Sellers cause 61% of sales to collapse

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New research by Which? magazine details why sales fall through

Homebuyers lose £2,899 on average when a sale collapses 03 June 2016 61 per cent of failed property transactions are caused by the seller pulling out A recent survey of homebuyers has revealed that nearly a third saw their purchase collapse after their offer was accepted.

When Which? surveyed 2,000 recent homebuyers in February 2016, 28 per cent said they’d had an offer accepted on a property only for the purchase to fall through. In 27 per cent of cases, this was down to the seller having a change of heart about selling their home.

Chains and gazumping

Which? research also found property chains to be a problem, with one in five failed deals (21 per cent) being caused by buyers unable to complete sales on their own homes.

Other reasons included buyers finding somewhere else to buy (21 per cent) and people being ‘gazumped’ – losing the property due to the vendor accepting a higher offer from another buyer (21 per cent).

The cost of transactions collapsing

While 16 per cent of buyers managed not to lose money at all, others found themselves substantially out of pocket due to unrecovered conveyancing, survey, mortgage valuation and brokerage costs. Of those who had lost money and knew how much they were out of pocket, the average amount lost was £2,899 – with 5 per cent of respondents losing over £5,000.

Reasons for house purchases falling through

The seller pulled out – they decided not to sell their home after all.

27 per cent: buyer pulled out – My own property sale had fallen through.

21 per cent: buyer pulled out – I found somewhere else to buy.

21 per cent: seller pulled out – someone else made a higher offer (buyer was gazumped).

21 per cent: buyer pulled out – I decided I didn’t like the property enough to buy it after all

15 per cent: seller pulled out – the process took too long

Remainder: buyer and seller had a disagreement and couldn’t find a resolution, so the transaction collapsed.

Which? surveyed 2,000 members of the general public who had bought a house for their own residential use within the last two years. Of these, 555 said they had had a property purchase fall through after their offer was accepted.

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Written by: Houseladder