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Almost half of all house sales in England and Wales fell through before completion in the final quarter of 2018, according to new data.

This should not come as too much surprise, as economic and political uncertainty has caused the housing market to wobble and this has definitely impacted on buyer and seller behaviour.

Having said that, whatever is going on with Brexit and the economy, there will always be people who need to move - usually due to the three dreaded “D”s; divorce, debt, or death.

The key reasons for fall-throughs last year were:

When selling a property in England and Wales, the sale is not guaranteed until contracts have exchanged. Therefore, up until that point, which can take several months to reach, there is nothing stopping the buyer simply changing their mind and walking away, as occurred in 30% of sales that fell through.

This is a nail-biting time for the seller, as their sale is at the mercy of the buyer’s circumstances and how they view unfolding events in the economy.

People can suddenly get cold feet about a move, particularly if they see headlines about house price corrections or a down turn in the economy.

There are a few things you can do to give your sale the best possible chance of going ahead:

1. Check that the buyer is proceedable and in a strong position to complete the purchase.

This means that they are a first time buyer or their own home is sold or under offer, and that they have the necessary deposit and finance in place to buy your property.

Selling to a cash buyer is a safer bet, as they are not reliant on bank finance.

2. Work with a proactive solicitor who progresses the sale.

It makes sense to use a solicitor who specialises in conveyancing and who can actively progress the sale. Also check that the solicitor you are thinking of using has the capacity to act in a timely manner i.e. that they are not too busy to deal with your sale.

3. Keep the lines of communication open

Your estate agent should be in regular contact with both the buyer and the solicitor's involved to keep everyone informed as to the status of the sale.

Make sure you keep in touch with the estate agent on a regular basis and ask them to keep the buyer in the loop as well. Be quick to answer any queries the buyer may have and ensure you deal with all the legal paperwork in a timely manner.

If weeks drag by with no sign of progress, it can give the buyer even more time to change their mind and drop out.

Of course, the best profile of buyer is one who has no property to sell and who is able to purchase in cash.

This profile of buyer may well want to negotiate a discount in recognition of their strong position, and it may be worth considering taking a lower offer for your property, in order to get an offer that has more certainty attached to it.

Open Property Group can help

As professional property buyers, we are able to offer certainty when it comes to purchasing your home.

We are a family-run business with over 30 years combined experience and we operate a large cash property fund to purchase properties in England and Wales.

Our process is quick and easy. Whilst we may not be your first choice of buyer, we can assist in common scenarios such as the buyer pulling out, a chain being broken, or your buyer’s survey discovering a defect with your property.

We will buy any type of property in England and Wales, in any condition and we are committed to giving you a cash offer within 48 hours of your enquiry.

Provided all the necessary documentation is to hand, we can complete on a property purchase within 48 hours, or within a timescale to suit you.

For this certainty, we will obviously not offer you the market value for your property, and typically offer 85% of the genuine open market value. When taking into account all the hassle and worry of selling, not to mention estate agent commissions and legal fees, our solution is an ideal solution.

Contact us today for a no-obligation cash offer today and get a clearer understanding of how you can move on from your property sale.

Published on 17th January 2019

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