Five things that can ruin a property transaction
Buying or selling a house is one of the most stressful things you will do in life, with many house hunters arguing that it’s worse than planning a wedding, finding a new job or even being made redundant.
The fatal floor in the way we sell houses throughout England is obvious… Once someone decides to buy a property, there’s nothing stopping them from pulling out further down the line. Scary stuff!
If this happens, everyone in the chain is affected, and the sale could fall through. Although there is nothing to stop this happening, it is worth asking your estate agent for their views on the mindset of the seller, to help you understand the likelihood of them seeing the purchase through but sometimes even with the best will in the world if a buyer pulls out at the bottom of the chain there is nothing that can be done.
How to avoid this:
In reality no matter how much you check, check and check again on the chain, life happens and things change. Your buyer may lose their job or just simply change their mind. However, to try and avoid anything that is in your control, be an accommodating seller. If your buyer wants to come over again to measure up, bring over family and friends or simply just pop over and meet you try and make sure you can do this and keep there excitement going. As a buyer, don’t be too pushy and remember that this could be a big move for them, a divorce, a death or the sale of a much loved family home. Moving is not easy!
Solicitors are integral to any property transaction, and it’s important you instruct someone you can trust – but if any of the solicitors in the chain are slow, the whole sale can be drawn-out.
How to avoid this:
Listen to your estate agent, they will be recommending a solicitor for a reason. Someone who works well with them, if they are informed then you will feel more informed too.
Ensure you’re being as efficient as possible yourself and aren’t sitting on documents for too long. Although you can’t control how quickly or slowly things are moving up and down the chain, you should make sure things are continuously moving at your end.
This is when a seller finds a buyer willing to pay more money after your offer has been accepted. It can happen at any time before the contracts have been exchanged and leave buyers without a home to purchase. Although this is mostly price-driven, it can sometimes be triggered by other frustrations caused by delays or issues.
How to avoid this:
To try and avoid being gazumped, ensure you have a mortgage in principle agreed before you make your offer, a solicitor ready to go, and all the relevant documentation in place so that you are demonstrating your commitment to the transaction.
Make sure you are also clear with the estate agent dealing with the transaction that all viewings have been stopped and that the property has been taken off the market!
4.Delays in the chain
Unless you’re a first-time buyer, it’s unlikely your property is chain-free, and with so many parties involved, it’s important you’re doing what you can to keep the transaction moving.
How to avoid delays:
Simple things like missing a call from your solicitor, or not sending back paperwork in a timely manner can hold up the chain and frustrate your buyer and seller. Accept that normal life may need to take a back seat until you have exchanged contracts, and make sure you’re fully contactable – even if you’re on holiday!
Emotions run high when you’re buying or selling a home, and those involved in transactions often find themselves squabbling over small issues. It is important to instruct a good survey and take the findings of that seriously; for example, if there’s a damp problem in the roof, it’ll cost you money to fix in the future, so you may want to negotiate money off your offer. However, there are some issues which don’t require such negotiations such as white goods, fixtures and fittings. In the grand scheme of things, you may not want them to leave their washing machine behind, but you can take it to the dump yourself, and engaging in a dispute could cost you the property.
How to avoid unnecessary tension and disputes:
No matter how tempting it is, do NOT swap telephone numbers! What can start off a nice rosy relationship can quickly turn sour when the pressure naturally increases throughout the transaction.