What Happens if My Property Purchase Falls Through and I've Already Paid for Searches?
It’s always hard when your property purchase falls through but your next steps depend on why it happened.
Your first question might be what happens to all the fees you’ve paid so far?
Our Conveyancing Solicitors work on a No Sale, No Fee basis, which means we won’t charge you any legal fees for any work completed so far if you don’t complete on your property sale or purchase.
But you will still be responsible for any paid searches that have already been carried out, and any other third-party costs that you’ve incurred.
We know this can be frustrating, which is why we offer a Search Pledge. This guarantees that your next set of searches will be completed by us free of charge if your property purchase falls through and you decide to use us for your next property purchase (subject to certain criteria being met).
If you’ve just decided to pull out on buying a home because you’ve changed your mind, you may still have to pay legal fees and we’ll calculate these on a percentage basis depending on the amount of work we’ve already done for you.
Why do Property Purchases Fall Through?
There are a few different reasons why a property sale or purchase could fall through, and usually it’s because of something going wrong somewhere along the chain.
The most common reasons include:
- Issues with the mortgage – this could be a buyer not meeting the lending criteria, a mortgage offer expiring, or a mortgage being valued incorrectly
- Problems found in searches – if any issues are identified during property searches, such as structural problems, this can cause a seller to pull out of the sale
- Gazumping/gazundering – gazumping is when the seller of a property accepts a buyer’s offer but then ends up rejecting this first offer after accepting a higher offer from another buyer. Gazundering is when a buyer will suddenly lower their offer, knowing that the seller will most likely have to accept the lower offer to avoid a collapse in the conveyancing chain. This usually happens close to completion
- Breaks in the chain – this could be down to delays in the conveyancing process e.g. if there are other buyers and sellers involved in the chain, you might have to deal with delays from their end
- Changes in circumstances – while buyers and sellers can just have a change of mind, a change in circumstances could also mean that they have no choice but to pull out e.g. an illness, job loss or divorce/separation
Whatever the reason, a property purchase falling through can be very stressful, and we understand that you must be feeling frustrated and worried, especially if you’ve already paid for your property searches and other conveyancing fees.
Do I still need to Pay Legal Fees?
If your property purchase fell through because of issues with the title of the property or problems found through the property searches, you won’t have to pay any legal fees for the work we’ve completed to this point.
But if you were already close to completion and the property purchase fell through for other reasons, you may still be required to pay a percentage of our legal fees for any work we’ve already done.
Your Conveyancing Solicitor will go through fees and funding with you and let you know exactly how much you’ll need to pay before completing any work. Our No Sale, No Fee guarantee means you won’t be left out of pocket, even if you experience delays.
Get in touch with our Conveyancing Experts today and we’ll be happy to help you with any queries you have.
Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.