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What happens when a sale falls through - the role of a conveyancer

Published 10th September 2020

What happens when a sale falls through - the role of a conveyancer

It is a new home owner’s worst nightmare:
they find their dream home, build up a heap of excitement while they wait for
the legal applications to be processed, only to find out that the sale has
fallen through and they’re not going to be proud new property owners after all.
Equally disappointed are the property sellers, who are often relying on the prompt,
successful sale of their properties to achieve other goals (like buying even
more properties). This article looks at why UK house sales fall through, if
conveyancing is contributing to the issue, and the role of a conveyancer to minimise
the risks:

Why house
sales fall through

According to independent home buyer, Quick Move Now, over 28% of UK house sales fell through in 2019, but it’s a wonder that number isn’t even higher. Buying a house is a scary, complicated process which is why the largest portion of total fallen-through property sales in the UK is that the buyer changed their mind (34%). Other reasons include difficulty securing a suitable mortgage (17%), the seller opting out due to process delays (15%), and problems identified during property inspections (11%).

Is
conveyancing partly to blame?

Many clients direct their disappointment at
conveyancers and estate agents when property sales fall through. In most cases,
this is because of poor or slow conveyancing. In some councils, it takes a
frightening 95 days for a search to be conducted. There are those who understand
their clients and their needs when it comes to completing property sales, and
then there are those who don’t really care. Higher legal roadblocks are also to
blame in many instances, and these reflect badly on the conveyancer that has
been instructed.

The role of
the conveyancer

Many issues relating to property sales are
out of the conveyancer’s hands, but there’s a lot that they can do to make sure
that what is in their control is seen to in a prompt, professional manner. Conveyancing
solicitors on both sides of the transaction should endeavour to be as
responsive as possible, and hound other third-party service providers if they
are slowing down the process. Sellers should instruct a solicitor as soon as
possible (preferably once the house has been put on the market), and likewise
buyers should instruct once starting to put in offers on properties. This gives
their appointed conveyancer a head start, and could end up saving time and
frustration in the long run.

Choosing
the right conveyancer

We’ve listed five reasons why property
sales fall through above, but there are other potential issues property buyers
and sellers can encounter when doing the deal – issues that only
highly-experienced conveyancers will know how to navigate. In the market for a
property? Get a free
purchase conveyancing quote
from Home Legal Direct. If your property
purchase or sale has recently fallen through, contact our conveyancing
solicitors and we’ll make sure you get two thumbs up next time!

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