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Homebuyers lose almost a third of accepted offers

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Almost a third of home buyers have had a house purchase fall through despite an accepted offer in the last two years, according to research from Which? Mortgage Advisers.

The study of 2,000 homebuyers found that three in 10 (28%) lost a house they wanted to own, costing an average of £2,899 in conveyancing, survey, mortgage valuation and brokerage fees.

Which? said the main reasons for the purchase falling through included the seller changing their mind about selling (27%); the buyer pulled out as their own property sale had fallen through (21%); the buyer found then bought a different property (21%); or the buyer was gazumped (21%).

David Blake at Which? Mortgage Advisers, said: “No one wants to see their dream property slip through their fingers, particularly if it leaves you out of pocket, but there are steps you can take to ensure you are in the best possible position.

“The best way to protect yourself from your purchase falling through is to avoid a lengthy chain. With the right preparation and research, including getting your finances in order prior to making an offer, you can avoid complicated chains and improve your chances of success.”

The survey found that it takes an average of over 4.5 months from the start of a property search to having an offer accepted.

Which offers tips to homeowners to avoid complicated property chains, such as selling their home and moving into short-term rented accommodation to become a chain-free cash buyer.