Buyer issues have been cited as the main cause of fall-throughs, according to new research.
A survey of more than 940 agents, commissioned by ProperPR on behalf of home buying firm HBB Solutions, revealed that a quarter of estate agents have seen 10% or more transactions fall through over the past year, with buyers most to blame.
The research found that 44% of estate agents said they had seen fewer than 5% of sales collapse, with a further 26% seeing this issue impact between just 5% to 9% of transactions.
A quarter of agents surveyed said they had been subject to a greater degree of property sale fall-throughs, with between 10% and 29% of all transactions collapsing in the last year.
When it came to the reason why, 46% stated it was due to issues on the buyer’s side, with 22% also citing buyers further up or down the chain as the issue.
For 17%, it was the fault of the solicitors or conveyancers involved in the process.
The biggest issue to arise from transaction fall-throughs was the time wasted progressing the sale once a buyer was found (41%), with wasted financial resources also a predominant issue (34%).
While the cost incurred to re-market the property ranked as the least biggest issue of a fall-through, 34% of agents also found that their seller decided to re-list with another agent following the collapse of their sale - even when the agent themselves weren’t to blame.
Chris Hodgkinson, managing director of HBB Solutions, said: “Unfortunately, it’s just part and parcel of life that a proportion of property transactions will collapse and this is the case even in a market that has been performing as well as the current one.
“The good news is that with insufficient stock levels to meet such heightened buyer demand in recent years, fall throughs haven’t perhaps been as prevalent and when they do occur, sellers tend to find another buyer pretty quickly.
“Of course, this does little to help the selling agent who has already invested time and money in marketing the property and progressing the sale and in some cases, also loses the business through no fault of their own.
“In fact, it’s often the buyer that is to blame and so it highlights the importance of opting for a buyer in a strong position, rather than the one placing the biggest offer on the table.”