What Happens When Your Buyer Pulls Out of a House Sale?

One of the most frustrating parts of selling a property is when a buyer pulls out of the sale. This is especially frustrating when the sale falls through at the last minute. There are a number of reasons why a sale can fall through and it’s important to understand what these reasons may be.

packed boxes for house moving held up by buyer pulling out

Is a Buyer Allowed to Pull Out of a House Sale?

The reality is that according to property law in England and Wales, a property buyer is legally allowed to pull out at any time during the progression of the sale. A reason does not actually need to be provided and the buyer can simply change their mind at any point. There is no recourse for the house seller regardless of what legal and survey costs have been paid. No costs are refunded to the property seller even though it is the decision of the property buyer to discontinue the sale.

Why Might a Buyer Pull Out of Buying My House?

Reasons that the buyer may pull out of a house sale are that there are problems with the property which have been highlighted by the survey or the buyer is unable to get a mortgage.

Problems found at survey - Problems that get highlighted during the survey may include structural issues whereby the property is not stable in some respect, problems with the internal condition of the property, damp or mould internally, or Japanese knotweed externally in the garden. If the problem is severe enough, such as structural issues, then the mortgage bank may decide not to lend. Most often this means that the property sale cannot continue because most house buyers are not in a position to be able to buy a property for cash.

Down Valuation - Relating to this circumstance is what is called a ‘down valuation’. This means that the bank deems the property to be worth less than what was originally thought.
For example, a house buyer may agree to buy a property for £300,000 and applies for a 75% mortgage amounting to £225,000. This means that, excluding fees, the buyer requires a 25% deposit which amounts to £75,000. If the result of the survey is that the property is actually worth £250,000 then 75% of this reduced figure is £187,500. If the seller refuses to drop the price, then this would mean that the house buyer would require a deposit of £112,500 excluding fees. If the buyer is not able to increase their deposit to this sum, then the house sale cannot continue. 

Unfortunately for the house seller, by the time this point is reached in the house sale process, more than 3 months may already have passed. Once the marketing time for the property is included, more than 6 months may have been wasted. Sometimes this is more than a year. Plus, significant fees have already been paid by the house seller and these fees are not reimbursable.

What to Do If Your House Buyer Pulls Out

If your buyer pulls out of your house sale unexpectedly you may risk losing the house you are buying, but all is not lost and you still have options which do not have to mean losing your new home.
The alternative to avoiding all this uncertainty, frustration, and loss of time and money is to sell your house fast to Serene Homes which is a property cash buyer. Serene Homes offers a guaranteed house sale with no requirement for any viewings and is a completely hassle-free service. The process is very simple and involves only one survey, the cost of which is covered by Serene Homes. The survey is usually undertaken within one week of the house sale being agreed. The house seller incurs no costs because Serene Homes cover all survey and legal fees. Even if a down valuation occurs, the seller is not out of pocket and no significant amount of time has been lost.

Serene Homes does not pull out of house sales and the process is straightforward and quick. Property sellers typically know within a week the outcome of the complete sale process. Serene Homes can guarantee a fast house purchase because they use their own funding and are not reliant upon a bank or mortgage lender. A cash offer is made during a first telephone call, which typically lasts less than 10 minutes, and this offer is firmed up following the one and only survey. Completion then takes place, which means that from first phone call to sale completion, the total timeframe is only 7 to 10 days, and the property seller has incurred absolutely no fees.

If your house buyer has dropped out, contact the Serene Homes team for advice today or get a cash valuation in under 24 hours and see if we can help save your house buying chain.