How to keep a property transaction on course

The Oxfordshire property market has experienced an increase in the number of sales which fall through at the last minute, often for entirely preventable reasons.

In 2020 alone, over 300,000 property sales collapsed. Mortgage problems and unexpected survey findings were sighted as the most common reasons for agreements not reaching completion day.

At Oxford Property Consulting, we find not everyone is aware of the steps buyers can take to keep their property transaction on course. We focus on this important issue by noting our top tips here which save time and money.

The facts

  • According to Nationwide, a failed property transaction costs those affected an average of £2,700.
  • Through 2021, it is estimated one in three house sales fell through.
  • Sellers accepting higher offers or switching to a new buyer due to slow progress are responsible for a quarter of sale collapses.

How to prevent a collapse

1. Have your finances sorted

Before entering the property market, commit time to understanding everything that is within your control.

This starts with your finances. Speak to a mortgage broker to understand how much you can borrow and consider getting an agreement in principle. Doing this avoids any financial delays your side of the deal which could frustrate the seller.

2. Be realistic with your offer

Property prices have experienced their biggest shift in 15 years because of the COVID-19 pandemic and supply and demand. Rapidly rising costs mean any delay to completion day can cost the seller tens of thousands of pounds.

Think strategically through the negotiation phase, this is something our team are experts at.

3. Book a surveyor

When you view a home, you are only scratching the property’s surface. A good building surveyor will pick up on issues which could result in you withdrawing your offer.

Communicate with tradespeople to learn how much repairs are likely to cost and use this information to renegotiate the sale price and get your transaction back on track.

4. Communication

The conversations you have with your solicitor and estate agent can reflect how quickly a property transaction is completed. Being proactive with your communication gives you the best chance of avoiding the process ‘stalling’ to the frustration of the seller.

READ MORE: 2022, property’s key trends

Salvaging a deal

Occasionally, the collapse of a house sale can be entirely out of your control for reasons including job loss, illness or issues in a chain.

But as the buyer, you should always attempt to understand why the seller’s position has changed – and if there is room for compromise. With some hard work, it’s not unusual for a sale to return to the right tracks after being diverted.

Before walking away, consider the below steps to either salvage an agreement or reduce your losses:

  • Place a higher offer
  • Request some compensation (for survey / solicitor fees)

Working with the experts

Positioning yourself as a serious buyer when viewing properties not only increases your chances of reaching an agreement, but dramatically reduces the possibility of a sale falling through.

Working with a buying agent like Oxford Property Consulting can immediately catapult you from the bottom of estate agents’ ‘hot and cold’ buyers list to the very top.

Why? Because working with our team proves you are serious about your investment.

It also unlocks access to our black book of trusted connections we have worked with through our years of experience in the Oxfordshire property market. They include architects, interior designers, surveyors, builders, plumbers and more!

Why not contact our friendly team today and take the first steps in entering the Oxfordshire property market? Email for more information.

READ MORE: How to be an attractive buyer with Oxford Property Consulting