One in six home buyers have pulled out of sale, according to poll

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19th March 2019 16:05 - Housing

One in six home buyers have pulled out of a sale, according to poll: Buying a house is a notoriously stressful process – and a recent survey has revealed insight into why buyers pull out of sales.

The survey of 2,056 homeowners (who had sold at least one property) by independent estate agent, Bartram & Co, found that one in six had pulled out of sale before it had completed.

Currently there are no laws in England and Wales to prevent buyers or sellers pulling out of a sale, which means until you have exchanged contracts you're in a vulnerable position.

 But what are the reasons for buyers pulling out?

Sixteen percent of sellers said they had experienced a buyer pulling out, with the top reason being their buyer was unble to raise the necessary funds - a reason given by almost a quarter (24%) of respondents.  Just under two in ten (19%) pointed to disagreements over property price, while others cited the buyer found another property (16%), their own sale fell through (9%) or a buyer pulled out after an issue was brought to their attention following the survey (8%).

Some respondents (17%) said they did not know why their buyers decided to pull the plug.

The survey also found that 14% had been gazundered (where a buyer lowers his/her original offer, typically just before exchange of contracts), with an average of 8.5k being lost.

Respondents who had fallen foul of a buyer pulling out faced an average cost of £1,945. 

Last year the Ministry of Housing pledged to research and trial voluntary reservation agreements in a bid to help protect sellers, reduce house fall-throughs and speed up transactions. 

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