What could cause your property move to fall-through

Finding your dream home can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, it takes time, patience and a methodical approach. Yet even when you’ve got to the point where your offer has been accepted, there is always a risk that things may not work out and your transaction could fall-through.

Recent data released by property platform, WiggyWam, says that there is an average of 225,000 fall-throughs in the UK residential property market each year. This means 1-in-4 UK sales fall-through with each one of them costing homebuyers an average of £2,700. What’s more, with the Stamp Duty holiday due to end March 31st the average number of transaction fall-throughs is expected to be much higher if a buyer is likely to miss out on the holiday.

Aside from the Stamp Duty holiday, there are several factors as to why a property sale could fall-through that are outside of your control.


Having your offer accepted on a property is a major milestone for many buyers. However, it can all too easily change if your offer is gazumped by another buyer. This is when the seller accepts a higher offer from a second buyer after they have already agreed to sell to you, the first buyer.

Mortgage issues:

Jumping over the hurdle of getting a mortgage offer is a major accomplishment, however, if your transaction doesn’t move quickly enough that offer could expire. In this instance, you may be able to get an extension from your lender, or you may need to go through the process again in the hope your seller is willing to wait.

Alternatively, a buyer may have a change in circumstances that means they no longer meet the lender’s criteria, therefore, they will need to go through the process again.

Your lender will also carry out a valuation, not to be confused with a property survey, to confirm whether the property value does reflect its worth. If they down-value the property the buyer would either need to renegotiate the price with the seller, increase their deposit or, worst-case scenario, walk away from the sale.

Issues uncovered by the survey:

It’s easy to fall in love with a property from its kerb appeal. Yet only a survey can reveal whether it’s going to be a worthwhile investment or a potential money pit that will require major work to make it habitable. A property that has several problems that are going to cost the buyer a lot will likely cause a sale to fall-through.

Delays in the conveyancing process:

As many second steppers are aware, buying a property can take a long time and unfortunately the legal process plays a significant part in this. If a buyer thinks things are taking too long, they could get cold feet about the sale and walk away.

Broken chains:

If a sale is part of a chain, where its success is entirely dependent on the successful sale of other properties, you are more likely to be vulnerable, directly or indirectly, to all of the above issues multiplied by the number of properties in the chain.

To put it simply it could take just one of the properties in the chain to experience one of the above issues for the entire chain to then collapse.

It can feel frustrating when things go wrong which are out of your control. Here at Enact Conveyancing, we know all too well about these potential obstacles and therefore, for whatever reason, if your move does not go ahead we won’t charge a legal fee. Get your free instant online conveyancing quote here today.

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