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One in three house sales collapse within three weeks

Think having an offer accepted is the end of the stress? Think again.


Finding a new home can be hard work. Endless days of viewing properties, making small talk with homeowners and arguing with your partner about why you’re not willing to compromise on that extra bedroom. There’s a massive sense of relief, therefore, when you find the right home and your offer is accepted. But unfortunately, the stress doesn’t there.

Latest data from the Post Office has revealed one in three (35%) people see their sale fall through within the first three weeks of the transaction, when searches are taking place, and 44% experience their sale fall through within four weeks, when surveys are taking place.

According to figures from the Treasury, consumers spend £270m a year on failed housing transactions with buyers and sellers in Blackpool the most likely to see their sale fall through within the first three weeks (44%) and four weeks (53%).

Paula Higgins, chief executive at HomeOwners Alliance, says: “While these figures aren’t surprising to us, having been analysing government figures on this issue for a while, they’re still shocking. Buying and selling a home is expensive enough without false starts adding to the cost.”

HomeOwners Alliance has been campaigning for measures to be taken to make the home buying and selling process easier for all involved and last year called for the government to bring more certainty into the process by introducing a standardised and legally binding “reservation agreement”. This would see the home buyer and seller commit to genuinely wanting to proceed with the transaction, and to pay the other side £1000 if they pull out, to pay towards their costs. A pilot of the this is currently in the works. You can find out more about our campaigns here.

If you’re buying a property and worried about the sale falling through Home Buyer’s Protection Insurance can cover you for any potential losses. Find out more here


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  1. Thanks for your comment and thanks for your support. If you are interested you can read about all our campaigns here. https://hoa.org.uk/campaigns/

    Comment by Marianne Cole — November 23, 2018 @ 5:31 pm

  2. I fully support the HomeOwners Alliance campaign for the introduction of a standardised and legally binding “reservation agreement” which would see buyer and seller commit to genuinely wanting to proceed with the transaction, and to pay the other side £1000 if they pull out, to pay towards their costs.

    However, I believe a lot of problems would be solved – for both Buyer & Seller – if Estate Agents were legally bound to incorporate a MINIMUM AMOUNT OF FACTUAL DATA in their advertisements/Brochures covering the Property being sold. In the case of Leasehold Property No Estate Agent should be allowed to advertise a Property for Sale without stating, as an absolute minimum; Details of the Lease (Timeframe/Years); Ground Rent payable if any; Service Charge payable if any; any other known Fixed Charges payable, plus Council Tax Band/Authority.

    Comment by JOEBEADS — November 23, 2018 @ 1:20 pm

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