Almost three in 10 buyers have seen their house purchase fall through after making an offer - typically leaving them almost £3,000 out of pocket as a result.
A survey by Which Mortgage Advisers of 2,000 homebuyers - each of which bought their home in the previous two years - found that it takes over four months on average, from starting a property search to having an offer accepted.
However, 28 per cent of purchases fell through after that point.
The main reasons for a property purchase falling through were the seller decided not to sell their home after all (accounting for 27 per cent of fall-throughs), the buyer pulling out as their own property sale had fallen through (21 per cent), the buyer finding somewhere else to buy (21 era cent), or being gazumped (again 21 per cent).
Of those who had lost money and knew how much they were out of pocket, the average loss was £2,899.
This included conveyancing, survey, mortgage valuation or brokerage fees; these could not be recovered after the fall-through.