In an ideal world, you would sell your current house as soon as you had bought and moved into your new home, minimizing time, costs and worry. When entering a property chain however, it is not always smooth sailing and problems arise with seemingly no solution in sight. This post will go through 4 common problems and what you can do to solve them.

Estate Agent Issues

Whether you believe they are overcharging you, not providing the specified service or are advertising your house inappropriately, your estate agent could be slowing your part of the chain down, unnecessarily prolonging the process. Though it is true that changing estate agents may mean having to pay your original agents’ expenses, if you can prove they have broken the agreements you have both signed, you may not have to.

All estate agents belong to a complaints redress scheme, and if you are worried you can complain to their scheme. The three government approved schemes are: The Property Ombudsman; The Ombudsman Services: Property; The Property Redress Scheme. It is not uncommon for estate agents to be sued for negligence and misrepresentation if they fail to comply afterwards.

It is advised you discuss any issues with your estate agent first, to hopefully come to a resolution together.

The Offer to Buy Your House is Withdrawn

This is the most stressful thing that can happen and unfortunately, if it occurs before contracts are exchanged, it’s perfectly legal. The potential buyer also has no obligation to pay for any costs you may have incurred, though you can ask them for a contribution. If an offer is withdrawn after contracts have been exchanged, the buyer will still have to pay earnest money (a deposit paid to confirm a contract) and may be taken to court and asked to provide just cause for backing out. You may receive compensation, helping you to put your house back on the market.

The Price Offered To Buy Your House Is Reduced

This is known as gazundering and can be both frustrating yet beneficial. It usually occurs when there’s a fall in the housing market, and unfortunately for sellers is legal. If a potential buyer reduces their offer before contracts are transferred, you can decide whether you want to accept it or not. If you weren’t happy with the offer in the first place, you could reject it and put your house back on the market.

The buyer cannot lower their offer after contracts have been signed and agreed to, and you do not have to accept a lower price if they try to persuade you otherwise.

The Seller Gets Offered A Higher Price For A House You Want To Buy

This is known as gazumping. You could try to counter-offer with an even higher price, but you could again be gazumped. The seller is within their right to reject any offers before contracts are exchanged and all they may have to do is cover your costs such as survey fees. To avoid this happening, you could create an agreement with the seller. This would state that during the period between making an offer they accepted and contract exchange they won’t consider other offers.  However, the seller does not have to agree to this. If they do agree, and you are gazumped, then you can sue for breach of contract.

The property chain can be a turbulent time. From deals going wrong to problems with chain members, nothing is set in stone until contracts are signed, and even then, issues can arise. Following the advice above or selling your house fast to companies such as ensures a buyer can’t back out and avoids estate agent issues causing you less hassle, time and money. Always ensure you have researched every aspect of the chain before you considering entering one.

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