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300,000 sales collapse each year, what can be done?

The Home Owners Alliance campaign group have recently disclosed figures that 300,000 house sales fall through each year and that the average cost to the seller for each abortive sale is £2,727.00. This works out at 1 in 5 of all property sales failing. The reasons for this vary, with just under 1/3 failing because the buyer’s finances are not in order, and 1/5 because of the conveyancing chain collapsing up or down the line. Another interesting fact is that 69% of these cases occurred by the buyer pulling out of the deal.

“This has re-opened the debate as to whether any new rules can be introduced to protect both the buyer and seller, and to prevent such costs being wasted. Currently, legal protection is only afforded to the parties once contracts are exchanged, which leaves both particularly vulnerable in what is already a stressful situation. “say’s Edwina Ashworth, Director at property specialist Kirkham Legal, who adds “there have been some sensible suggestions made, such as the buyer having to pay a non-refundable deposit once an offer is accepted, and buyers being requested to show proof that funding is in place before being able to make an offer, but unfortunately any such changes are not on the horizon anytime soon. I do however find that one thing that reduces the risk is for both solicitors in the transaction to act diligently and quickly, which hopefully will cut out a lot of the frustration felt by both parties, which then only increases the risk of one of them pulling out of the deal. At Kirkham Legal, as we are Licenced Conveyancers, we can act for both parties to the transaction, and I find that this increases the chances of that transaction successfully completing, particularly as it speeds up the process and effectively stops one lawyer from blaming the other for any delay”.

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