Selling a property isn’t a sprint; it can be a marathon. It takes time to market a home, find the best buyer, agree on a price and then deal with the legal paperwork. So, it’s all the more frustrating when a deal collapses – especially if you’re within touching distance of the finish line.
But with reports of around 31% of property sales falling through before completion, is it simply a case of bad luck? Or are there ways to minimise your chances of disappointment?
While there’s never a 100% guarantee you’ll complete your deal, it’s useful to understand the reasons why sales collapse so that you can take steps to avoid them.
Reason 1: Unrealistic expectations
Often, chains collapse because one party gets fed up with how long the process is taking. Perhaps the buyer is desperate to complete because they’re expecting a baby, while the seller has a specific property wish list and is struggling to find a suitable home to move to.
Or maybe the seller is keen to crack on, but the buyer is slow to get their finances sorted. Whatever the reason, emotions can run high, and mistrust can set in as the process drags on.
Solution: Manage expectations
It’s important that both parties clearly understand each other’s situation. A good agent will facilitate this by encouraging an honest conversation at the start of the process. They’ll also keep both parties regularly updated as the situation progresses.
Reason 2: Problems getting a mortgage
Banks are tightening up when it comes to lending, especially to candidates with smaller deposits. Even buyers with a mortgage in principle can find the bank later refuses to lend to them.
Solution: Consider the big picture
While price is hugely important, sometimes the highest offer may not be the best deal. For example, if you’re keen to move, a cash buyer offering a few thousand pounds less could be a better option than a buyer with a small deposit who might struggle to secure finance. However, waiting a bit longer for that extra cash could be the right thing if time is on your side. Your agent can advise you depending on your circumstances.
Reason 3: The survey raises issues
Buyers can get cold feet if the surveyor’s report identifies problems.
Solution: Talk it through
This one is tough as it depends on the issues highlighted in the report. If the concerns raised are relatively minor, it may be possible to reach a compromise quickly and without too much drama. Again, it helps if you have an experienced agent on board to handle discussions.
Here at Leslie & Co. in Ealing & Northfields, we’re experts at getting deals across the line. Get in touch for a free valuation.
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