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What To Do If Your Sale Falls Through

A sale falling through does not have to be catastrophe.

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Helpful advice on how to stop this from happening in the first place.

Picture the scene: you’ve found your dream home and are waiting to move in. You’re excitedly planning the décor, you’ve already started to pack boxes and you’ve even planned your new daily commute. But then, something awful happens: your buyer turns around and says they’ve changed their mind. And if you’re current home isn’t sold, how are you going to buy a new one?

Is this a catastrophe? Of course, at first glance, it seems like it is; you’re never going to be able to move into that perfect property now. There are some hints and tips for you to follow to help prevent you getting into this situation in the first place, though, or to avoid your purchase falling through altogether even if things have already gone pear-shaped. Read on to find out more.

1. Keep in touch.

One of the most important ways in which you can show both your buyer and seller that you are committed to getting to the completion stage is by being an efficient communicator. It shows that you’re reliable, on the ball and quick to act. Often, one of the first red flags that someone has lost interest in a property is when the e-mail trail goes cold and calls are left unanswered. And if that sounds like it might describe you, you just might be putting off the people you are trying to sell to, as well, even if you don’t mean to.

2. Sell at the right price.

One of the most common reasons why sales don’t complete is when something unexpected comes up on the property survey. If the seller refuses to budge on price or has an unrealistic expectation of what their current home is worth, then the buyer may just decide it’s better to walk away. Of course, no-one wants to go through a huge renegotiation at this stage of the process, but if it’s a matter of knocking off a few hundred pounds so the new buyer can organise needed repairs, for example, then going down this route is probably better than losing the sale altogether and having to start again.

3. Use a reputable, experienced estate agent.

No-one can have failed to notice the rise in DIY property sales services since the explosion of the internet, but one thing that cutting out the agent doesn’t do is give you the expertise to handle the situation when things go wrong. From the beginning, a good estate agent will ensure that potential buyers have things like their finances in place so that they know the sale has a chance of going through. Your agent can also help you if worst comes to worst and your buyer does pull out altogether (see point 5).

4. Be wary of the super-long chain.

We’ve all heard stories about chains of 10 or more properties, with each buyer relying on the last to move. Sounds disastrous, right?! Well, sometimes these lengthy chains do work, but you’ve got to be prepared that they will lead to longer times between agreeing a sale and completing. And it doesn’t take much for one break to happen in the chain, causing many of the sale agreements to fall apart in one go. So, be clued up before you say ‘yes’ to a buyer. How many other people are they relying on to move before they might be able to buy your place? Being realistic about time scales and the level of risk you’re prepared to accept here is important, if you’re going to make the move that will work for you.

5. Try to find a new (reliable) buyer.

If you’ve got your heart set on buying that property you’ve seen but your sale falls through, then you need to find a new buyer – and fast. But, how do you avoid the same situation happening again? This is where your estate agent can step in. Agents will have up-to-date lists of all their current clients on their books and can fire out a mailing to hundreds of suitable potential buyers in one go, maximising the possibility of your finding a new buyer soon enough for your dream purchase to go through. They can also make suggestions like giving parts of your home a quick freshen up or taking new marketing pictures to help encourage people to look at your listing.

And, if all else fails…

6. Chalk it up to experience.

This last one may seem a bitter pill to swallow, but the reality is that sales sometimes fall through, and for lots of reasons. Issues with the survey, personal circumstances…your buyer’s motives for pulling out might be totally legitimate – hey, you might even sympathise with them. But if your chain does fall apart despite your best efforts, then maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. And next time you go through the process, you’ll be better informed in advance of how to keep the sales process moving from both sides, helping you to find another dream property very soon.

Sometimes your ideal home can be waiting around the corner; you just need a helping hand in sifting through the options! Talk to our experienced sales team to and get expert advice on which sort of property might suit you. You just may end up falling in love with the one you least expect!

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