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The Top 4 Reasons That Property Sales Fall Through and How You Can Avoid Them

Buying a house is a long process but even if you find the perfect home and put an offer in, you’ve still got a long way to go and there are no guarantees. Unfortunately, there is a strong possibility that the sale will fall through and you will have to start the whole thing all over again. The percentage of house sales that fall through varies all of the time, but there have been periods where it is as high as 50%.

In some cases, this is unavoidable and it could come from the buyer’s end because they have a change of heart or find somewhere else they prefer. However, in many instances, it’s avoidable and there are certain things you can do to reduce the chances of the sale falling through, so you can close on your dream home. So, why do home sales fall through and what can you do about it?

Poor Survey Results

Before buying a home, you should always have a survey carried out to make sure that there are no serious problems with the house. Usually, the survey will pick up on a few small things, which you can then ask the seller to rectify before you close on the sale. This isn’t a problem and it rarely results in a sale falling through.

However, if the survey brings up serious structural issues that are expensive and time-consuming to fix, that’s a different story. Most of the time, the buyer will pull out because they don’t want to wait that long, or the seller will pull out because they can’t afford to make the necessary repairs.

The best way to get around this problem is to be vigilant when viewing properties and look out for any warning signs. If you choose well to start with, the survey is less likely to throw up any big problems that halt the sale. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, which is why you should get the survey done as soon as possible so you can cut your losses if there are big issues.

If you are a seller, it’s important to have your own survey done and fix any major problems before you put the house on the market.

Financial Issues

People often misunderstand what it means to be pre-approved for a mortgage. In the majority of cases, you will get that mortgage, but there are no guarantees and there are a number of reasons why the lender might change their mind. This leaves you scrambling to find a mortgage so you can put an offer in and it’s unlikely that the seller will wait around. There are a lot of things you will need before you are ready to buy a house, but a strong financial base is one of the most important. Make sure that your credit score is as good as it can be and you have a good down payment. Get all of your financial records in order so you can easily demonstrate your ability to pay.

You also need a backup plan in place if your financial circumstances change. If you get hit with an unexpected bill and you are forced to use some of the money you saved for a deposit, for example, that leaves you in a tough position. Borrowing the money on a credit card could affect your application too. So, make sure you have a good emergency fund in place so you can protect your finances and stop any curveballs from affecting your house purchase.

A Change of Heart

If the seller decides for whatever reason that they don’t want to sell, there isn’t much you can do to convince them otherwise, apart from increasing your offer. However, if they pull the sale for unrelated reasons, this won’t work and you will just have to move on.

But sales often fall through because buyers change their mind, and this may have to do with the house-hunting process and how honest you are with yourself about your priorities. Finding the perfect house takes a long time and eventually, you will get fed up and start making more sacrifices. It’s easy to convince yourself that a house is perfect and ignore the fact that it’s missing some of the key features that you wanted. Then, when the sale is close to being finalized, you get cold feet and pull out, wasting your time and the seller’s time.

Before you start house-hunting, it’s important that you draw up a list of deal-breakers that your new home must have. You can then list things that you want but are willing to sacrifice on. When you start looking at properties, you need to be strict with this list and don’t deviate from it because you will only increase the chances of getting cold feet. Be prepared for this to take a long time and don’t compromise on your top priorities just to get the process over and done with faster.


House sales often fall through due to the chain, and there isn’t much you can do about this one. The success of your house sale is dependent on the seller being able to purchase a new property, and the success of that sale is dependent on the next person down the line and so on. If one sale in your chain falls through, this can delay the whole process for everybody involved.

Unfortunately, you don’t have much control over this as a buyer and it’s important to know that this is always a possibility. One way of getting around this is to build your own property instead of buying an existing one. This is a big project to take on but it does mean that you have more control over the whole process and you can design the home to your exact specifications, so you don’t have to make any big sacrifices.

It’s so disappointing when your house sale falls through and sometimes, there just isn’t anything you can do about it. However, you can avoid any financial issues or problems with gazumping and gazundering by preparing your finances properly before you start house-hunting.

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