The chief reason for sales falling through is that the seller decides not to sell their home after all.

According to new research from Which? Mortgage Advisers, 28% of deals fall through after acceptance of an offer, leaving buyers almost £3,000 out of pocket.

A survey of 2,000 home buyers who had bought their home in the last two years found it takes over 4.5 months on average from starting a property search to having an offer accepted.

However, 28% of purchases went on to fall through because:

  • The seller decided not to sell their home after all (27%)
  • The buyer pulled out, as their own property sale had fallen through (21%)
  • The buyer found somewhere else to buy (21%)
  • The buyer was gazumped (21%)

The average loss per buyer was £2,899, including conveyancing, survey, mortgage valuation or broker fees.

The Government has said it will consult on how the home buying and selling process could become more efficient, by preventing fall-throughs by making deals binding on the acceptance of an offer.