A recent survey by consumer magazine Which? found that 3 in 10 property sales in the UK fall through, so if your sale has fallen through, don’t worry – you are not alone.

Many sales fall through and although it is an unpleasant situation you can quickly recover and turn it into a positive outcome; focus on the next steps as well as what do you do once you’ve got over the whole disappointment. Here are the key things you need to be aware of in this situation if it happens to you.

Why Do Home Sales Fall Through?

There can be many reasons why a sale falls through and not always all of them are under someone’s control. One of the most common reasons is a buyer’s mortgage being refused by a bank, in itself an issue that can also happen for a number of reasons (from poor credit scores to having an insufficient income to meet repayments). Sometimes the reason for a sale falling through can be as uncomplicated as one of the two parties simply getting cold feet and backing out. In England and Wales many sales fall through because of a practice called “gazumping” when a seller accepts an offer, but then goes on to reject it in favour of a better one. Due to the way the conveyancing process is designed, the practice of gazumping is a lot less frequent in Scotland.

Will It Affect Your Finances?

The way the house-buying and selling process works means that until your solicitor has concluded missives with the other party, the sale isn’t actually legally binding. That means that either party can back out of the sale without any major legal or financial repercussions. There may be some financial cost to either party though, depending on how far along in the process you are when the sale falls through, so it makes sense to be aware of the risk.

The financial cost of a sale falling through at the start of the process should be fairly small, regardless of whether you’re selling or buying a property. If you’re selling, and the buyer pulls out fairly early in, your main cost will probably be what you’ve spent on advertising the property for sale, and the cost of your home report, and any solicitor fees. If you’re buying a property and the seller pulls out, you’re likely to lose money on any surveys you’ve had carried out on the property, as well as having to pay solicitor fees for any work they’ve already carried out on your behalf.

What Happens Next?

The biggest issue with a sale falling through is really the disappointment and emotional toll of the entire process. Try and use the experience as a chance to consider your aims, motivations and desires in your sale or purchase.

Talking to your estate agent about your next steps can also help as we are here to provide valuable support and guidance at a time when you can feel things are not going as they should.  Check out our previous blog post about tackling the property market for some quick thoughts about moving up the property ladder. There’s still a lot of truth in the old saying, ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.’

Clyde Property is one of Scotland’s leading independent estate and letting agents, with over 30 years’ experience of selling and letting property in Scotland, and we’ve won multiple awards for our work. Call your local Clyde Property branch today for friendly, impartial advice about finding your next dream home.