A Guide to Avoiding Fall Throughs

6th September 2017

Home sellers can’t be faulted for breathing a huge sigh of relief once their house is under offer. After all, this means the stressful period of viewings has come to an end, and you’re one step closer to completion.

For 34% of sellers however, this is far from the end of the road. One in three house sales fall through before completion, due to surveying issues, failure to obtain a mortgage, breaks in chains, and last minute changes of heart.

A fall through is challenging on many levels, particularly when you’ve already made arrangements for your next move. A curtailed sale could also incur thousands of pounds in solicitors’ and surveyors’ fees.

While reasons for a sale not working out may differ, working with a trusted estate agent will ensure your property goes to the right buyer for the right price - and with a significantly lower chance of falling through.

Find the right estate agent

Your estate agent will act on your behalf throughout the sales process, negotiating with buyers’ solicitors, arranging necessary surveys, and offering advice all the way through to completion.

Check estate agents’ track records before committing to working with them. They need to be able to negotiate skillfully on your behalf to ensure a good price, as well as being attuned to any issues or doubts that may be raised throughout the sales process. You also need to trust your estate agents to keep you in the loop throughout negotiations, updating you on any likely delays and providing honest feedback from the buyer and their representatives.

With over 18 years of service as independent estate agents, we’ve done our fair share of negotiations - and last year alone we achieved an amazing 99.3% of all asking prices on properties sold. Do your research and pick an estate agent with the right credentials, as well as plenty of positive testimonials from previous sellers.

Make sure you ask a few questions about how your estate agents handle negotiations. While larger agents use administration teams to manage the sale process, we believe that a personal, individual touch will ensure a smooth sale. By assigning you a dedicated estate agent, we will ensure you feel comfortable asking questions and expressing concerns throughout the process. Furthermore, a single point of contact will ensure consistent expert knowledge about the state of your sale.

Transparency is key when it comes to avoiding fall throughs - while all estate agents will want to reassure you that a fall through is unlikely, we ensure that sellers are aware of any potential issues such as complicated chains, surveying issues or disputes from the very start so we can work around them together.

Find the right buyer

Time-wasters are a home seller’s biggest nightmare: after multiple viewings, a solid offer, and weeks of negotiations, your buyer simply decides they’re not as interested as they thought they were. This can lead to high levels of stress and disappointment, and leave sellers demotivated.

We work hard to ensure that you only enter into negotiations with the right buyer - someone who loves your property as much as you do, and who has the means to see the sales process through to the end.

A serious buyer will ask the right questions about a property and the surrounding area, moving away from the aesthetic and into serious consideration about how their life in the property would play out. Buy picking up on questions about long-term considerations such as renovation and extensions, we can tell that buyers are beginning to imagine themselves in the space.

We also check to ensure that buyers’ finances are in order when they make an offer. Buyers who have already looked into mortgages and solicitors are not only demonstrably committed to the process, but also doing their research, meaning they’re less likely to pull out as a result of a surprise later down the line.

We ensure our listing have accurate, high-quality photos and descriptions, so buyers know what they’re getting from the very beginning. By conducting viewings in-person, our qualified estate agents can gather honest feedback from buyers and work with you to address any potential issues.

By recommending your property to our own database of interested buyers, we can match buyers to properties even more closely, finding a buyer who’s truly passionate about purchasing your home.

Consider chains

Chances are, you’ll be looking to buy a new home after sale. Likewise, your buyer is likely to have a property on the market. Complicated chains are responsible for 9% of sales falling through, and can lead to long waits before completion.

While issues that arise further down the chain are often beyond your control, you can help streamline the process by being clear on your intentions for moving from the outset. Discuss your goals with your estate agent, and work out whether moving to a rental property while searching for your dream home would move you closer to exchange.

We strongly advise that you put your house on the market before purchasing your next property - this will give you a solid position in the chain when it comes to sellers accepting your offer. Many sellers choose not to accept offers from buyers who have yet to put their own properties on the market, as this implies that they’re not serious about committing to a purchase.

Put your mind at ease by exploring options for your next big move early in the selling process. If you plan to stay in the same area, your estate agent could even match you to your next dream home while finding a buyer for your current property, getting the wheels turning for a swift buying and selling process.

Prepare to negotiate

Many home sellers are keen to race through negotiations in favour of a quick sale. However, taking the time to consider what you’re agreeing to can make all the difference between a sale falling through and a mutually beneficial agreement.

Due to market fluctuations, you may be offered a lower price than you’d hoped for. After the summer’s snap election, property prices dropped by an average of 0.4%, meaning that buyers are expecting to find property for a lower price than they would have last year. Our property experts will take this into account when offering their initial valuation, and negotiate to ensure that the best possible price is reached.

The good news is, it’s all relative. If you have to accept a lower offer than you were hoping for, it’s likely you’ll be able to negotiate on the next place you’re looking to buy. As the market fluctuates, sellers are having to adjust their expectations accordingly.

Negotiations are about much more than just the price of the property - you need to come to the table with a thorough idea of which fixtures and fittings are included in the sale, as well as any issues raised by the surveyor that will need to be addressed.

This is also the time for you to get to grips with the technicalities of your own situation: come to the table with a knowledge of your current mortgage, any early repayment fees, the length of lease on a leasehold property, and any service charges. This will ensure that you’re in a strong position to negotiate a fair contract.

Our qualified estate agents will discuss these aspects of the sale with you early on, ensuring that everyone’s on the same page about what’s on offer, and what you don’t want to budge on. With a combined 78 years working with Maslen, our managers know all the ins and outs of the negotiation process, and will work hard to avoid any surprises later down the line.

We will also work with you, your solicitor, the buyer, their estate agent and their solicitor to establish a realistic target date for exchange, giving everyone involved a comfortable timeframe to work within. This has the advantage of giving the sales process a clear endpoint, and ensuring that everyone gets their affairs in order to make it happen.

Are you ready to kick-start the selling process? Put your mind at ease with expert advice from our expert team.


  • We were very pleased with services provided by the Fiveways office.

    Mr & Mrs Sawyer Shaftesbury Road

  • Quality advice about when and how to sell, which was spot on. Thank you.

    Miss Coleman Buller Road

  • Sharon, Harvey and James were all excellent - very professional. Totally opposite to what I have experienced with other agents. Maslen have restore...

    Ms Lyons Woodingdean

  • I was new to the area and viewed a lot of properties with a lot of different agents. Maslens were by far the best I came in contact with, so when i...

    Mr & Mrs Heer Lewes Road

  • Harvey was helpful and easily reachable at the beginning of the process and Sharon kept us informed and was always happy to help.

    Ms Murch & Ms Mapa Ticehurst Road

  • The Woodingdean team were very friendly and approachable.

    Mrs Palmer Pitt Gardens

  • Very happy with the service we got from you guys, everyone we dealt with was extremely friendly, professional and helpful. Thanks!

    Mr Brown Titian Road

  • Service exceeded my expectations overall at all stages of the process - I wouldn't hesitate to recommend you. Thanks. 

    Ms Greene Lewes Road

  • Already recommended you! Thank you.

    Mr Edwards The Ridgway

  • Paul Wilkinson was extremely helpful and efficient. The only problem was the vendors solicitor and Paul warned me of this. A good transaction all r...

    Mr Lavender Fiveways

  • Sharon was excellent - kept us well informed, thank you so much!

    Ms Waters Cowley Drive

  • Thanks David, all very professional.

    Mrs Flowers Foxdown Road

  • All very professional, kept updated throughout. Very pleased - Would recommend. 

    Mrs Hammond Hove

  • Outstanding service from Sharon. James is an asset to Maslens & Harvey was so helpful and polite.

    Ms Cianchetta Selhurst Road

  • Very impressed with all dealings with Maslen. Paula Carter was in particular very knowledgeable and helpful. 

    Mr McBlane Hove

  • A good team at Woodingdean helped us through a stressful time.

    Mr & Mrs Penton Sycamore Close

  • Ben and Paula were calm and reassuring throughout a very difficult process!

    Ms Easterbrook Bear Road

  • Thank you for everything!

    Ms Tucker Willow Close

  • Best Agents in Brighton.

    Mrs Field Tarner Road

  • Paul was absolutely brilliant. 

    Mrs Tasker Fiveways

  • Great service, always polite and friendly. Excellent contact and info all the way.

    Mr Wells Bishops Road

  • I wish we had used you to sell our property! Nice to meet honest people, who are genuinely interested in helping. Very pleased.

    Mrs Porter Taunton Road

  • Excellent service as always

    Mr Field Ringmer Road

  • Very comprehensive and professional. Nice people to work with and highly recommended. 

    Mr Alderton Ladysmith Road

  • Graham Griffin provided us, and continues to provide us, will all-round excellent advice. We trust his knowledge and expertise.

    Mr Blackmore & Ms O'Sullivan Financial Services

  • Best Estate Agents ever experienced - professional, approachable, competent and exemplary. 

    Mr & Mrs Guest Riley Road

  • I would recommend Maslen to anyone. 

    Mrs Tripp Woodingdean

  • It was an amazing experience, everyone involved were fantastic. 

    Mr & Mrs Knight Woodingdean

  • A very committed team who made the sale process very easy.

    Ms Rees Ticehurst Road

  • Very impressive - professional and friendly, both Martin Timms and Paula Carter were excellent at keeping in contact with sensible advice based on...

    Mrs O'Connor Hove

  • The team worked very hard over a long period to ensure my sale went through - excellent service!

    Mr Patrick Gladstone Terrace

  • Many thanks to Nick. It was an easy process thanks to you! I'm extremely satisfied with how the sale went, great job.

    Ms Mayanobe Aymer Road

  • Please thank Paula at Lewes Road - Excellent service. 

    Mr & Mrs Nuthall Lewes Road

  • Thank you Maslens, you were all excellent!

    Miss Jasper Taunton Road

  • All agents at Maslen were extremely helpful and polite from the beginning to the completion of sale. 

    Mr Johnson Fiveways

  • A really good experience.

    Mr Tibble Lewes Road

  • Cannot express our appreciation enough of all the efforts made by the Woodingdean team - they were fantastic.

    Mr John Mogridge Woodingdean

  • Excellent customer service throughout. I will definitely recommend you, and use you again. Thank you.

    Ms Longley Kingsbury Street

  • Thanks for an excellent service. 

    Mr King Hove

  • Paula is amazing!

    Ms Aspnall Gladstone Place

  • I have bought and sold 7 properties, and this was the best experience of an estate agents services I have found.

    Mrs Shepherd Hertford Road

  • Brilliant. Well done to Sharon and the Woodingdean team.

    Ms Curtis The Ridgway

  • Maslens as a whole were really friendly and professional. I have to thank and congratulate Paula Carter for being superb at her job and exceeding m...

    Ms Warren Hove

  • Compared to your rivals, your service was excellent

    Ms McGrigor Milner Road

  • Very pleased with the excellent service throughout. Professional, friendly, efficient and no hard sell. Achieved above asking price. Thank you!

    Mr Witten Lewes Road

  • Very pleased with the service. Many thanks to Sharon and the boys!

    Mr Flynn Woodingdean

  • Superb service as usual, I would always recommend you.

    Ms S Hike Blackthorn Close

  • Exceptional service throughout the process - should we decide to sell in the future we wouldn't hesitate to use your agency. You're a cut above the...

    Ms Windels & Mr Barham Fiveways

  • As always, an excellent service. 

    Mr & Mrs Field Lewes Road

  • Paula was fabulous and we felt really informed and supported. 

    Mr & Mrs Walker Lewes Road

  • Ben was particularly enthusiastic and helpful. Martin, Paula, Sam and Will are all hard workers.

    Ms Goodey Franklin Road

  • The sale was dealt with swiftly, professionally and successfully. Thank you Maslen!

    Mrs Lincoln Hove

  • I found the service to be courteous, friendly and efficient.

    Mr Upton Buller Road

  • The whole team were excellent, each one of them felt like family. Sharon had a lot of sorting to do at times but coped very well, a true profession...

    Mr Vernon Woodingdean

  • Excellent Service from start to finish.

    Mr T Mole Cromwell Road

  • Our local office manager, Sharon Wareham was warm and friendly and kept us up to date at all times.

    Mr Hope The Brow

  • Very impressed with the service. Sharon Wareham works tirelessly, very professionally and is always there for advice. 

    Miss Matthews Kipling Avenue

  • Fantastic service. By far the best agents we have ever used, I cannot recommend you highly enough.

    Mr Field Mafeking Road

  • In February 2016 I was looking to buy and sell very rapidly. Competition among buyers at the time was very high. Sharon @ the Woodingdean branch sh...

    Ms Helen Lyons Woodingdean

  • Very professional service. Thank you!

    Miss New & Mr Jackson Buller Road

  • Hugely impressed with Ben & his team.

    Mrs Mead Upper Lewes Road

  • The whole team were very committed from start to finish.

    Mr Pilgrim Lewes Road

  • All the staff I dealt with were excellent. Sharon worked really hard to complete the sale.

    Mrs Bent Falmer Gardens

  • Good team. Straightforward. No nonsense.

    Mr Standing Newmarket Road

  • Thank you. We found all the staff knowledgeable and really pleasant to deal with. 

    Ms Ansloos Lewes Road

  • Very, very happy we chose you, felt right from the start! Thank you!

    Miss Blackadder Coniston Court, Holland Road

  • The staff were very helpful, an excellent service. I would recommend you to others.

    Miss Hockly Fiveways

  • We cannot recommend Maslen's estate agents enough.

    Many thanks to Paul, Donna, Janette and the...

    Linda & Les Wigmore Close

  • It was a long, drawn out process that the people at Maslen helped me through, without the impression that it was a chore. So extremely professional...

    Mr McLagan Lewes Road

  • You were amazingly helpful throughout - a real pillar of strength with a very difficult sale.

    Mrs Parkin Fiveways

  • We were delighted with the service received from all the staff with whom we had contact,

    Dr Crichton The Ridgway

  • We were very impressed with the Nick from start to finish. 

    Mr & Mrs Smith Lewes Road

  • Paula was absolutely amazing!

    Mr & Mrs MacKay Lewes Road

  • Very pleased with the experience. I would definitely recommend you and use you again.

    Ms D Edmonds Horton Road

  • A completely painless experience from start to finish. Thank you.

    Mr Woolven & Mrs Bessant-Woolven Lewes Road

  • Thank you Paul and Archie, you gave an excellent service, as well as Kelly. I look forward to working with you again. 

    Mr White Fiveways

  • Excellent communication and advice throughout. It felt very reassuring to be in good hands.

    Mrs Brooker Buller Road

  • Very good service and communication. Paula was excellent.

    Mr & Mrs Scarboro 1 Pevensey Road

  • First class service from a first class team.

    Mr & Mrs English The Ridgway

  • From start to finish the sale was dealt with in a thoroughly professional manner.  

    Mr Gibbs Lewes Road

  • Excellent service from the Lewes Road branch. Martin Timms secured a quick sale & at a good price & Paula Carter worked really hard to secure...

    Ms Schulte Bear Road

  • Very thorough & very informative.

    Mr Michnowicz Waldegrave Road

  • Very helpful and patient team.

    Mrs Shea Selborne Place

  • Very impressed with the efficient and friendly service, the staff were a pleasure to deal with. 

    Mr & Mrs Gill Lewes Road

  • Sharon was excellent, she kept us informed at all stages and was a really calming objective influence in the process.

    Ms Frederick Channel View Road

  • Sold within 2 weeks for asking price "excellent!"

    Mr Grundy Bishops Road

  • Paula's role was brilliant. Having someone office based and available was so appreciated and her promptness an impressive service - every Estate Agent...

    Ms Wynn-Jones Baxter Street

  • Nick and Paula are total stars! They were incredibly supportive and present throughout. Thank you!

    Miss O'Haire Hove

  • A very positive experience - I had most contact with the Fiveways office and they were so friendly and helpful.

    Ms A King Balfour Road

  • Extremely efficient. Nick and Paula are excellent. The weekly phone calls were much appreciated. 

    Ms Gray Lewes Road

  • An efficient, professional and friendly service. Helpful and a pleasure to do business with.

    Mr Beddington Brading Road

  • Sharon and her team could not have done more in what was a difficult sale. 

    Ms Daly Woodingdean

  • First class service. Friendly and professional.

    Mr Thorne The Avenue

  • Sharon was amazing! She kept us up to date the whole way through the process. We cannot fault Sharon or the rest of her team. 

    Mr & Mrs Ashley Woodingdean

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