Anyone who has been through it will tell you that selling a property can be time-consuming and unpredictable. No sale is the same and homeowners can face a variety of challenges throughout the process, but what are the most common? We’re going to explore some of the difficulties homeowners can face when selling a property and look at some top tips to deal with them.

Not getting enough property viewings

You’ve made the decision to move, had valuations from several estate agents, had the sale board put up and your property profile is online. Now what? 

If your property struggles to get many viewings in the first couple of weeks, it can be really disappointing. It can also be a sign that your property market strategy needs adjusting. 

The two biggest factors in putting people off viewing a property are photography and price. Do the images online show your property off at its best and is your property priced competitively? Any property will sell if it is priced correctly, so that’s a great place to start if your property isn’t getting as much interest as expected.



Getting viewings but no offers

If your property is attracting lots of viewings, but they haven’t resulted in any offers, it’s important to speak to your estate agent for some viewing feedback. 

Viewing feedback is invaluable in shaping your property’s marketing. Is there a common theme in the feedback? What’s preventing buyers from putting in an offer? If your estate agent isn’t collecting and collating viewing feedback, it might be time to get a new estate agent.


Slow sale progress

The process of selling a property in England and Wales is notoriously slow and cumbersome. 

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to speed up the process, but you can make sure that you, your solicitor and your estate agent all respond to any queries promptly and thoroughly, which will ensure you’re not responsible for holding up the sale in any way. This means your choice of estate agent and solicitor are key to the speed at which your sale completes.

The other thing to consider is the circumstances of your buyer. Although the highest offer on your property is usually the most appealing, it may not be the best option. A chain-free buyer is likely to be able to buy your property considerably more quickly than someone in a property chain, so ask questions about the buyer’s circumstances for any offer you receive.


Sale falls through

Unfortunately, around a third of property sales fall through before completion. 

If your buyer has pulled out, and you have an onward purchase in progress, you’ll need to find a new buyer for your property as soon as possible. If you’re at the beginning of the selling process that may be as simple as putting your property back on the market with your estate agent. If you’re further along the process and are worried about your onward purchase falling through, you might want to consider faster alternatives such as a home buying company or a property auction.


Chain collapse

Chain collapse is, unfortunately, very common. The more ‘links’ in your chain, the more vulnerable your property sale is. If one buyer has to pull out, the whole property chain is in jeopardy. 

To avoid a property chain, you can sell your current property before buying your next home or sell to a chain-free buyer. You will often see property listings highlighting properties that have ‘no onward chain’ – this is because such properties are in high demand due to their increased sale success rate and the speed at which the sale can complete.


Buyer trying to reduce offer

If your buyer tries to reduce their offer after a sale has been agreed, it’s important to look at the reason why. 

If you’re early on in the sale process, and their head has been turned by another property or they’ve just got cold feet, the sale may not be salvageable. 

If the buyer is attempting to renegotiate their offer after a property survey, it’s worth taking their concerns seriously and seeking more information about why they’ve reduced their offer. If the reduction in offer comes as a result of their mortgage lender down-valuing the property, for example, it’s likely that you might have the same issue with any other buyer, and therefore it would be worth your while negotiating and considering agreeing a reduced price that they’re able to secure lending on. If you’ve got a significant way through the sale process, it’s likely that you will already have spent a considerable amount of money on the sale and it would be costly to start the process all over again with a different buyer.


Buyer struggling to secure mortgage

Similarly, your buyer may struggle to secure mortgage lending as a result of their personal circumstances and financial security, rather than something to do with your property. 


When a prospective buyer makes an offer on your property, it is important that you ensure they have a ‘mortgage in principle’ in place before you take your property off the market. A mortgage in principle does not guarantee that your buyer will be able to borrow enough mortgage to buy the property, but it does mean that their lender has collected some basic information about the buyer’s finances and decided that, based on the amount they earn and their basic outgoings, they can afford to borrow the amount they’d need to purchase your property. 

Published on Holr Magazine