Stalled Sale? 5 tips to get moving

June, 2024

You’ve found your next property and have buyers lined up. You are busy planning what you’ll do once you move, dreaming of that new kitchen or choosing paint colours for the lounge, for example. 

Except you aren’t moving. The sale has stalled, and you are stuck in a frustrating waiting game. So, what can you do to get the ball rolling again? 

You need to identify where the problem lies to understand how to solve it. Is it a missing piece of paperwork or is the problem more fundamental than that? 

Be clear about your urgency 

If you want to move urgently – perhaps to get your child into the new school year before the start of term for example, then make sure that your buyers and those involved in the chain and process know that. Such clarity might just be the nudge that everyone needs to get moving again. 

Chase up solicitors and agents

The legal process of a house sale can, in its current form, be slow and cumbersome. Although the process is moving to digital it’s not quite there yet. In the meantime, it’s still reliant on a mix of letters, emails, forms and phone calls. 

This makes tracking everything essential. Ensure that you have completed all the paperwork that you need to and haven’t missed any important calls or emails. Don’t be afraid to chase up agents and solicitors to ask for updates on what is happening and what they are doing to resolve any challenges. It may be that they are actually waiting on something from you, or maybe they just need a nudge. 

Be firm but clear with buyers 

The process of selling can be emotive. A buyer may want to rip out that gorgeous new bathroom that you only installed a few years before, and they are trying to negotiate a discount because of it. But you put your heart and soul into it and can’t bear the thought of it being ripped out. It’s creating tension and stalling the process. 

You need to emotionally detach yourself from your property and move on. Even disagreements over whether or not you leave appliances or curtains can lead to battles with buyers. Look forward and not back. 

This type of issue can also lead to gazundering when a buyer drops their price just before exchange. Stick firm if you can but walk away if you have to.

Consider other options if you are able 

The challenge might be your end if you still haven’t found the right property to buy but have buyers ready to exchange. To ensure they don’t abandon the sale you might want to consider renting or staying with family or friends short-term. 

This simplifies the chain to ensure it doesn’t collapse underneath you. It will also make it easier for you to move on when you do find the right place. 

Ensure you have confidence in the people working for you

As we said before, in much of the house selling and buying process you are reliant on others – from your solicitor to your lender, broker, estate agent and surveyor. Ideally, you will have done your homework before instructing any of them. Remember that all these people are working for you and it’s as much in their interests to get your sale moving again as it is yours. 

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