You’ve paid for your survey, packed a few boxes and started visualising how your furniture will look in the new living room, when you receive a call from the estate agent saying that the sale is no longer going through.
In England and Wales, both the seller and the purchaser are completely free to pull out of a house purchase, without penalty, until the day that contracts are exchanged, and while around 60% of sales do go through to completion, unfortunately for some buyers sales can fall through for a variety of reasons.
We take a closer look at why property purchases fall through and what steps you can take if it happens to you.
- Find out what happened
Has the chain collapsed? Have you been gazumped (the seller has accepted a higher bid from another buyer)? Or has the seller simply decided to take their property off the market? Depending on why the sale has fallen through, you may be able to take action to rectify the situation by putting in a higher offer or being flexible about when you move. The estate agent will be the best person to fill you in on all the details.
- Think about whether you are willing to compromise
If there is a chance you can get the sale back on track, now is the time to think about how much you want the property and whether you are willing to be flexible on things like move dates.
- Consider the pros and cons
If there’s no chance of continuing with the sale then it’s time to restart your property hunt. It can be easy to romanticise the property you have lost and worry that you’ll never find anything else as nice, so stay objective – make a list of all its pros and cons to help inform your new search. Remember, there are thousands more properties out there and the chances are you’ll find one you love even more than the first.
- Talk to the estate agent
Keep in contact with the estate agent you have been dealing with. They’ll be able to point you in the direction of other, similar properties on the market and alert you to any new listings. Remember, if you’ve already got your mortgage in place and are ready to move, then you’ll be an attractive prospect for anyone looking to make a quick sale, so you might still be in a new home quicker than you think.