Why Do House Sales Fall Through?

There’s nothing more frustrating than having your house sale fall through. Wasted time, wasted effort and lots of wasted money can even put you off selling entirely. But even with preparation and the best will in the world, you might not be able to close a sale. So, what can cause a house sale to fall through? Let’s find out.


What to Do If House Survey Is Bad?

A buyer may be dead set on a particular house: it has everything they want from the number of bedrooms and bathrooms to a massive back garden. But if the survey comes back and says that the house shows signs of subsidence, or that there’s rising damp, they may pull out.

This can have ripples up and down the chain, too. So, if the bottom of the chain pulled out, the people who own that house can’t move, and they can’t buy the house they wanted to buy, and so on. House chains can be more than ten houses long, so one bad house survey can ruin a dozen deals.

This is one good thing about ‘we buy any house’ companies. They buy your house no matter what condition it’s in—hence the name!


What Are Gazumping and Gazundering?

house auction
Just like in an auction, there’s always a danger of being outbid right at the last second when you’re buying a house.

Gazumping and gazundering are two sides of the same coin. Gazumping you may already be aware of as the practice of submitting a late offer to try to outbid someone. You may be just about to complete on the house of your dreams, but if a cash buyer comes along and offers £20,000 over your offer, the seller might accept it.

Gazundering is the opposite. It’s where the buyer submits a new, lower offer just before exchange of contracts. The seller is left in the awkward position of either accepting the offer, or accepting that they’ve just had their time and money wasted.

Again, this can ruin an entire property chain. If the top of the chain pulled out because their buyers gazundered them, then nobody further down the chain can complete their exchanges.


Can a Mortgage Be Declined After Exchange?

Another possibility is for a mortgage to be declined after the exchange of contracts. It’s even possible to see a mortgage offer withdrawn on day of completion. This can happen if the buyer is misleading, even dishonest in their mortgage application and fails further financial checks. Or, they may have changed or lost their job since getting their agreement in principle, meaning they can no longer afford as much of a mortgage as before.

There are lots of other reasons why a sale might fall through, too. A buyer or seller might lose interest; too many delays in conveyancing can give a buyer cold feet; or regulation might change, e.g. stamp duty relief.


What Should I Do If My House Sale Falls Through?

If you’re in the unfortunate situation of having your house sale fall through, you have a few options. For one, you can try again through the same channel, be that an estate agent or an online sales portal. Unfortunately, there’s no way to guarantee that you won’t be burnt again. There’s a reason people say that moving house is the most stressful thing you can do.

You could also consider staying put. If you’re in a situation where you don’t strictly need to sell, this may not be so bad. But whatever it was that pushed you towards selling may still be a problem: renovations that need doing, cramped rooms, a small back garden or noisy neighbours.

That’s why so many people turn to the speed and flexibility of a home buying company like British Homebuyers. You can call us at 0800 566 8164 for a free and fair valuation leading to a formal offer and cash in the bank in a few working days. No gazundering, no withdrawing at the last minute, no chain, no hassle—just a quick and easy deal, so that you can get on with life!


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