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How to reduce the risk of your property sale falling through

Helpful advice   |   October 18, 2021   |   Liz

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Everyone will agree that 2021 has been a challenging year. Whilst this figure initially looks really depressing for anyone considering selling their home, we have to remember that the past couple of years have been anything but normal. The Stamp Duty holiday put incredible pressure on the conveyancing process.  Lockdowns, Covid-19 restrictions, job losses and relocations all played a part. It’s a wonder this figure isn’t much higher.  Compare a 33% fall through rate for 2021 to the first quarter of 2020 which was 43% and you start to see the effects of the pandemic has had on the housing market.

Why do property sales fall through?

  • Buyers struggling to secure a mortgage
  • Buyers or sellers changing their mind
  • Unsuccessfully trying to renegotiate a lower purchase price.
  • Buyer pulled out after property survey
  • Buyer or seller pulled out of the sale due to slow progress
  • Seller failing to find an onward purchase.

How to reduce the risk of your property sale falling through

There is some good news here, fall-through rates in Sittingbourne and Faversham are much lower than the national average.  You can also protect yourself against potentially having your house sale collapsing by following the points below:

Check fall through rates

Always ask any estate agent you are considering using for evidence of their fall through rates.  A good, professional agent will work very hard to ensure your sale goes through to completion.

Don’t pay upfront

Whilst it can be tempting to save money by paying upfront, it does mean that there is little motivation for the agent to drive your sale through, or to work on renegotiating offers. The focus will be on winning new instructions and collecting more fees rather than getting a sale. Commission based estate agent don’t get paid if the sale collapses. They will work hard to ensure this doesn’t happen.

Sales Progression

Ask about who will progress your sale.  With the end of the stamp duty holiday, there is less pressure on the conveyancing process. However, ensuring someone is responsible for progressing your sale is still important.  With someone dedicated to this role in the branch, buyers know they have a point of contact who knows the details of your sale inside and out.  Getting updates from a remote team is much harder than dealing with the branch.  It’s also difficult if your estate agent has outsourced the sale progression role to a third party.

Communication is key

Even when there is no news, it’s good to know there is someone chasing and updating.  Check estate agents reviews before instructing them to sell your home and look for comments about communication

Reservation Agreements

Use reservation agreements.  These not only protect you with some financial compensation should your sale fall through.  The agreement also demonstrates to all parties, that everyone is committed to the sale.

Prequalified buyers

Throughout Covid-19, buyers could only view houses if they were in a position to proceed. Meaning the buyer either had nothing to sell, or had accepted an offer on their own property.  They had to provide evidence of a mortgage in principle or that they had funds in place before they could view.  Now restrictions have been lifted, buyers are wanting to find a property before they put their house on the market or have the funds in place.  Ask your agent if they prequalify buyers before they view your home.

Marketing methods

We have already mentioned that demand for property is still high.  People still need to move homes for a variety of reasons and the amount of properties coming onto the market is low.  Many properties are sold before being listed on the property portals (Rightmove, Zoopla etc.)  This is because the estate agent knows they have potential buyers who are able to offer, have everything in place to go ahead and are just waiting for a suitable property.  Ask your agent how your home will be marketed outside of the portals.

Why to consider Harrisons if you want to reduce the risk of your property sale falling through?

Here at Harrisons, we don’t like to see any sale falling through.  A fall-through can’t always be avoided.  However, we are very proud of the fact that we have an incredibly low fall-through rate of just 4% for 2021.  Harrisons try to find the best buyer for each and every property we sell….with sales still being tied up in days, before they have had a chance to go online.

Our team is small, close knit, who work together closely to progress your sale.  We use Gazeal reservation agreements, we recommend them on every sale.  Currently, Harrisons secure more Gazeal reservation agreements than any other agent in the UK.

We would like to tell you more about why we believe we have such a low fall through rate compared to anyone else locally. Why not give us a call on 01795 474848 and ask us how we can reduce the risk of your property sale falling through.

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