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Helpful Advice

Reduce the risk of a sale falling through

Reduce the risk of a sale falling through

By Peter Barry

The bigger the chain, the more links there are to break – the nature of house buying means that every sale is precarious and no one can crack open the Champagne until they have the keys or the cash in their hands. In recent years, the tougher criteria placed on mortgage applications, as well as the precarious nature of jobs and funds, has meant even more sales failing to come to fruition. However, there are some steps you can take in order to reduce the risk of your sale falling apart.

Shorten the chain
Whilst it’s always tempting to accept the highest offer on your property, it makes sense to take a step back from the pound signs and really think about who the best buyer is. There might be a number of offers on the table (if you’re lucky!), in which case you can make a rational decision based on the circumstances behind each offer. There’s never any guarantee of a purchase going smoothly but it’s obvious that the more links in the chain, the more precarious it is. If you have a good offer from a chain-free purchaser with a mortgage in place, you need to work out just how much the added level of security is worth to you in monetary terms. Getting close to completion then seeing your sale fall through could result in months of extra hassle. You also shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions about your buyer – have they offered on other properties? Do they have a mortgage offer agreed?

Get organised
You can’t rely on other people to have everything in place before they make or accept an offer but if you’ve got a solicitor in place, you’ve got your finances arranged and you’ve earmarked your next property, at least your link will be ready when the offer is accepted.

Moving house is a hassle but if you’re prepared to move into a rental property when you sell your own, you can remove part of the chain with one easy step. You’re now only relying on your purchaser to come good and, what’s more, renting will put your in prime position for your next move, as you will effectively be chain-free, and therefore a tempting proposition for vendors. Think of it as a short-term solution for long-term gain.