It’s exciting when the offer you’ve put in on a home you love is accepted. You instantly start dreaming about what you’ll do to the place, plan where your furniture will go and imagine your first Christmas there.

But there are instances where a house sale falls through — nearly one in every three, in fact.

Here are the reasons for a house sale collapsing:

Change of mind/circumstances

Within the time it takes to complete on a home — usually around eight to twelve weeks— things can change. The seller might simply decide they want to remain in their home, or they may have an unexpected turn in their situation.

By organising the sale to move quickly, you could avoid a change of heart or circumstance.


The survey comes back negative

If the survey reveals structural problems, or it down-values the property, it may be the case that your mortgage lender is no longer willing to offer the loan requested. Alternatively, you may subsequently want to offer less than originally agreed.

In either instance, try to negotiate on price or compromise and meet in the middle ground to try save the sale collapsing.


You can’t secure the finance

There’s never a guarantee that your mortgage application will be accepted, even if you have the deposit funds and can afford the repayments.

The best way to counteract this, is to work with a mortgage advisor. We can provide you with a mortgage-in-principle, which gives you a good indication of your chances of acceptance and can speed up the process.


The property chain collapses

If you have your own house to sell, and your purchasers’ sale falls through, they may pull out of buying your property. Alternatively, if the people who own the home you’ve put an offer in for are struggling with their purchase, it may cause them to pull out.

So buying a new home can reduce the upper chain, while moving into rented accommodation can limit the lower chain.



An agreement to sell a property isn’t legally binding until contracts are exchanged, so even if a seller agrees to accept your offer, they may go on to accept a higher offer from someone else — as unfair as it might seem.

To avoid gazumping, insist that the property is removed from the market and push your solicitor to exchange contracts as soon as possible.


If you’re looking for advice on how to avoid a house purchase collapse, get in touch with our Huddersfield-based mortgage advisor and we can arrange a no-obligation consultation to suit you.

07834 818805

[email protected]

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Approval number: Sol6271