So Your House Buyer Pulled Out...

So your house buyer pulled out at the last minute and you feel like you’ve been left hung out to dry. We’ve been there and feel your pain, in fact, 1 in 4 home sales fall through.

This page (with video) will guide you to the best option for you to get moving and sell your house quickly.

How will you feel next month when you find a genuinely motivated buyer to complete quickly on your home?

As property professionals established for 8 years, we’ve helped countless clients with this problem find the right solution for them. Now read to the end and let us help you get back on track!

Frequently asked questions

When placing an offer on a house in England, you are not contractually bound to purchase until exchange of contracts. As such, if your buyer withdraws before then they have the right to do so. If they withdraw after then you can sue them for all your incurred costs and keep their deposit.

In Scotland, the rules are different. By making an offer, you are obliged to complete. Therefore, if the buyer withdraws before exchange of contracts then you can recoup your costs from them.

Many people are moving away from traditional sales with an agent where you pay 1.8-3.5% commission of your sale to them. To do this, you need to:

The fastest way to sell is by using a specialist house buying company like us. We have optimised our process over 8 years to complete as quickly as the law will allow

The main drawback from this kind of sale is that you will achieve 80-85% of your home’s market value. That sounds like you’re losing money, but you may actually save it. Once you complete quickly, all the extra months of property costs will no longer be your problem.

Why did they pull out at the last moment?

As frustrating as it is that your house buyer pulled out, it is surprisingly common. In 2018 the HomeOwners alliance surveyed 1,285 homeowners and discovered 20% of them have experienced a sale collapse. 

In addition, their average loss was almost £3,000 with 12% losing more than £5,000 on the failed transaction

Digging deeper, 69% of all collapses were due to buyers pulling out. This was either due to them changing their mind (39%) or inadequate finances (28%). 

Was it lawful for my buyer to pull out?

Your house buyer pulled out but depending on what stage of the purchase you were at, that may not be legal. This is because the first time each party enters a legally binding agreement to transfer the title is at exchange of contracts. 

An infographic showing sellers whose house buyer pulled out whether it was legal for them to do so

To clarify, if they were before exchange of contracts, then they were able to pull out.

If they pulled out after exchange of contracts, then they have broken your legally binding agreement to complete. 

You can then take legal action against them to recover all of your costs incurred and keep their deposit. Buyers usually know this. So it is very rare for them to pull out after exchange of contracts and incur these costs.

My house buyer pulled out legally. What do I do now?

You have 3 options to sell moving forward:

Option 1

Use an estate agent to locate another buyer (traditional sale). If you are going to take this route, make sure you are 100% satisfied with the agent’s performance. To clarify, the agent will be your main source of contact, but, they will also be for the buyer

Therefore, a low commission rate which sacrifices customer service may not be as attractive as you thought. Use our guide for more information on how to find the right estate agent.

Option 2

Find your own buyer. Estate agents charge 1.8%-3.5% of your property sale price. By selling yourself, you could keep that or pass the savings on to the buyer for a quicker sale.

So, how do you sell a house without an estate agent? Firstly, your home should already be prepped to sell as you’ve managed to do it once already. Secondly, there are multiple websites specialised in for sale by owner listings: you can access the directory here. Unfortunately, you cannot access the main property portals such as Rightmove or Zoopla as they are agent only.


Option 3

Use a specialist house buying companyThis is the fastest way to achieve a sale, with completion within a month. As 30 day house sale specialists, we’re so confident that we can complete that we’ll give you £1000 if we can’t.

Please note that no genuine cash house buyer will pay market value for a property. As such, by going down this route you will likely get 80-85% of your house value. If you’re still interested, you can get a free quote now by filling in our simple form here.


About the author

This article was written by Dr Sermed Mezher MbChB (Hons) MRes, experienced property investor, published author in Global Paediatric Health and The Journal of Medical Ethics, and medical doctor.

Sermed has a special interest in educating people on how to improve their situation. He believes that physical and financial health are intimately linked. 

Sell your house fast for cash

If you’ve tried all of the available options and still are looking to sell your house for cash, get a quote now by following the link below.

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