How to avoid your property sale collapsing

You’ve sold your property. Congratulations! I’m sure your estate agent has worked hard for you and achieved the best possible sale price! Now the hard work really starts. So if you don’t want your property transaction to fall through it’s time to read on.

Research shows that approximately 36% of all property transactions do fall through. But, thankfully, there are things you can do to mitigate the risks of that happening to you. And it starts
with your estate agent.

Perhaps a quarter of transactions fail due to things such as broken chains, financial problems, a major change in circumstance such as death, separation or loss of income, or a dramatic discovery in a house survey – these are all perfectly reasonable explanations for a breakdown of a sale.

Some 10% fall through because of a lack of commitment, poor communication between the agent and the buyers and sellers, buyers or sellers getting cold feet, and sudden changes of heart or mind. Changes of heart can’t be helped of course. And don’t forget buyers are only committed contractually when they exchange contracts.

The remaining 65% of collapses, however, are generally for entirely preventable reasons.

Given the highly emotive nature of property transactions, hard yards have to be put in to mitigate these risks and there are clear steps both parties (and the agents) can take to maximise the chances of a deal progressing safely to exchange and completion.

Speed and efficiency are of the essence. The fewer delays that are built into a transaction, the better it is going to be for all parties. Momentum is everything.

Buyers, sellers and the agents have to be honest with one another and transparent in their dealings. Communication is key. Please don’t assume that everything is happening and going along smoothly. Talk to each other.

The same goes for the advocates. They must also be encouraged to communicate regularly throughout the process. So often, they hold the keys to the success of a transaction. If they don’t understand the need for speed then you must try to make them.

Thankfully here on the island there is plenty of goodwill between agents and advocates – so important to ensuring your sale gets across the line.

Try and establish a realistic target date for exchange, with both parties reading from the same page. This also means everyone has a set deadline to work towards, which should give the whole process some impetus and structure.

If one side or both sides aren’t in a rush to move, build in some extra time between exchange and completion rather than being too relaxed about the exchange date. That is the strike date – the key date for all. Focus on it.

Perhaps your agent could try to arrange a weekly update between all parties. This could be via a simple round robin email or series of quick telephone calls. This will reduce the chances of miscommunication, misunderstandings and things being lost in translation.

It will also lessen the prospect of frustration and stress being caused by a lack of information. Remember, communication is key. If there are challenges, always seek at first to understand them. Ask your agent what is going on.

He/she should be well aware of the status of their sales. It’s a massive part of an estate agent’s job to manage this part of the overall process.

Work together and your chances of seeing a successful transaction complete are far greater than if you don’t.

It really is that simple.

Tim Groves
Black Grace Cowley

tim@blackgracecowley.com
(01624) 645555


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