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5 reasons property sales fall through and how choosing the right agent can lessen the risk...

Moving home is notoriously one of the most stressful things you can go through in life. This can be made worse when buying and selling a property due to the many additional layers involved in the process. In 2021 around one in three UK property purchases fell through, which would have caused so much stress for those involved.

Before embarking on your home buying or selling journey, it's important to be aware of the risks involved. Your agent will be able to guide you through and keep you informed along the way to make sure your expectations are always managed.

Here's 5 of the main reasons property sales fall through:

A Break In The Chain

A property chain is a string of transactions linked together. Just one sale collapsing can result in the whole chain collapsing and leaving many people out of pocket. There are many reasons why a chain can collapse and unfortunately this can be one of the most unavoidable situations in a sale falling through, due to how many different parties are involved. Luckily most agents take several steps to avoid unreliable buyers so this situation does happen less and less in the current climate.

Conveyancing Delays

Delays in the conveyancing process can lead to buyers losing patience and sales falling through. The legal practicalities of buying a house can take some time, either due to delays in documentation arriving, slow local authority searches or an unresponsive conveyancer elsewhere in the chain. The best way to get ahead of the game is to instruct a conveyancer early in the process and a good agent will always advise you of those steps early on in the process.

Problems Discovered In The Home Survey

Home surveys can uncover a whole range of problems with a property, from smaller cosmetic issues to major structural flaws. If a home survey finds a major issue, the buyer may look to renegotiate the price or pull out of the deal completely.


Gazumping is when the seller accepts a higher offer from someone else after they've already agreed to sell to you. This is allowed as the sale isn't official until the contracts have been exchanged. You might wish to approach the seller with reasons to go ahead with your purchase but the key thing is to not overstretch yourself financially in an attempt to win back the property.

Mortgage Problems

A mortgage offer expiring or a change in circumstances can mean the buyer can no longer borrow as much as they need to purchase the property. Mortgage lenders also sometimes value the property at less than the buyer has agreed to pay (a down valuation) which means buyers have to either renegotiate the price with the seller, find the extra cash to make up the shortfall or pull out of the sale.

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