Increasing numbers of property sales are falling through before they complete, making good sales progression an integral part of the buying and selling process.
According to figures from QuickMoveNow, 34% of all house sales fell through during the first quarter of this year. The top three reasons were down to buyers pulling out due to the survey, wanting to renegotiate or simply ‘changing their mind’. Lenders refusing credit and ‘chain break’ were the other top results.
Good agents play an integral part in keeping a sale moving. They are in a unique position to speak to the conveyancers on both sides of the purchase as well as to both the buyer and vendor. This can be invaluable in chasing up issues such as the submission and response to queries, reassuring nervous buyers, ensuring the rest of the chain is moving along, arbitrating in debates of contractual issues and much more.
Good sales progression can drastically speed up a purchase and can even hold together sales that would otherwise fall through. It is therefore surprising that it gets so little attention amongst people looking for an agent and even amongst some agents themselves (many of whom outsource the process).
Part of the problem is that this is rarely something that agencies get much word of mouth recommendation for. If a house sale goes through smoothly and all is done well, then the buyers and sellers are just happy that this is the case and assume nothing could have gone wrong. If things do go wrong, whether or not the sale is held together, it is very rare that people on either side of the sale will appreciate the role that good sales progression might have played.
This is also an area where local, traditional agents have a big advantage over online agency. When looking at listing fees it is easy to underestimate the impact of losing out on the sales progression. Vendors can speak directly to buyers but often the most cordial relationship will get tense during the tricky final stages of a sale. Plus the vendor cannot speak directly to the buyer’s solicitor. If that’s the element holding the sale up there is virtually nothing the vendor can do in that instance other than trying to apply pressure directly to the buyer