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Paramount Properties

Five Top Reasons Home Sales Collapse and How to Avoid Them

The journey of buying or selling a property is often filled with anticipation and excitement.

However, it can also be fraught with unexpected challenges that might cause a sale to fall through.

As experienced local estate agents, we’ve seen our fair share of transactions fall by the wayside.

This article shares insights on why these issues arise but, more importantly, how to avoid them.

Financial hiccups

One of the most common deal-breakers is financial issues. This could be anything from a buyer’s mortgage falling through to unexpected costs cropping up. To safeguard against this, buyers should have a mortgage agreement in principle before making an offer. 

Chain pain

Property chains can be complex and fragile. If one transaction in the chain fails, it can have a domino effect. Keeping communication open and having an agent with a proactive approach can mitigate these risks. This is why chain-free buyers, who don’t have to sell a property to finance a purchase, are more attractive to some sellers.

Survey snags

Surveys can uncover potential problems, such as structural defects and electrical issues, which might cause a buyer to reconsider. As a seller, consider conducting a pre-sale survey to identify and address potential problems beforehand. Buyers should use survey results as a negotiation tool rather than a deal-breaker if they’ve got their heart set on a home.

"Before you even consider putting your home on the market, it's crucial to prepare relevant items and documents to avoid delays later down the line. Things like having surveys completed before marketing assure potential buyers and remove any question marks over the property that they may have." - Lionel Stoll, Sales Consultant. 

Legal delays

Legal complexities can slow down or derail a transaction. Working with experienced, reliable solicitors who specialise in property law is crucial. We often find that buyers will usually opt for a cheaper solicitor in an attempt to cut costs, but as with most things, you get what you pay for. While you may cut your costs down by a little by not investing in a solid solicitor, you may face a lengthy, complicated property transaction costing you far more money in time spent. Next thing: documentation. Often overlooked but incredibly important in avoiding that dreaded back and forth. Things like searches can sometimes take two to six weeks to come through, and, let's not forget, management packs, yet another thing you could be waiting weeks for. Ensure that all your documentation is in order before going on the market, and be responsive to any requests for information from your estate agent.

Cold feet

Sometimes, buyers or sellers get cold feet. This is where the ‘contact sport’ element of estate agency comes into play. A good agent regularly contacts and reassures people involved in the deal, which helps keep everyone committed to the transaction. We've put our 1% Deposit Scheme in place at Paramount, where both the buyer and seller put down 1% of the sale price. If either party pulls out for any reason other than legal issues or a problem with the survey, their deposit is sent to the other party. This is an essential way to determine commitment from both parties very early on and cut the chance of a fall-through from 30% to just 1%.

Staying the course

Remember, knowledge is valuable in property transactions. By being prepared and aware of these common pitfalls, you can navigate the process more smoothly.

As your local estate agent, we’re here to guide you every step of the way, ensuring your property journey is as seamless and successful as possible.

If you’d like a free property valuation or advice about marketing your home, contact us today.

While you're here, why not read "Buyer Confidence is Returning to the West Hampstead Market - Here's Why" or "Saving for a Mortgage Deposit: Tips for First-Time Buyers" 

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