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Help, my buyer has pulled out of my house sale

Selling your home can be a frustrating process. There are so many unpredictable variables that either slow the whole process down or make you go back to square one of buying a property.

In the final quarter of 2018, 49.8% of all property sales in England and Wales fell through. This is an off-putting figure to anyone contemplating buying a new home or selling their current property.

This section will consider what it means to have your house sale fall through. It will also discuss if there is anything you can do to stop this process from either happening or repeating itself.

What Is A Chain Break?

A property chain is when a homebuyer and seller are linked due to their purchase or sale of a property. A “chain break” is when the property chain falls through. Being part of a housing chain can be both very stressful and expensive.

Chain breaks are usually perceived as a negative situation, and there are many benefits to not being involved in a chain break. For example, when you are not part of a chain, it can make house buying more predictable, as you are not subject to uncontrollable events. Another example of a benefit is it puts you in an all-round strong position. Many sellers would prefer to be with a buyer that isn’t part of a chain, as this would potentially speed up the selling process.

Why Do House Sales Fall Through?

There are many different reasons to why a chain may break. As previously mentioned, all transactions are linked, which therefore means everything has to run smoothly for a property chain not to fall through. Being part of a chain can slow the whole selling and buying process down, making the situation rather tedious. The most common reasons for a chain breaking are:

  • One of the buyers/sellers having a change of heart
  • Family issues, illnesses or redundancies
  • A party failing to obtain a mortgage
  • A survey unveiling issues, for example structural problems
  • A seller accepting a higher price on their property with a new party (also known as Gazumped)
  • A buyer reducing their offer on a property last minute (also known as Gazundered)

How To Stop Buyers Pulling Out Last Minute

So, you are part of a chain but feel nervous that a party may duck out. How do you stop a buyer pulling out last minute?

First of all, you need to make sure you keep the communication channels flowing. Allow whichever party you are dealing with (whether it’s a buyer or seller) to be able to contact you at all times. Opening up a line of communication will help you to build relationships and increase the chance of keeping the chain.

Try taking control, if a party wants to pull out of the chain, contact them. Negotiate and ask for their reasoning behind this and see whether they can be persuaded to change their minds. If your buyer or sellers haven’t pulled out just yet, see if you can speed up the process of exchanging contracts.

The Cost Of A Collapsed Property Sale

The average amount of house sales that fall through in England and Wales a year is 30%. This is an off-putting fact that can be down to many reasons. When there is a chain break, there can be different financial costs, such as:

  • Survey fees
  • Solicitor’s fees
  • Mortgage fees
  • Search fees
  • Lender’s valuation fee

Adding all these expenses together could lead to a rather large loss. So, it is understandable that many selling or buying properties want to avoid being part of a chain.

Ways To Repair A Chain Break

There are ways to repair a chain. To start, keep the communication channels to negotiate with the party that have pulled out. They may be up for negotiations to stop the chain from falling through. Another option is to sell or buy a house through an auction company. This will allow you to sell or buy your property quicker. However, if you are selling your property via auction, it is unpredictable the amount of money that you would receive.

You may be fed up of people falling out of your chain and want to sell your property quickly. Here at The Property Buying Company, we are more than just a cash buyer. We have our own cash facilities to offer you the best possible trade prices in the industry. Why should you choose us?

  • We can buy your property quickly for cash
  • You don’t have to pay any solicitor's* fees or survey fees
  • We will offer you great customer service and support throughout
  • We can complete in a timescale to suit you

*fees paid if you use our recommended solicitor

  • We cover all your fees, including solicitors if you choose our recommended ones!
  • We'll buy your house in any condition for cash.
  • We buy with cash, which means that we can guarantee a quick sale.

If you've had a chain break, we can help with a quick cash sale. If you're interested in getting a quote, just call us today on:

0800 024 8444

How much can you get?

Complete a few details to see if your property qualifies and get a cash offer

5 simple steps to having your property sold!

Our quick (but thorough) 5 step sale process means we can buy your house fast and at a great price

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  • 01.

    Check to see if your property is eligible check now

  • 02.

    Receive an offer from us within 24 hours

  • 03.

    We’ll visit your property & formalise our offer

  • 04.

    We’ll instruct solicitors and pay all fees

  • 05.

    Exchange contracts & complete as usual

Rated as Excellent - aww thanks guys!

Independent reviews of our service from reviews.co.uk

4.80 Average

475 Reviews

Ian Blake

I have found them very helpful particularly Jessica. It is a shame that I have been charged when at this stage I cannot proceed, but I recognise that this is to cover the cost of photographs taken.

Posted 4 days ago


Friendly staff on telephone

Posted 1 week ago

Rosemary Couzens

Mark was very honest and helpful about the process.

Posted 1 week ago

Jill Cooper

The gentleman on phone was Charming unfortunately offer too low

Posted 1 week ago


More than helpful in trying to sort out a deal for my house, have no complaints about the process or time scales in getting back to me with an offer

Posted 1 week ago

Why sell your house to us?

We’re one of the leading buyers of residential/commercial property and land in England and Wales. We buy using our own cash facility meaning we can offer the best prices in our industry and complete the sale quicker than anyone else.

Your options Average sale length Typical cost to you
The Property Buying Company 2-3 weeks £0.00
Other House Buying Companies 2-10 weeks £1000
Property Auction 6-10 weeks £2500-£5000
Online Estate Agents 16-52 weeks £1000(upfront)-£5000
Estate Agents 16-52 weeks £5000

Unlike most of the other options available to you, we are not a broker or middle man, meaning you skip the fees and get a sale quickly and easily.

The Property Buying Company is registered with the Property Ombudsman and is a member of the National Association of Property Buyers

National Association of Property Buyers The Property Ombudsman

Properties bought by us for cash in
the last 2 years


Of our own money spent buying
property for cash

2-3 weeks

Average time taken from initial offer
to completion