Estate agents blame homebuyers for growing sales failures


A quarter of real estate agents have seen 10% or more deals fail in the past year, with 46% saying buyers were most responsible.

Property buying firm HBB Solutions surveyed 942 UK estate agents about their experiences of failure over the past year.

Of those surveyed, a quarter said they had experienced more failed property sales, up to 29% of all failed deals in the past year.

About 44% of respondents said they saw less than 5% of sales collapse, and a further 26% see this issue affecting only 5-9% of transactions. Only about one percent of agents said they saw more than half of their sales plummet.

As for the reason, 46% said it was due to issues on the buyer side, with 22% also citing buyers further up or down the chain as the problem. Lawyers or transfer agents were found at fault in 17% of failures.

The biggest issue for estate agents was that they had wasted their time moving the sale forward once a buyer had been found, reported by 41%, with wasted financial resources also a major issue for 34% of respondents.

This is bad for business, as 34% of agents also found that their salesperson chose to re-register with another agent after a failed sale, even when the agent themselves was not to blame.

Chris Hodgkinson, Managing Director of HBB Solutions, said: “The good news is that with inventory levels insufficient to meet such increased buyer demand in recent years, failures may not have been as widespread. and when they do happen, sellers tend to find another buyer fairly quickly.

He added that as this is so often seen as the buyer’s fault, the research ‘highlights the importance of going for a buyer in a position of strength, rather than one who places the biggest bid on the table’ .


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