Gransnet forums

House and home

Flat sale fallen through

(23 Posts)
Seagull72 Mon 19-Feb-24 12:53:13

My DD has just been let down again by a would be buyer of her flat. First buyer two years ago and now another one who seemed to be “in love” with her flat. There is nothing wrong with her flat just the time wasters. I don’t know how to motivate her again.

Summerlove Mon 19-Feb-24 12:59:16

Oh the poor thing! Thats so disheartening. Did they say why?

keepingquiet Mon 19-Feb-24 13:04:13

It is a terrible emotional and financial rollercoaster. Unfortunately there is nothing to be done but to hope the next viewer will be the right one.
Motivate her by just supporting her to keep going (unless she has really changed her mind) and build up some resilience as selling a property is an extremely stressful undertaking.
Keep her hoping that one day the right people will walk through the door and make a good offer, you really never know when that will happen.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 19-Feb-24 13:27:20

Your daughter needs to find out why the buyer dropped out - the estate agent and/or solicitor should know. Two offers in as many years sounds as though the development is unattractive, maybe badly managed, but equally there may be a legal issue - the lease is getting short, the provisions of the lease, for example.

Purplepixie Mon 19-Feb-24 13:30:11

I can understand just how she feels as that happened to me years ago. Just have to get back up there and try again. Not everyone will let her down.

M0nica Mon 19-Feb-24 13:33:17

Not necessarily 'time wasters'. Could have had problems with their mortgage or with the survey, or with some other legal matter. The buyer could have lost their job or had other disaster in their private lives. Have other flats in the development been selling or are they having problems too?

Our house is on the market at present. We insist of feedback from every viewing - and if we went under offer and it collapsed, we would want to know why.

Katie59 Mon 19-Feb-24 13:34:58

The problem with a leasehold flat is the charges and restrictions the buyer will have to accept, many first time buyers don’t have a clue about lease length or service charges.
Mortgage on a leasehold may be a problem as well.

Sally97 Mon 19-Feb-24 20:31:23

This happened to my son, 2 sales fell through at time of exchange. He had stuff packed. Both for different reasons and nothing wrong with the flat.
Thankfully 3rd time the sale went through, 4 weeks ago now. He has moved back in with us temporarily until he finds somewhere else to buy.
It's really hard to stay positive, hope she gets another buyer soon.

Lomo123 Mon 19-Feb-24 21:57:52

Same thing happened to my friends son. Turned out the 2 parties who put in offers hadn't qualified for a mortgage.

valdavi Mon 19-Feb-24 22:12:33

We had our house on the market for a year with 6 viewings in total but we didn't reduce it as we didn't need to move urgently. Then in the space of 3 weeks we got 3 offers, the last was full asking price.There's a lot of luck involved in selling, & since Covid (conveyancing times are so long now), with a flat housing market, buyers have so long to get cold feet that this seems to be happening to lots of people. In all probability it'll be third time lucky for your daughter.

Happygirl79 Wed 21-Feb-24 11:09:16


Same thing happened to my friends son. Turned out the 2 parties who put in offers hadn't qualified for a mortgage.

The estate agent didn't do their job. No offer should be accepted by them until they have proof of funds or a mortgage in principle offer.

cc Wed 21-Feb-24 11:56:25


Your daughter needs to find out why the buyer dropped out - the estate agent and/or solicitor should know. Two offers in as many years sounds as though the development is unattractive, maybe badly managed, but equally there may be a legal issue - the lease is getting short, the provisions of the lease, for example.

Yes, I agree, often it is a problem with the lease: my son was selling a flat with a slightly short lease, it was long enough to get a mortgage but one buyer wanted him to extend it - this would not have been cheap.
Eventually he found a realistic buyer.
Sometimes I feel that if it takes a long time to get the solicitors going it gives the buyer longer to keep looking around for something they like better. It's important to have everything ready to go to avoid any delays and exchange as quickly as possible.
My daughter is trying to sell a flat at the moment, she's had one buyer drop out but neither the agent nor solicitor knows why. I think that perhaps younger people are simply nervous of buying now, this is a first time buyer's type of flat. Also there are far fewer buy-to-let people buying at the moment.

Jess20 Wed 21-Feb-24 11:59:12

We've been both ends of this. In one case we withdrew after the survey and the seller made a huge price reduction thinking we were after a discount but we didn't go ahead as we didn't want to deal with the issues the surveyor raised regardless as we had small children. Usually doing a survey means the buyer has committed cash so it's more likely to proceed and they are not dithering having put no money in. However, way back in the late 70s I had a seller let me do a survey AFTER they had already exchanged contracts with another buyer! All my savings gone 😕 Never understood that. It's not easy these days as sellers appear to put offers on several properties to secure them and then see how things go trying to get the prices lowered on the one they really want while keeping a backup just in case. The last flat I sold the buyers had lost a purchase and were just desperate to move before the arrival of a baby, we accepted their offer, which didn't involve a mortgage, even though it was not the highest as we thought they would go through with the purchase, which they did. They invited me back for coffee a couple of years later and clearly loved the place. We were lucky as many struggle and we've learned to get things moving asap, all our paperwork such as building certificates, guarantees etc, the name of the buyers solicitor, evidence of their funds, survey dates, progress of the buyers own sale if it's a chain and so on before we believe it's going through. So many reasons things can go wrong and while some are buyers bad behaviour, some is down to luck and things out of their control. I hope the sale goes through ok now 😊

Bea0802 Wed 21-Feb-24 12:58:45

A few years ago my buyer had 3 people drop out. As they wanted my house and the one I wanted was happy for it to take a while as they hadn't found anywhere, I waited a while. All 3 were first time buyers. I wasn't alone. It was happening to others in the area. I think its too easy to pull out, there should be a non returnable deposit when an offer is made. So it could be its not the daughters flat that's the problem, but could be further down the chain.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 21-Feb-24 13:02:06

The would-be buyers of the flat seem to have been first time buyers Bea.

Labradora Wed 21-Feb-24 13:18:01

Hi I don't know the motivation for selling the property but if it's essential then your daughter I'm afraid has no choice except to proceed (obvious point) but if she has a choice she could just withdraw or rent it out instead although that brings a different type of challenge.
I put a leasehold flat in a small gated block of 6 for sale in October 2020, had a buyer withdrawal in January 2021 and did not eventually sell to my second buyer until September 2021 , nearly a year later although the Pandemic slowed the actual process down.
Particularly with Leasehold I'd ensure that I had a good Estate Agent and Solicitor acting and that I had provided the maximum information leaving the purchaser with as few gaps in knowledge as possible. My first buyer withdrew, they said, because although on site parking was available on a first come first served basis , individual numbered bays per flat were not a legal right of the flat owner and that was a deal-breaker for them. That information was not given precisely enough by me in the original details.
My successful sale took place despite a freeholder problem that had developed since the time the flat was marketed. Two determined good Solicitors sorted out what looked to me like a very knotty problem.
It can be difficult you just have to persevere.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 21-Feb-24 13:30:02

You make a valid point about using a good solicitor Labradora. So many people try to save money by using the ‘pile em high, sell em cheap’ conveyancing firms. It is false economy. They are no substitute for a good solicitor (and definitely don’t use anyone recommended by the estate agent).

Cateq Wed 21-Feb-24 14:24:16

I’m assuming your daughter doesn’t
Live in Scotland as once the missives have been signed it’s very costly for the buyer to change their mind. I don’t fully understand the chain system in other parts of the UK. We had a seller try to get us to increase our offer after it had been accepted, which we declined and our lawyer sent the seller the bill for the legal work he’d done so the seller ended up worse off.

Nannan2 Wed 21-Feb-24 15:16:05

Yes was going to say same as another poster did -maybe they just couldnt get a mortgage and didnt want to say so.They may be just as upset as she is and geniunely did love the flat.

M0nica Wed 21-Feb-24 16:53:05

GSM You are also dependent on the buyer having a decent solicitor.

When DD sold her flat. There was a clause in her lease, that had clearly been left behind when the Local Council (it was an ex-council property), used the lease for one block of flats as the template for the sale of a flat in a different block constructed differently. The estate agent drew this clause to the attention of all potential buyers, drew it to the attention of the buyers solicitor, DD's solicitor drew it to the attention of the buyers solicitor, who clearly didn't read any of the correspondence, because on the day they were due to exchange, about an hour before the deed was to be done, the buyer's solicitor rang in to say they had been reading the lease and there was this clause in it that said......

Fortunately a quick visit by the buyer's surveyor proved conclusively that this clause didn't apply to her flat and exchange took place a week later.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 21-Feb-24 17:08:49

Indeed MOnica. What you describe is indicative of the buyer’s conveyancer (if it was a solicitor they should be ashamed) using a secretary to gather all the search results and replies to standard enquiries, reading nothing until everything is on their desk and therefore only spotting problems at that late stage. At least if the seller has a decent solicitor they will be proactive and can put forward solutions to problems, but they can’t prevent this typical modus operandi of cheap conveyancers.

M0nica Wed 21-Feb-24 19:15:50

GSM As I remember, It was a key worker using a conveyancing factory that offered cheap rates to relevant Trade Union members.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 21-Feb-24 20:05:26

Recipe for disaster. Why people use these outfits when they will happily pay an estate agent or removal firm considerably more is beyond my understanding,