There are various reasons why a property transaction can fall through, leaving you to pick up the financial and emotional pieces.

But is there anything you can do to help prevent a move from falling through? In this latest guide, Homeward Legal take a look.

Reasons for house sale or buying falling through

Unfortunately, when buying or selling a property there is always a chance that your move can fall through. In fact, almost a third of buyers' moves fall through. It is naturally disappointing and upsetting if your purchase or sale of a property falls through, potentially resulting in a huge financial loss and waste of time

There are many reasons a property move might fall through. We look at some of these below. 

Survey results

Poor survey results are a common reason for why a property move may fall through. A property survey is essential to ensure that a buyer knows any problems about the property they wish to purchase. If problems are revealed, it is only natural for the buyer to potentially want to pull out of the transaction. 

However, poor survey results don't always mean that a deal falls through. This is because often minor problems can be sorted out between the buyer and seller to ensure that the transaction goes ahead.

Financial reasons

Property transactions can fall though for financial reasons. One such reason is when a property is deemed to be not priced competitively but in fact overpriced. If you overprice your property, a potential buyer may still keep looking for properties to find a house that fits within their price range. 

Another key financial reason why a property move may fall through is that a mortgage does not go through. Some buyers don't realise that an agreement in principle is not a mortgage agreed, and that the agreement in principle can change at any stage until the mortgage is finally agreed. 

Gazumping and gazundering

When looking to buy a property, there is unfortunately always a risk that you will be gazumped. This is one of the two main reasons for a move falling through. Gazumping is when the person selling the property accepts a higher offer on it than the one you have given. 

Gazundering is also another main reason why a property move falls through. This is essentially the opposite of gazumping - it is when the buyer offers a lower price on a property and the seller refuses to sell at the lower amount, causing any potential deal to fall through. 

Change of mind or circumstance

Often moves fall through because the seller changes their mind about the property sale. Reservation agreements can reduce the chances of this happening as they show commitment and can offer financial compensation should your move fall through. 

However, sometimes a change of mind by either the buyer or seller can occur due to a change of heart or for personal reasons

Problems with the chain

A key reason why property moves can fall through is because the property chain collapses. This is a particularly high risk if you have a long property chain. When a chain breaks the move can fall through. This occurs as commonly as one in five property transactions,

Therefore, often those buying and selling a property will be keen to exchange with those who are chain free.

What you can do to prevent your property purchase or sale falling through

Now that you are aware of ways your property purchase or sale may fall through, it is important to be aware of some ways you can prevent it. We take a look at some of these below. 

Exchange early, complete later

A good strategy is, when possible, to exchange early and complete later. If you exchange contracts quickly when you buy a property, the seller is under a legal obligation to sell to you and you to buy from them. Once contracts are signed, a change of mind is very rare. 

Use good trusted people

When you buy or sell a property, you must have a conveyancing or property solicitor to assist you in all the legal processes. They will need to check for any problems with the property that you wish to buy, which includes carrying out searches. 

To increase the chance of your move going through you need a good solicitor and one you can trust. This applies to the estate agent too. You should look for a professional to be proactive. Slow progression is a reason why 5% of property sales fall through

Act quickly

And on the subject of speed, if you want to ensure that your move does not fall through, there is an onus on you to do your part, and this means you need to act quickly. If your solicitor asks you for specific documents, provide these as quickly as you can. 

Keep communicating

Communication is key when buying or selling a house and critical for reducing the chance of your move falling through. Communication should occur between the:

  • buyer
  • seller
  • solicitor
  • estate agent

Communication includes letting each other know about problems and delays  and of course progress. It also means communicating when there is no news, so simply just keeping in touch.

Let the professionals do their job

Whilst you may at times need to chase the professionals involved in your property move, you also need to be mindful about allowing them to get on with their jobs. There is a reason why you need a professional to help you when you buy or sell a property so try not interfere too much in the job they have experience in doing.

Do your bit when required however

To help ensure your property move does not fall through, you will need to play your part in the conveyancing process when required. For example, before you put your property on the market, you need to sort out any maintenance issues. If not, they may affect your sale when identified during the survey stage.

Looking to buy or sell a property?

If you are looking to either buy or sell a property, let us at Homeward Legal offer an experienced helping hand  Buying or selling a property is not an easy task so you will need the advice of a conveyancing solicitor. At Homeward Legal our solicitors have lots of experience in helping people who want to buy or sell a property and can help you along the entire journey.

So contact Homeward Legal today on . Alternatively, you can send us a quick and easy message here

At Homeward Legal we are your first choice for experts in conveyancing. We have helped many buyers and sellers of property in the UK and can do the same today for you. However, at Homeward legal, we do more than buy and sell properties, we can help you with all your conveyancing needs such as remortgaging. So you made the right move choosing us. 

Regardless of whether you wish to sell your property or buy a property, it is a big decision and one you must do correctly, particularly in terms of all the legal processes surrounding it. With extensive experience in residential conveyancing, our competent solicitors can confidently help you all the way. They are regulated for legal advice and conveyancing so you are in safe professional hands with us.

The property market is renowned for being a tricky market to get your hair around and it's not unusual for a purchase or sale to fall through. So the more advice and help you get, the less likely your property purchase or property sale will be successful and not fall through. Our mission at Homeward Legal is to make your conveyancing speedy yet problem free. Oh, and of course low-cost. Our role is to coordinate all parties involved to get things moving perfectly for you. 

Whatever your conveyancing needs, Homeward Legal have got it so contact us today at . If it is easier, write to us by dropping us a message here. And don't forget that we can also provide a fast quote online. This will give you an idea of how low-cost our service really is to help you sell or buy your house.

Contact us for help with your conveyancing needs

No matter what your conveyancing needs, you can be sure that Homeward Legal can help. Selling or buying a property with us is a hassle-free experience where we take the difficult tasks from you without it costing the world. Homeward Legal are determined to make your property purchase or sale a successful one.

Get in touch with Homeward Legal today for all the help you need for buying or selling a house. Give us a call on . If you prefer, you can send us a message here, and you can also get a quick and simple quote online.

Last updated 08.11.23

Share this guide:

More from this category