Lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, has revealed the huge sums that could go down the drain this December as a result of property sales that fall through.
It’s estimated that 25% of all property transactions fall through every year having already accepted an offer. While there were some 862,061 properties sold across England and Wales in 2019, this means a further 287,354 will have failed to reach the finish line. But it isn’t just time and stress that these fall throughs cause home sellers.
By the time a sale falls through, the average home seller has already spent £2,700 on legal or conveyancing fees, survey costs, legal searches and potentially due to accepting a lower than expected offer on the property.
The predominant reasons for a sale falling through are often down to mortgage issues such as down valuations, a break in the chain, conveyancing delays and situational changes.
The research by Benham and Reeves shows that 8.6% of total transactions that completed across England and Wales last year did so in December, making it one of the busier months of the year.
However, while 74,275 home sellers did manage to get a sale over the line last December, Benham’s research suggests that a further 24,758 sales will have fallen by the wayside, costing an estimated £66,846,600 to these sellers.
The current stamp duty holiday has seen huge levels of buyer demand return to the market and as a result, transaction levels are climbing above and beyond those seen last year. However, this has also led to huge delays during the conveyancing process, one of the key causes of a sale falling through.
So not only could nearly 25,000 home sellers see their sale fall through this December due to the current property selling process, but it’s more than likely that this figure could climb even higher as a result of current market conditions.
Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves, commented: “It’s really quite astounding that in this day and age, home sellers still face the uncertainty of their sale falling through on the home straight, having already spent a considerable sum of money to reach that point.
“You certainly wouldn’t accept a 25% chance of your food not turning up at a restaurant, your heating and water working at home, or getting your paycheque at the end of the month.
“The fact that we continue to suffer from such a high rate of property sales falling through in England and Wales is criminal. Especially when you consider how important the property market is and the huge sums it takes to climb the ladder.”