What to do if your property sale falls through
If the sale of your property falls through it’s a rollercoaster of emotions. One minute you’re celebrating and lining up removal vans and the next you’re back at square one. It’s frustrating and hugely disappointing. But what can you do? And more importantly, how can you prevent it from happening again?
At GD Property Solicitors, we deal with all aspects of the conveyancing process and we are all too familiar with the problems that can arise along the way. If the worst does happen and your buyer pulls out, it’s important not to panic – all is not lost. Here we take a closer look at some of the ways you can soften the blow and lessen the risk of your sale falling through again.
Can a buyer really just back out at the last minute?
Unfortunately, yes. In England, until contracts are officially exchanged between both parties, there is no legal obligation on the buyer to go through with the purchase – nor do they have to pay any costs you may have incurred along the way.
In Scotland things are slightly different. Whilst it’s still possible to withdraw an offer, the buyer must pay the seller’s fees.
What to do if your buyer does pull out:
Identify the problem – and sort it!
Why has this happened? It’s important to ask questions and get to the root of the problem. It could be trouble with finances or perhaps their circumstances have changed. More often than not though it’s down to an issue flagged during a survey.
Unstable wall, damp, a damaged roof, all of these things can be off putting to a buyer and be enough to give them cold feet. But by finding out what the problem is you have several options open to you. Fix it, adjust your asking price, or – if you’re not keen on either of these – research what would be required to sort the issue and present the information to future potential buyers. This way you appear open and transparent, foster a more favourable relationship and will know early on if the issue is a deal-breaker.
Take time to consider your options
It’s important to avoid a knee-jerk reaction in these situations and not to panic. Yes, it’s disheartening and extremely frustrating but it’s better to find out sooner rather than later so you can avoid any further waste of time or money.
The key now is to take time to consider your options. What you don’t want to do is immediately accept the next offer or massively reduce your asking price. As above, identify what the stumbling block was and assess your options carefully.
Make sure you’re working with the right people
Estate agents and property conveyancers play a key role in the sale of your home, so it’s essential to have a good, open relationship with them. You need to be confident you can rely on them to deal with any issues or enquires raised by the buyer quickly and efficiently – failure to do so can cause unnecessary problems and may impede the sale.
It’s also important to review how your Estate Agent has dealt with your sale falling through. Did they react effectively, ensuring your house was back on the market straight away? If not, it may be time to rethink who your property is listed with.
And finally, you need to be clear about any charges you may incur from your agents and solicitors if things don’t proceed as planned, to minimise the financial sting of a collapsed sale as much as possible.