So you’ve found the house of your dreams in Torbay. It’s on the right side of town, near a good school, parks are close by and your commute to work has been cut. Perfect.
You know roughly when you’ll be moving and you’ve already started thinking about colour schemes and furniture.
But then... You’re busy making big plans and you get a call from the solicitor who is handling your purchase. It’s a bombshell – your dream is shattered because the house move has fallen through.
To be honest, it’s heartbreaking. And while it doesn’t happen all the time, it does occur. According to recent research from Quick Move Now, just under a quarter of house sales in England and Wales ‘fell through’ before completion in 2019.
So, it is certainly something to be aware of. But, did you know there are things you can do to help reduce the risk of a house sale falling through?
Four reasons why house sales fall through and what you can do to reduce the risk:
Gazumping is when you’ve put an offer on a house in the Torbay area, it’s been accepted, but then someone else swoops in and puts in a higher offer.
It seems unfair but it is legal. After all, a seller may see the pound signs so why would they not accept more money?
And, actually, until you’ve exchanged contracts on a property, the deal is not legally binding.
• TOP TIP: Before you begin the process, take out Home Buyers Insurance. That way, for not a huge sum of money, in the event of being gazumped, you could recoup any costs you have paid out, such as fees for local searches or surveys.
2. CHAIN BREAKER
In many cases, the purchase of your new home requires a chain of people to move out of a property and into another.
This chain can sometimes break, for several reasons.
Perhaps a purchase elsewhere has fallen through, perhaps a mortgage offer has expired somewhere along the line, or maybe someone just decided they didn’t want to move.
• TOP TIP: There is often nothing you can do about a property purchase along the chain, but what you can do is make your link as watertight as possible. Make sure the conveyancers are in place, ensure your mortgage offer is ready and valid and talk to your estate agent to ensure they keep abreast of any potential issues. We do, by the way, and that’s why Torbay buyers and sellers trust us!
3. FINDING FUNDING
When home movers start the process of looking to buy a house, it’s often a head versus heart process.
Sometimes, before calculating what funds you have, or even getting a mortgage in principle, you might go and view a property, fall in love with it and then make an offer.
The missing part, of course, is the money. And that is why, although you may think that an offer is going to lead to a sale, it may not.
• TOP TIP: It may sound simple, but make sure before you accept any offer, that the buyer has funds in place. Ensure that there is evidence of money in the bank or a mortgage in place. These are reasonable questions to ask, and your estate agent and legal team should be making sure it’s all ready to go.
4. COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN
Good communication is absolutely key to getting things right and keeping things moving forward. If you stop conversations, then chances are that the process will slow down and deadlines will be missed.
In fact, communication breakdown is one of the key causes of house sales falling through.
• TOP TIP: It’s good to talk, as the old ad says, so make sure that all the parties in your chain are talking, or at least their representatives are.
If you need advice, call the Ridgewater Sales and Lettings team on 01803 525100 or email email@example.com