What to do if your house sale falls through | Vivo Property Buyers
Posted by Vivo_Team on November 10th, 2017

Living room image from a house sale that has fallen through
A study by Which? found that 3 in 10 UK house sales fell through in 2016, leaving thousands of potential sellers frustrated and unsure how to proceed. This situation can be an unpleasant experience too, you may have finally found your dream house to buy or maybe you need to relocate for a new job, so a sale slipping through your grasp can be particularly stressful. After such a setback it can be difficult to find the motivation to get back in the buying and selling process, which is unsurprising considering that selling a property has been found to be one of life’s most stressful experiences. So, why do house sales falling through happen so frequently and what options do you have if you find yourself in this situation?

Unlike in other countries, offers are not legally binding in the UK. A sale is only guaranteed once you have exchanged contacts which generally tends to be 3 months after you have accepted the offer. A lot can happen during this time for a sale to fall through. To begin, it’s important to understand that house sales on the open market are often part of a property chain. When an individual is looking to buy a property it’s likely that they’re selling their current home at the same time too. More often than not, the buyer’s ability to purchase your house will depend on whether they can find a buyer for their own house, and this pattern can repeat itself along an extensive property chain. There are exceptions to the chain, such as first-time buyers (who do not need to sell a property first) or sellers that are not looking to buy again (no-onward chain) but unfortunately, there’s still a lot that can go wrong.

One of the biggest reasons for a house sale falling through is issues with properties within your chain, for example, someone no longer wanting or being able to carry out a purchase, which then causes knock-on effects that can directly damage the progress of your sale. This is frustrating as situations out of your control can impact your sale and can leave you feeling helpless. Other common situations that can result in a collapse of a sale include:

  • An issue raised in the property survey has resulted in the buyer of one of the properties in the chain to retract their offer
  • Your buyer may not be able to meet the lending criteria for a mortgage in order to purchase your house
  • A buyer pulling out of house sale, due to personal reasons such as illness, loss of job or a divorce
  • There’s also the danger of gazundering (a buyer offering less money for your property than previously expected at the last minute)

What can you do if your house sale falls through?

Option 1

Use an estate agent

The traditional method

The traditional way of selling a property involves using an estate agent to market your property, they can handle the process can save you a lot of trouble, as well as time.

However, using their services comes with its associated costs and fees, with an average fee being 1.3% of the selling price.

Think to yourself; does paying for this service suit your needs, or does this process need to be quick due to the plans you’ve set in motion? If you have time to spare and don’t mind paying for an estate agent’s services, maybe this option is for you.


Option 2

Selling your home privately

Take matters into your control

This method can seem daunting at first but this route is becoming more popular with homeowners over time. But where do you start?

Those keen on selling their house privately should be motivated and ready to take responsibility for numerous processes, essentially becoming their very own estate agent. To begin, the property will need to be valued, advertised and prepared for viewings. Once these steps have been taken and you have found a buyer for your property you should instruct your solicitor to handle the legal side of things, after which an offer can be accepted.

Sounds like a lot? This option does require considerable attention, however, if you have the time and motivation, selling your house privately can save you thousands in fees.

Option 3

Using a fast property buying company

Sell to proceedable buyers

A fast property buying company can be useful in a variety of situations from inheriting a property to relocation for example, but they’re particularly handy when a house sale falls through. Finding a new buyer on the open market can be time consuming and comes with many insecurities resulting in potentially losing out on the opportunity to buy your new dream house.

This is where a fast property buying company can offer an alternative approach. Using this option it’s possible to sell your home within 7 days, without the hassle of dealing with estate agents or solicitors.

For more information regarding selling your property or Vivo’s services please see our How it works pages or check out our blog.

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