Why do Property Sales Fall Through?- From an Estate Agent in Cambridge

As a leading estate agent in Cambridge, we know exactly what it takes to help prevent a property sale from falling through. But what are the risk factors that lead to sales collapsing in the first place? Let’s take a look.

The number of house sales falling through before completion in the UK is rising – up to 38.8% at the beginning of 2018 from 34.9% in the first quarter of 2017. This compares to just 21.6% in 2016. To better understand how to prevent your sale falling through, it’s worth looking at the common reasons potential buyers back out.

Negotiation problems

  • According to recent data 23% of sales fall through because of negotiation problems between the buyer and seller after the initial deal has been agreed.
  • Try to agree as much upfront as possible. Typically fixtures and fittings are included in the offer while movable objects can be up for negotiation.
  • Don’t let small details like the removal of a bookcase or a slight delay in completion date become deal breakers.
  • Choose an estate agent who can present your best interests and negotiate on your behalf.

Mortgage problems

  • 11.5% of sales fall through because the buyer was unable to secure sufficient funding from their mortgage provider after they made an offer.
  • We are in an era of strict lending criteria. Make sure your buyer is in a position to proceed before you accept an offer – checking mortgage documents if necessary.
  • Here at Belvoir we only accept offers from buyers who have an agreement in principle from their mortgage provider. This prevents unexpected funding problems.

Building surveys

  • Your buyer will arrange for a surveyor to visit your property. If issues are found or major repairs are necessary the buyer may wish to renegotiate or pull out altogether. Just over one in ten sales fall through in this way.
  • Ensure your house is in good state of repair, use approved contractors for repairs or structural improvements and keep the paperwork for work that has been completed.
  • If you have made building alterations did they have planning permission or has your local council signed off the work in terms of building control regulations? If not your buyer is taking on a risk.
  • If your sale falls through because of a problem identified by the surveyor, make sure you resolve that problem before putting your property back on the market.

The chain

  • Sometimes you are reliant on your buyer selling their property, that buyer selling their property and so on. The longer a chain is, the higher the risk that it will break – potentially disrupting multiple sales.
  • 8% of sales fall through because of a collapsed property chain.
  • Speedy conveyancing is a critical measure to protect the chain from breaking.

Choose your estate agent carefully

It’s incredibly frustrating when a property sale falls through. The right estate agent can be the glue that helps to hold your sale together, liaising with all parties – such as the buyer’s mortgage provider and your conveyance – to keep the process moving as swiftly as possible. Looking for an estate agent in Cambridge? Here at Belvoir we are highly experienced in selling a huge range of properties – from chic city apartments to family homes in the beautiful countryside.

If you have any questions about the sales process, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. Or take a look at our sales guide – it contains everything you need to know about selling property in Cambridgeshire, with handy step-by-step guides and advice on each stage of the process. 

Georgina Gray 
Sales Manager
01223 352225

Georgina Gray is Belvoir Cambridge’s Sales Manager. With close to 10 years experience of working in the Cambridge property market, Georgina understands all of the unique advantages of this historic city and is passionate about helping vendors and buyers alike. If you’re thinking of selling your home here in Cambridge then give her a call for a free no-obligation valuation