We shine the spotlight on 5 of the most common issues to overcome when selling your home.

With the English property market back open and demand soaring, you may be in the process of selling your home.

But the uncertainties of the current market may make it that little bit more stressful than usual.   

To help you out, we asked members of our estate agent team to share the issues that can impact the sale of a property. 

Don't panic though, use this guide to make yourself aware of the potential hiccups and prepare to keep your home sale moving smoothly.

1. Overcoming gazumping

Gazumping is when a seller finds a buyer willing to pay more money after they’ve accepted your offer. It can happen at any time before the contracts have been exchanged and leave buyers without their dream home. 

Although this is mostly price-driven, it can sometimes be triggered by other frustrations caused by delays or issues.

To avoid being gazumped, make yourself an attractive buyer for reasons that aren’t just price related.

Ensure you have a mortgage in principle agreed before you make your offer, a trusted solicitor ready to go, and all the relevant documentation up-to-date and in place.

Semi-detached house in Reigate

2. Overcoming solicitor issues

A good solicitor will work hard for you to keep the property transaction going at a sensible speed, so it’s important you instruct someone reliable.

However, it’s not just your solicitor you’ll be depending on. If any of the solicitors in the chain are slow, the whole sale can be drawn-out.

Although this is an aspect that is out of your hands, you can do your bit by being as efficient as possible and returning your documents as quickly as you can.

3. Overcoming buyer’s remorse

Once someone decides to buy a property, if contracts haven’t been exchanged, there’s nothing to stop them from pulling out further down the line.

This can be particularly frustrating if you’re part of a chain, as one person pulling out could have a knock-on effect and the sale could fall through.

Something else to watch out for is buyers reducing their offer at the last minute. This is known as ‘gazundering’.

Since the property market reopened from its enforced closure due to the coronavirus lockdown, there have been reports of an increase in this behaviour.

Typically, gazundering is where a buyer reduces their offer at a very late stage in the process, often just before the exchange. This may result in the seller being unable to accept and the chain breaking.

Unfortunately, there’s no foolproof way to stop this happening to you, but it could be worth asking your estate agent for their view on the mindset of the buyer, to help you assess the likelihood that they’ll see the purchase through at the agreed price.

4. Overcoming delays in the chain

It’s the little things like missing a call from your solicitor, or not sending back paperwork quickly that can hold up the chain and frustrate your buyer and seller.

You’ll need to accept that normal life may have to take a back seat until you have exchanged contracts, and make sure you’re fully contactable – even if you’re on holiday.

5. Overcoming small disputes

It’s the biggest purchase most people will ever make, so it’s no surprise that emotions can run high when you’re buying or selling a home.

As a result, those involved in transactions often find themselves squabbling over small issues. It’s important to arrange the right kind of survey and take the findings of that seriously. For example, if there’s a damp problem in the roof, it’ll cost you money to fix in the future, so you may want to negotiate money off your offer.

However, there are some issues which don’t require intense negotiations such as what to do with white goods, fixtures and fittings.

In the grand scheme of things, you may not want them to leave their washing machine behind, but you can take it to the dump yourself, and getting into an argument about it could cost you the property.

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