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8 reasons why your home sale could collapse

8 reasons why your home sale could collapse

14 July 2020 by Pinewood Properties

There is always an air of excitement when you accept an offer – you’ve found your new home and you can’t wait to move in and make it your own. But now you’re entering the sales process, that period of time where wobbles happen and stress levels rise, but even worse – the stuff of nightmares – what if the sale falls through? Trust us, at Pinewood Properties this is the last thing we would ever want you to experience and we will be doing everything in our power to make sure it doesn’t happen. There are so many parties involved in a chain, to help you avoid disaster here are 8 reasons why your home sale could collapse.

1. Gazumping

At Pinewood we are not a fan of this practice, but sadly it does happen. You have been searching for your next dream home, and finally you’ve found it. It won your heart at hello, and after some negotiation your offer was accepted. The champagne is opened but before you have finished your glass you get a call to say that even though your offer was accepted, the seller has had another, higher offer and so this dream home is no longer going to be yours. Yes, we’re afraid to say, you have been gazumped!!

Unfortunately, as a buyer, there isn’t a lot you can do, as frustratingly in the UK the sale isn’t official until the contracts have been exchanged. You may decide to renegotiate but by doing so you could be stretching yourself more than you should, financially. To try and minimise the risk of this happening to you, make sure you ask for the property to be taken off the market and that viewings are ceased as a condition of the offer. Most sellers are happy for this to happen as they are overjoyed to have a sale, but should they refuse, that should be a huge flashing warning sign telling you something is not quite right. Also stress the positives of your position; in other words, make sure you sell yourself as a buyer.

2. Financial situation

We all know what we’ve been through with the pandemic and it’s certainly made many mortgage lenders more cautious in recent months. Your financial situation is so essential to a successful sale; it may have changed during the pandemic, so before you make an offer be 100% sure that you have an up to date mortgage in principle. If your mortgage offer is not recent you could discover your lender has rescinded it, which could mean you lose the home you wish to purchase if you cannot find an alternative offer.

Your buyer could also find themselves in this same situation, which is why it’s essential to check the validity of their mortgage offer. At Pinewood we will always check that your buyers’ mortgage offer is Covid-proof.

3. Mortgage survey

Before you get confused, the survey undertaken by your mortgage lender does not tell you about any defects of the property you wish to purchase. A mortgage survey is for financial purposes only; your mortgage lender is checking that the sale price matches their own valuation of the property. A mortgage lender will not lend 1 penny more than they think the property is worth, and if they value it less, it is known as a down-valuation.

In this case, the buyer could renegotiate with the seller, or the buyer could find the difference between the mortgage survey valuation and the agreed sales price. You can try to avoid this by keeping an eye on the current market and what similar properties are selling for so that when you make an offer you know that it is in line with current sale prices in the area.

4. The chain

Our guts have a way of making decisions for us when we become unsure about something, so if there’s a niggle, buyers and sellers alike could have a change of heart. Chains are fragile things, with so many people tied up in each part of the chain, from buyers to sellers, to mortgage brokers and conveyancers. When you have so many parts it only needs one link to break for a sale to collapse, leaving a lot of people out of pocket. There are many reasons a chain can break, but if you have a strong estate agent such as our team at Pinewood Properties and a solid conveyancer they can more often than not resolve any issue, working hard to keep everyone happy and each link connected. Also, consider the length of the chain before you decide to accept or make an offer, as you may save yourself a lot of frustration and possible heartache.

5. Survey results

This is where you get down to the nitty gritty of the property you’re looking to purchase in Mansfield / Chesterfield and surrounding areas, or when a buyer discovers the truth about your property. A home survey can uncover a wealth of issues, from small cosmetic details which are easily fixed, to major structural problems that could be costly. We know that some buyers skip having this survey done to save costs, but we strongly advise against this as you could be setting yourself up to purchase a property that requires extensive works. To avoid any surprises, always get a survey undertaken by a RICS surveyor; as a seller, you may wish to have a survey done before you place your property on the market. This way, you can seek advice on any issues raised and get them fixed so that buyers will stay.

6. Are you ready?

The property market is extremely busy at the moment, and you too have made the decision to move, but did you make it in haste or has it been completely thought through? You may, sadly, be having to sell due to a change in circumstances; a move that has been forced upon you can be particularly hard. Regardless of why you are selling, if you want to achieve the best price for your property and have a positive experience, you need to put your personal feelings aside and see the situation in black and white. This was your home, now it’s a house for sale. If you are unable to emotionally detach from your property you may make decisions that are not in the best interest of the sale, and sabotage the process. If you don’t feel ready, stop, breathe, and focus on the future – your new home may not be the same but it will offer you a new start, one which you probably need right now.

7. Delays

The curse of all property sales and purchases is delays. Why? Delays have a unique tendency to plant doubts in people’s minds. Why are they taking so long to hand over the boiler certificate? Why are they not returning calls? Every delay rings an alarm bell. Some buyers and sellers may be determined to go the whole way no matter how long it takes, whereas others may see it as ‘a sign’ and, even if they lose money by doing so, decide to walk away. This is easily resolved by being on the ball at every stage, returning calls, handing over paperwork and ensuring you’re doing everything you can to keep the chain together and the sale moving.

8. Just life

No matter how many plans you put in place, if this year has proven anything, it’s that life has a way of surprising us by throwing a pandemic in our laps. Well, it may not be a pandemic, it could be a change of job meaning a new location, a health issue, or something else which has caused you to assess whether a move is right, and if it’s right now. Before you jump away, please chat to a member of our team; even if we can’t alter the outcome, you never know, we may be able to help clarify things for you or even offer you an idea you hadn’t considered.

Keep it together

The value of a good agent is always seen in the sale process, as our role is to keep every single link in the chain happy, resolve issues and proactively manage your sale and purchase to ensure that your home sale is too strong to collapse. If you’d like to find out what you can do to keep your sale together, contact our team on Mansfield 01623 621001 or Chesterfield 01246 224286.