they need to make repairs on the property before it can be sold. The seller may not have been aware of this issue before putting their home up for sale.



Are there ways to prevent a property sale from falling through?

While there is no foolproof way to ensure your sale goes through, you can take steps to reduce the chances of a fall-through. For example, choose your buyer carefully (it helps if you have plenty of interest), and choose one who can move quickly, has their finances in place, and whom you believe to be a reliable person after vetting them with your estate agent.

Another,  get your paperwork sorted as soon as possible so that you’re not wasting time waiting for other people to catch up. If you are buying a home yourself, get your mortgage approved as early as possible and instruct your estate agent before putting an offer on any property so that you can get all your paperwork sorted out.

Bluestone Properties is a letting agency and estate agency based in south London. Call us on 0208 355 3405 for more information.


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